art out of chaos

If you walked into my studio right now you would not see the floor. It’s a mess. And while I try to clean it up, I’m distracted by what’s going on in my work. I’ve always considered myself a painter, but I’ve become addicted to working with collage and it has taken over everything I think and do. I’m obsessed with looking for materials, thinking of new ways to reinvent imagery and finding new ways to put it together. It’s no longer about the paint as it is about tapping into something that is so different from what I’ve ever done before that I’m surprised by what I’ve done. Truth is, how do you outdo yourself?

I’ve decided to write about this period of chaos to help me document the disorganization and distracted mental state that has overtaken me. It’s been months since I’ve felt comfortable with my work. I’m experimenting with gels, glues and varnishes that don’t always behave the way they’re supposed to. It’s frustrating to work on a collage for weeks only to find the work yellowing or clouding up. I keep telling myself there are no mistakes, just opportunities. If something isn’t working, I know I have nothing to lose but to work into it. At this point I’ll try anything, even to paint into the collage. I keep telling myself to keep my mind open and let things happen.

While I’m excited to push my work forward with new challenges, there’s no roadmap to where it’s taking me or even where I want to go. Just look at my studio, you can see the stubborn disorder that plagues the whole process. I’m obsessed at the moment without knowing what it is I’m searching for, and yet I feel the answer is there, I just can’t see it yet. It’s as if I’m in this bubble and everything else is noise around me. Even when I’m not actually working in my studio, my mind is always on the work. It’s the best and worst of times for making art.