Violence, the artist’s eye and focus
I woke up this morning determined to cut the fire out of my painting.
It’s interesting about that fire. I had first envisioned a sort of Pandora’s box of evils then moved to threat as a blast. The blast turned first into a campfire and then into a house fire. In the meantime the fire has taken over my painting and that was not my intention. Really I do not even need the object “threat”; I only need the responses to it.
This work in progress is on paper. I could literally cut the fire out, paste what is left of my original painting onto a clean sheet and keep working. I could paint white or maybe black over the fire and try again. OR, and I think this will be my course, I can roll this painting up, put it in a corner and begin again with an entirely new composition.
Frequently for me, in painting en plein air in watercolor the first several pieces in a given location serve to focus my eye and mind on exactly what it is about the scene that really attracts me and finally to produce a painting that nails an angle, shape, or shadow. I feel this present effort, of many days, has focused my mind on exactly what I am trying to express. It is not the threat itself; I am trying to paint the resulting revulsion, hurt, terror on the figure. I do not need the “threat” in my painting at all. It could never be an adequate representation of something that in reality takes so many different forms.