September 10, 2010

strategies for wrecking paintings...

As a painter I have so many strategies for "tarnishing" the image on the canvas. I find nothing more tedious that a painting that leaves nothing for the eye to do. It's like a child pounding on the piano keys, as if getting all the notes were the only challenge to making music.

So I routinely wreck my paintings in order to save them from a worse fate. I spread turpentine on them, I scrape them, I rub them, I brush them--sometimes I throw things at them. They're almost always better as a result.

Here's one of my current favorite strategies which simply involves taking a dry brush and raking the wet paint. Gerhard Richter does this all the time and puts the results in the Museum of Modern Art.

Here's something from Richter:

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These studio notes are scraps of poetry and ideas that feed my work as a painter. I hope they establish a bit of context for the paintings and my intention in making them. Whatever I paint, I’m trying to create some space for us to sit with the questions that are not meant to be answered.