September 11, 2010

strategies for wrecking paintings no. 2

Of course I don't really mean "wrecking" them. I mean what Susan Sontag refers to when she says that "scrofulous, tarnished, stained, cracked, faded [photographs] still look good; do often look better." I want the painted surface to reflect something of the experience of it's making--it's time. I want to subvert the illusion of representation even as I struggle with all my abilities to render an accurate, well measured and proportioned image.

So here's another way I wreck my paintings: I take a flexible rubber-like scraper and draw it through the painting to get unexpected and sometimes interesting patterns and blending of colors. I usually can't work up the nerve to do this until I've decided the painting is a complete and utter disaster. Then I can cut loose and scrape away. Here are two examples of that--the first a smaller 12" x 16" canvas and the second a larger 30" x 40" work: