Painting doesn’t come easy.

Creating sculpture has always seemed a natural thing to do. Taking stone away from a block of marble and allowing a form to come alive just seemed to happen once I started carving. I should say used to happen as I had to stop carving marble a few years ago. Using power tools for 40 years raised hell with my hands so now that part of my life is over. As usual when I reach the end of one project another starts so it was quite natural to say OK what do I do now.

Painting full time is much harder for me than cutting stone. I have to think about and analyze every step. Some artists can just lay the paint on and know where they are going. With me every turn reveals a road I haven’t been on before.

The color goes on. Some of it gets rubbed off. Some of it gets painted over. Colors change and every change influences another .. then I walk back to see what has happened. I’ll return to the painting to rebalance it after seeing it from a different perspective and then walk away again to see if what I did worked. I walk a lot when I’m painting 🙂  After about 2 hours on a piece I begin to get mind blocked so I’ll move on to something else .

That’s where the 3D paintings came into being. I had been thinking of doing something like this for quite a while and one day the whole concept came together.

This is #5

Twins 32"x 32"x 4"

They start as sculpture but the wall pieces could not be more different in style, form or technique from the marble sculpture. The construction process involves a lot of concentration and math which lets it grow from a flat drawing into this new form. There is an interesting dynamics in working on these pieces . When I know where I want to go for a small piece of the project it seems to flow without interruption but when I reach the point where I’m not sure of the next move I walk away from it until another day.

Eventually I’ll  have a form that needs painting and another part of the project begins. It combines all of the elements . None of this comes easy to me but when it works…that is the sweet spot and a nice place to be.

…and that reminds me of a story.

When I was a photographer in NY I had a great assistant who helped me set up the shots and stood by me during a live shoot. We would often take 100s of photos but there were only 12 or 36 shots in the camera, Eric would take count of what I was doing and at the right time he would hand me a freshly loaded camera so neither the subject or I would have to interrupt what we were doing. At a certain point he would not hand me anything because he knew I had what I wanted. I once asked him how he knew that exact moment when I “had the shot”. He said he used to watch my face and when that perfect moment appeared in the camera frame I got this “silly” grin on my face and he knew I was done.

The other day when I finished scaling up the latest 3D drawing I felt myself go into the same grin because I had found what I was looking for. Some habits stay with you.

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