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Personally Modified Impressionism

Originally posted on March, 3, 2009

Sketch near Carpentras, 2005
Sketch for the following paintings:

"Untitled", Golden Open acrylic on acid free mat board, 30cm x 24cm, 2009
"Untitled", Golden Open acrylic on acid free mat board, 30cm x 24cm, 2009

"Untitled", Golden Open acrylic on acid-free mat board, 22cm x 16cm, 2009
"Untitled", Golden Open acrylic on acid-free mat board, 22cm x 16cm, 2009

"Untitled", oil on canvas, 27cm x 22cm, 2008
"Untitled", oil on canvas, 27cm x 22cm, 2008

"Untitled", oil on canvas, 27cm x 22cm, 2008
"Untitled", oil on canvas, 27cm x 22cm, 2008

Due to an interruption in my painting (house repairs) I’ve had plenty of time for reflection. Past posts, have, I believe, dealt adequately with the question of artistic integrity in a negative sense. Like all meta-physical questions it is answered in terms of what it is not. To state a response in positive terms obliges recourse to the story of history. There are times when I skirt this issue by saying that my painting is a personally modified impressionism. Like all ism’s this phrase in analysis says absolutely nothing. It is gobly gook like much written and said about art.

Between what Baudelaire termed stenography and abstract painting we find a huge grey area most of which is considered a no-man’s land. It has been little explored since it is considered uninhabitable. The primary reason for this sorry state of affairs is twofold. The first has to do with our Judaic-Christian antipathy between matters of spirit and the domain of nature. Secondly, this no-man’s land does not fit neatly into a little box. How do you explain something that is neither Classical nor Romantic but is somehow both? We have here a way of thinking about art that is not simply different and new for the sake of being different and new. It seems to me that for the last 150 years we have had artists who refuse to fit these familiar molds. They are like a few Indians circling the wagons. They just do not stay put.

Often I have trouble understanding the impulse for a particular painting. Since what I am in general painting is neither an image nor an idea but more an intuitive impulse or feeling it is not an analytic process. It is a sideways movement of distillation which takes place outside time and effort for the “spontaneous” resolution: a fortuitous accident occurs.

I’ve never hesitated to show work in progress or work that I am not sure is of “presentable” quality. Is that an integrity problem? Perhaps! It may in fact be more honest to be transparent as to our methods of work and searching. Certainly it is of more value to those who are also involved in the process. We are all eternally students.

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify! How many times do we need to relearn this lesson? The sketch for these paintings was done in 2005 close to Carpentras. I have since done the latest two paintings recently in Golden Open Acrylic. The following two were painted about a year ago in oil. I do not consider these to be finished paintings. They are quick sketches.

Published in french as Un impressionnisme personnalisé

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One Response to “Personally Modified Impressionism”

  1. ArtbyVeny says:

    While I do have to agree with your post in general, I have some disagreements but need to do some more research to backup my arguments.I will be in touch.Veny