Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Part 2: The Process of Painting

During most of the year 2007, I painted with only black and white acrylic on translucent cotton vellum tracing paper. I titled the body of work “The Translucent Series”. The majority of the pieces are small, either 6 x 4 inches or 5 x 5 inches. The most recent paintings were done with only white acrylic or white gesso.

These paintings are moving closer to my idea of the “shell of the cicada”. I think of each finished painting as the physical evidence of a creative process that begins before the painting starts and continues after it is done. In this process, the viewer becomes an active participant in the creativity by bringing his or her own life experience and interpretations to the painting. Rather than producing art that works like flashy billboards or popular advertising, the tendency of much contemporary art today, I prefer a subtler conversational approach.

In working with the Translucent Series I allow the mediums to function naturally, let the paper warp, let the paint pool and bubble and crack as it dries, and I try to remain open to what the painting might have to say in this “conversation”. This method produces paintings that also seem very open to what the viewers bring to them. It is work that does not exclude the viewers by trying to tell them something, but instead includes the viewers in a conversation full of questions.

Today I will begin work on a new series of paintings. Those results will show up on this blogsite soon.

Michael Cross

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