20100413

COMMON THREADS

Now that Opening Night for "The Paradise Project" has come and gone, I feel a bit of closure, and have already mentally moved past this era of my work, with its saturated, vernacular colors and tropical references. I'm ready to start fresh on a new body of work. With that comes reflection on what I've done, and where I'm going artistically. For starters, I'm not sure I want to work in series again, except for the gouaches and pen drawings, which is what provides creative sustenance until I can begin encaustic paintings. And although I still love color, I'm increasingly drawn to a subdued palette with lots of neutrals.

So where does this leave The Paradise Project? Can I just break away from bold colors, largish canvases, biomorphic shapes, 3D 'block' paintings....Is that a good move? Will my future work be directly based on past work? Will common threads be apparent? And why do I have no emotional attachment nor warm fuzzy feelings towards the work, once I've covered that ground and moved forward?

After the Opening, I was chatting with an artist friend and she boldly told me that when she is finished with a show, a body of work, a theme or idea, she is....well, finished with it. And yet all her work is cohesive- I mean one can tell it's her art, like a signature. Common threads throughout. I admired her for stating the facts, and then I stumbled upon this quote from David Hockney: "An artist will tell you he's really only interested in the stuff he's doing now. He will, always. It's true, and it should be like that." For some reason, I never considered other artists might feel this way, too- speaking of common threads...

A Bigger Splash, David Hockney, 1967

A big leap into the new and unknown is what's necessary at this stage in my career. I like to take a risk, provided there's intelligent thought behind it. The Paradise Project, like all things, had a beginning and an end. It was a good ride.

5 comments:

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Michele Fraichard said...

I always understood that the entire point of doing a series was so that one could take the original seed, plant it, cultivate it, and ultimately harvest it, in that it is only after having explored an idea fully, that one can finally put it to rest. I suppose this is where you're standing now and that you're ready for the next 'seed'. And why not leave the saturated colors for subdued, this seems a natural progression or counter-balance in that great duality that is life. Can't wait to see the encaustics.

Stephanie Clayton said...

Thank you, Michele. I fully agree. And I can't wait to see the encaustics, either! That is, I am eager to begin, and excited for what comes next.

es said...

Congrats on your show and your new journey. It's an exciting time that will bring new ideas and explorations. I love that feeling! Looking forward in seeing what is next. Have fun!

Stephanie Clayton said...

Thanks, es! Things are getting hectic now that we're packing. It's an exhilarating journey toward a new adventure in life and work.