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.