Have a seat.
An unremarkable chair, so ubiquitous that it is near invisible yet immediately familiar.
Why do I paint? In my work, what do I contribute to creating interest, empathy, emotion, intrigue, contemplation and engagement? Maybe nothing…hopefully, something.
I began painting this unremarkable chair to better understand/challenge my role in creating a dynamic painting. Dramatic or unfamiliar content - a war-torn landscape; an “exotic” culture; an emotional figure; sentimental, controversial or political images - will immediately inject interest and engagement into a painting by virtue of simply being depicted. However, this has very little to do with the artist. The content cannot be the only engagement and creative value that exists in the painting. If it is, then why not just snap a photo with your phone and be done with it?
To better expose and isolate my role in the painting, I chose this chair, so mundane and unremarkable, to be my repeated focal point, muse, model and figure. What is left when it is just me and this chair? What is interesting about its legs and seat, or rather, the shapes carved by these limbs? And, what of the blank wall and ground by and upon which it sits? What have I contributed?
Moments of the sublime
There are moments that a painter lives for (at least this one). The shock of an unexpected streak of a defiant royal blue against cold metal. The tension of taut negative spaces carved by gangly limbs, tightened further by the perfect ratio of brushstrokes to space. Ground/space/abyss that engages, moves, and accelerates as much as the drawn line. These are some of what I sought, and, at times, with a serendipitous stroke, found in incremental measure.