My Chronicle as an Artist

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

T.S. Eliot

9: Painting...large.

My first paintings were small—often not more than 14"  wide.  I was working in a variety of mediums with prints, drawings, and paintings, so I chose a smaller format as a constant — it was a practical way to create a larger body of work.

When I started to paint exclusively, I moved upstairs to the painting department and had my own 12 foot square studio space.  One of my mentors said "why don’t you scale these up in size — you might not get another chance to paint this large for a long time…"

For the remainder of my time at the Institute, I did just that—large brushes, lots of oil paints, and a step stool to stand on.  I built my own stretchers  in the wood shop.  I stretched, primed, & gessoed my own canvas.  I learned so much from my colleagues and reading Ralph Mayer’s  The Artist’s Handbook ( the bible ).  I also had to work totally differently— I could no longer sit but had to stand and walk back & forth just to see.  And as my working method changed, my imagery evolved.

 

These, BeverlyRevisited ( 4’ x 6’), and Firefly ( 90" square) were a couple of my first smaller, large  canvases.