Friday, February 22, 2013

I am currently working on this painting of a really fat pink rose that I placed in a small ceramic pot and photographed against a dark background on a piece of blue silk. It is almost finished, but I am at the "stuck" stage on it. When I get to the point where a painting is as beautiful as it is not beautiful, it becomes difficult for me to complete it. This is the place where there are nagging problems to resolve. How much more should I do? Does this really work? What adjustments are required? I will likely need to sleep on it.

This dialogue is concerned with my experience in working with oil pastel to make art.

I am frequently asked about my choice of subject matter and medium, and I suppose the truth is that I prefer to paint flowers because I enjoy them. Painting takes time, effort, energy and commitment. Why paint anything which does not engage the imagination? When I am walking about in the world, it is the flowers which demand my attention. They will not be ignored, nor should they be.

Oil pastels are my preferred medium because I can work with them like I once used my crayons as a child. It is a form of grown up coloring. Who can resist the impulse to play with sticks of buttery soft color? Certainly not I.

There are, of course, many layers of meaning and intent baked into the pictures which could tell tales of devotion and mystery. I could give a long and blustery explanation about each one, but in the end, it really does not matter what I think or say. The paintings must tell their own stories.