18" x 24" oil on canvas
Our long time but far-away friend, Bob, decided he wanted a painting of mine. Bob is a writer, musician, journalist, seeker of truth and justice, and kind hearted soul. I think Bob is an unsung hero, but I also think his usual taste in art runs from abstract expressionism to famous jazz album covers, so when he said he wanted one of my paintings, I was pretty surprised and flattered. We searched through all my pieces to find something he would like, but the only one he found was a painting that had sold years ago. I decided I would just repaint it for him, but bigger this time. I really do not repaint paintings - it never seems to work - but Bob is special, and I thought it was worth it to try and please him. So I began a painting, and what emerged was far from what I was planning. I liked the painting, but I knew it was not right for Bob.
(Not Bob's painting, and
I sent him a picture when it was nearly done, saying "this is what I have for you.” “Fine” he said, "send it on.” Now, I should say that Bob is very adept with words, and that was just the wrong answer. That piece, my work, is better than fine, “ fine" is just not good enough for me. But then he wrote: “I thought the bottom was part of the painting, and I got all excited. Then I saw that it was just your easel."
So I went and looked at my easel, and... it was a mess! It has smears, slashes, splotches, paint from twenty years worth of work. And then the proverbial light went on in my head. I went to work making a painting that was as chaotic as possible. Here are some details.
It must be said that I am not a chaotic person, but that was what I tried to create. I smeared, splashed and gouged on the paint, using knives, fingers and dirty brushes, anything that seemed right at the moment. And here’s the thing, the very best thing: I loved it. I had the most wonderful time. I invited chaos into the workplace and it was wonderful. For that and so many other reasons, I love this painting.
I wrote Bob when it was finished, and said “Here it is, but you don’t have to have it, no hard feelings!" (I was really hoping he wouldn’t like it, so I could keep it.) But no, he loved it, so it's his now, and I am forever grateful that he helped me to see this new way of painting.
To see more of my work, please visit my Gallery page at the Daily Paintworks. Thanks for looking!