January 2021. Acrylic on canvas. 18 x 18 in.
I post this image aware that no one may perceive its charm besides myself. The painting began in the vein of Pause Point and Urchin, with an earth pigment gestured on a white-on-dark ground and the intention of following this up with Mars black. I did come back in with white, several times, to remove some areas of umber I didn’t need; you can see the ghosts of the strokes in the upper portion. But when I got to this stage, I just wouldn’t go further. This painting sat in the studio for months as I waited for permission to continue. But I never got it. I simply was satisfied with this “Genie” (the name came to me almost immediately). I debated with myself about the messiness in those upper areas, which are not clean or well-painted, frankly. But repeatedly I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to change them. I liked the messiness, for perverse reasons. I like all the grubby ghosts in there.
This canvas is larger, 18 by 18 inches. Once again I was re-purposing an old painting, done maybe a year ago but that had never felt quite right. It was good that it kicked me into the larger format. I have several going at this size now. I like the physical impact as the format scales up. And I like the physical feel of painting it. Fits me better.