Thursday, February 23, 2012

Is Just showing up enough

Someone asked me what was the last picture I painted and it was canvas below. 

I am still having a lot of trouble getting back into the studio.  It seems to have to do with existential questions about what is important.  It also has to do with how hard I want to work at moving the stuff out into the world so that it doesn't clutter up my garage!  Mundane concerns do stop me, sad to say.   

But last night I saw a documentary about DAvid Hockney  from the National Portrait Gallery in London.  

                                              Mary Payne  Oil on canvas,  100x110 cm.

 David Hockney to me is not a particular talent....not certainly like Lucien Freud, Francis Bacon or say Picasso. 

 But although Freud, Bacon and Picasso were all original , exceedingly imaginative talents and prolific ,  I wouldn't want to look at their art all day while I could live with that of David Hockney, especially the earlier oils evoking "isolation". 

  I salute the big three ( Freud, Bacon and Picasso) as geniuses, I want to see their exhibits but I don't want to live with their work on the walls of my house.  ( If I did own one of them ( choke), it would be in a museum or on an auction block it's a moot point)

But Hockney has shown up everyday and has done the work, even taking a year off from his home in California to paint the double portraits in London.  And he, like any recognized artist continues to do his art everyday, in his case drawing and painting and make it the focus of his life.

 He doesn't care what the critics say about his watercolor double portraits, the subject of the documentary.  AS he says,  (paraphrased here) ... they are for me. I am not giving ( or selling) them to the sitters so I don't care what they think.

 And he continues to do the work as he has for years without judging himself. And by doing the work, he improves....and....   Obvious, but not so obvious.


  1. I would say that is all one can do-show up as authentically as possible.I'm glad you are back at the studio. That is good for all of us...

  2. You are so very talented, and in my opinion you have always shown up for "you" in the work you produce. I think that is why your work speaks its own vocabulary and is is waiting for the right people to listen...or not!

  3. Thank you for both of these comments. ..... helping me out of my artist's block...or is it a stockade?

  4. Nice painting with dreamy colors. Can appreciate what you are saying about painting . . . I have a bit of the same philosophy as Hockney about doing painting for myself and not worrying about what someone might think about it. At least at this stage of life.

  5. I'm truly astonished you have timidly conservative tastes in painting. Works by Picasso, Freud, Bacon
    couldn't live in your house because, I suspect, you find them repulsive. I wonder why. BB

  6. There is a lot of work by Picasso , Freud and Bacon that I find strong and therefore beautiful. I don't find any of the work repulsive. They just aren't my favorites.

    But would I like to brag that I had a masterpiece. You bet!

  7. Don't mention that Picasso on the internet. The thieves will fall over each other to break down your door. ;-)