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“Here I Dreamt”

January 7, 2010

This post is kind of a post-op write up of the painting I just finished titled “Here I Dreamt”. I chose this title for two reasons: one, the image came to me in a dream while I was sick, and two, its the same name as a The Decemberists song I especially like. Actually the song is called “Here I Dreamt I was an Architect”. The song tells the tale of three dreams, one of which is about someone who dreams they are a great architect but when his work is viewed externally none of the angles match up and the work doesn’t hold up. The song has been examined as three dreams about love and loss told metaphorically. For me the dream of being an architect while  failing to build even a stable structure is how all artists feel at times. No matter how grand our dreams or ideas are its the physical rendering that ultimately determines the quality of our work.

Perhaps the distance between conception and execution in art is like falling in love and failing at love. In fact I added the running heart in order to touch upon this subject. The figure chasing his/her own heart is not specifically about love, but it is definitely about loss. I suppose there are many ways one could read into the imagery though I won’t get into that here.  I don’t pretend that this painting is particularly important to me, or an attempt at conveying some grand notion, though I am pleased with the final product. This painting is an exercise in sketch painting, in rendering my vision in a style that is intentionally rough and self aware. The lines don’t match up, they cross each other, break perspective and create confusion. The rendering of everything from the figure to the heart are haphazard and in some ways impressionistic.

I wanted this to look like it took five minutes start to finish. In reality it took much longer but I hope it bears the markings of a quick sketch. Some portions of the painting are actually left unfinished in hopes of furthering the visual roughness of the work. For example many of the colors are thinned with black diffused water and brushed cover other colors without mixing. I also let the paint run and dry in natural formations in the skyline with red overlaying the blue. I also tried to emphasize brush stroke hoping the clear brush marks would add visual interest. Lastly much of the paint is applied unmixed with blacks and whites smudging but not mixing into eachother. There’s also a small amount of scumbling going on in the greys.

In fear of going on too long and becoming self indulgent I will end by saying that I will conduct these kinds of reflections after each finished work as a way of better understanding my process/work and of creating closure with each finished work.

Currently Listening To: The Decemberists – Here I Dreamt I was an Architect

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. piedras platas permalink
    January 10, 2010 9:20 am

    I love this post. Its like a really good artist statement. And I think you executed the work really well. The title is very appropriate, because even without reading the artist statement its easy to see why its called that.

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