1995 - Square Parts - 36x36
A comment from an earlier post made me pause to ponder that show from 1997... you might have also wondered where my work was among all those realistic still lifes. Have I only been painting abstracts less than ten years? No, but thanks for noticing. I could say I was in a state of transition but more accurately, it would be a state of trying to please everyone including myself.
I've been painting abstracts from the get-go ('70's) but early work that could be genetically traced to current abstracts show up in my inventory folders from about '92... 15 years. Prior to that I played with a variety of abstract ideas presented as realistic studies. My archives are a work in progress that will require a lot of slide conversion to digital... (clues to the best source appreciated) but look around if you like.
1995 - Arrangement 1 - 40x30
But back to the still lifes of '97... why? Two reasons...
1) Because I was in transition and not really sure where I was destined... and
2) Realism requires a different set of polished skills. Without a formal degree, I've always felt a need to prove myself. Satisfaction comes when you meet an MFA who can't paint... and you know you can, on several levels ;-) Nothing like envy to motivate!
At the time I had two strong galleries that handled my wobbly, uncertain abstracts, and was invited to join two start up galleries (different states) that needed more in the way of realism. I really had nothing nailed as a branded style after leaving w/c for canvas work and was still under the influence of anything that flew by. I admit that sales were the prime motivator and I was trying to determine which way was up, realism or abstraction.
You know the end of the story... or is it the end? The stronger galleries could sell my abstracts better than the smaller galleries could sell my still lifes. That's just the way the cards fell for me... the slightest twist in marketing or style change could have resulted in a different outcome. So much for artistic idealism! I still have a determination to make my abstracts read more as landscapes in a style not yet struck... but I'm open to whatever the fates have in store. Maybe that's the real artistic idealism... just let it happen.