When the Time is Right
Why is this the first time I’ve painted the Kentucky mountains?
So, I have some new paintings to show, and I’m pretty pleased with how they’ve turned out. I also figured I should write something about their creation, even though that’s often a bad idea. I do realize there are those rare occasions when an artist can brilliantly elucidate the meaning or their process. Fairly certain that I will do neither here.
I believe that I’m the type of artist who finds inspiration in the way that my mind interprets my lived experience. Which means I “rarely” replicate what I see in nature as the end goal. With that in mind, when I say these are paintings of “mountains,” I of course mean as filtered though my creative unconscious.
Did someone just say, “What makes you think these are mountains?” Exactly. Although, my artistic intuition is pretty certain, and visually, they seem representative, and thusly titled.
I had no intention of painting the mountains this way, so these are not contrived reflections or generic artistic statements. Some artists definitely have a social agenda and want to steer civilization down their desired path, but, I am certainly not that kind of artist. I believe consciously that I have no statement to make, however, I’m not totally in control so…
I guess I’d better attempt to answer the question posed earlier, “Why is this the first time I’ve painted the Kentucky mountains?” Because the mountains here are so prevalent, such a part of life, it would seem that I should have painted them years ago. At some point during the day, or night, I draw in my sketchbook. During a few sessions I started drawing these shapes with holes in them, not a couple, but a whole sketchbook full. The visual idea evolved and morphed with some underlying and lingering thoughts of life here in eastern Kentucky. When the “artist” is ready, the idea appears.
My job as an artist is to let it flow, to not get in the way of where the work needs to go, and to lie to myself until it’s complete. I think I did it right this time. There are four paintings in this series, Money Mountain, Fire Mountain, Ghost Mountain, and Mall Mountain. Each painting is 48″ x 48″ and can be arranged together at 16′ long, or viewed separately.
I hope to be able to talk about them with you personally at an exhibition in the future. I’ll keep you posted.
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