Staring into the Middle Distance


An artist friend sent me a link to a review of a show of works by the painter Cy Twombly. (https://news.artnet.com/exhibitions/decyphering-genius-cy-twombly-major-centre-pompidou-show-768380#.WiVncSLTcvx.email). In describing Twombly’s process the writer states It took days or weeks of building up the energy to paint, countless packets of cigarettes, hours gazing into the middle distance, and many books of poetry (he liked Keats and the later romantics) before he picked up his brushes.

I neither smoke nor paint but I had the odd delusion that painting would be easier than the meticulous assemblage work that I create. I’m wrong.

I mentioned this bit of the article to the friend who sent it to me. She just finished a three-week printmaking residency. She wrote Yes, I too stared alot…(sic) Name of the game for those who understand what and where the middle ground is…(sic).

In this hurry-up world, I put pressure on myself to create. I think I need to get more work done. I need a bigger portfolio. I think that I’m not doing enough if I pick up the piece I’m working on and stare at it for a while before I place the next piece.

God may have created heaven and earth in six days but it took hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of years. Making art is similar process.

The photograph below is of the piece that I think I need to finish by Saturday but may never be finished.


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