Monday, February 14, 2011

A Picture is Worth 2011 Words

If you have ever wondered what is behind my paintings, I recommend you turn it over. On the back you will most likely see a silkscreened image of children. This began in 2004 when I started placing this on the back of all my paintings 24” by 24” or larger. The images of children are my kids: Briana, Mia, and Nicolas. Every year at the start of the year I take a photo and create a silkscreen of it.

One may ask, “why” or comment on how nostalgic it is, or both. I’ve always believed in not putting dates on my paintings because it was more about where I was in my life and capturing that moment of time by the accumulation of brush strokes. Putting a date on it inserted the world and what was happening outside my existence in the studio. I wanted to mark my paintings with something that was going on immediately around me. After all, I am painting my thoughts, my ideas, my brain-to-hand expressions. This is more personal than a 19th or 20th century date. The images give a glimpse into my private life that lives and breathes everyday around me.

There is also a humorous and metaphorical side to this invention. I read an article where Thomas Kincade was putting blood in his ink when he singed prints. So later on when they went to auction, or were found at a local garage sale, one could prove they were his because of the DNA in the ink. Truthfully, I never realized there was such a counterfeit market for Kincade’s prints; one just has to go on ebay to find a low priced original.

The meaning is on a story I heard about Master Japanese potters, which I will paraphrase here. The potters would mark their created vessels with the ridges of a shell. They would continuously, over their lifetime, press the shell into the wet clay of their work and leave an imprint of ridges, thus becoming their signature. Over time, the ridges would wear away and the shell would become smooth. By the end of their life, the clay piece would have no visible signature but the shape and form would be recognizable to the artist. A true master has no signature.

So how does this idyllic story fit with images of my kids on the back of paintings? My great goal would be that I create so many paintings in a year that the silk screen would become filled with ink and worn away. There would be no image on the back of the painting, thus capturing a year of intense work and inspiration. This has yet to happen.

So next time you hold one of my paintings, turn it over and see who is behind it.

No comments:

Post a Comment