Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Origins of the Small Paintings on Book Pages

I never liked making small paintings. I've always been the sort of painter who needs to work large; like 5x7, or 6x9, as in feet. I always like to put my whole body into the creation of a work, and have it almost swallow me in its scale. I've just always felt more expressive working this way. Other New York artists I know (and family members) always laugh at me, saying that if I keep making incredibly large pieces, that one day, the paintings will take up all of what's left of my apartment, and I'll be forced to live in one small corner of it.

Well, the concept of working small never quite set in. It's something I do occasionally to make as gifts for people, or to try again to see if I've finally conquered this problem. The result is almost always, nope.

Last year, when I was cleaning out my studio, I came across a couple of small pieces that I've always loved. Despite their size (5x7- as in inches) I felt that they were pretty successful. They were made with gouache and with the imagery that has come to be my signature vocabulary in almost all of my recent work: biology and science. I never dated them, but I think they're from 2005. For the past two years, I've felt completely overwhelmed with health issues and my day job, that it seems that I just never had time or energy to make my large paintings anymore. I haven't felt the satisfaction of actually completing a significant piece of artwork in quite some time, and this was the whole reason I moved to New York in the first place. I pulled out the paintings (above) and used them as a model for the pieces that I've been doing recently.

These new works are much smaller, but I truly feel a sense of satisfaction in being able to complete several of them over the course of a week. They are a way for me to purge all of the designs and patterns that I see throughout the work week in the subway (and elswhere in the city) and translate them into works of art. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoy making them.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this Kim! I am always interested to hear other artists describe as their creative struggles--working past different "roadblocks" whether it be lack of studio space or the search for the perfect scale in which to present their work. The way you describe these new pieces as a process of "purging" all the designs and patterns that you view on a daily basis is great. Keep creating, keep blogging :) All best, Suzanna

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