550. July 19… “A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind.”…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Friday Night” ©2011 Robert Redus

“I say I’m a million percent. That is better than a hundred percent! ” – Macho Man Randy Savage

this morning I read an article on “Conditioning” and “Calling”…fundamentally what we’ve been taught about who we are -vs- who we really are…and how when presented with the “Y” in our road…how to navigate that “Y”…with the least amount of stress…anxiety and greatest amount of positive forward moving results….

I think as artists we continually stand at these intersections…contemplating direction…what we are…where we are going…the work…what it is doing and where it may be going as well…it is sort of a silent twin…just nods…regardless of the direction….and is going to go…without choice…or regard to the outcome…

much of what we are as artists…is directly related to what shape we were squeezed into…or the molds we were pressed into…or the responses we developed…based on some action at us…towards us…about us…near us…on us…after all… art is nothing more than a self portrait of the artist…we just get better at hiding in the imagery or landscape…or color…or steel…

I’m finding the more work I do the more I have a grip on certain aspects of the painting…while other parts really need to be left to what and how they are going to develop…that’s not to say I really do believe when the lights go out stuff happens…and the painting is altered in the morning…and I’m blaming the Keebler elves…I just know that the work is going to eventually become what I have directed it to be…and some of what happens…I haven’t thought of yet…and might not until a few seconds before it does…

painting has become more of an adventure…and less of a process…that was the most recent… “Y”…in the road that I encountered…one read “Adventure”…the other…“Process”…I opted left…for “adventure”…

my feelings on the “adventure” mode of painting…are much different than the “process” mode…Adventure has rules…just less of them…there is greater risk…yet greater risk dictates greater rewards…which in turn…can change everything…adventure has unknown variables…which certainly challenge the good old boy process thinking…basically doing more of what I don’t know how to do…or am uncertain of doing expands my ability and offers me many more options than those I already know….

As artists we can each certainly identify what we do and the frequency of doing it…defining our rules for producing art can open the possibilities for defying those same rules…in essence by knowing what we do…we can change what we do….

My challenge to you is identify and define your rules for whatever it is you produce…take one day…or maybe one hour and break all of those rules…see what happens…make the process into the adventure of art…you just might find yourself doing something you never thought you would….

countdown for November 18th, 2011 Show, “The Space in Between”

294 paintings of 800….506 remaining

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louise Stevenson

549. July 17… “In art there are only fast or slow developments”….

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Natural Born Killers” ©2011 Robert Redus

“To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.” – Unknown

today is starting out to be one that will clearly go down in the books…for me…I am working on a solo show for November of my daily small paintings …and after a few hundred paintings…I’ve found the process of painting small has really accentuated the “Thumbnail” mentality in me…granted the size I am currently painting differs from true thumbnails for many reasons…but the key word here is “Small”…

lately I’ve felt as though I’m cheating on my paintings…the ones sitting in my studio…by exploring other methods of painting…and finding out I’m really enjoying these more than what I’ve done over the last 10 years…so I guess it’s time to talk…see what future we have…if any…I already know the answer…and I don’t want t start the conversation with “it’s not you”…

but I do think the comfort of where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing has also…kept me a little safer than I like being…I think it is the nature of artists…to look at anything and see where it fits and if it does how can they translate it to something visual…and incorporate it into the work…

”new” is relative in the same sentence with “art”…as the general consensus is there is nothing new in art…it has already been done…much like the head of copyright department for the government in 1869… suggested the Copyright offices be closed because as far as he knew…everything that was going to be invented had already been invented…

there is something about perfecting the craft…honing it to a point that requires sometimes a lifetime…then there is the evolution of that craft that if left alone worked constantly…religiously without end result thinking will assuredly change direction…and change often…recognizing that happens offers the opportunity to expand and depart from what was to what can be…

I admit this has been somewhat confusing as…I was very content doing what I was doing…knowing fundamentally what to expect and what not to expect…and now…there is something not really new…I’ll call it evolved…

There are three things I can attribute this evolution too…. 1. painting as I have for the past 10 years 2. painting everyday and 3. John Cage….

My painting mentor always told me…put the best painting up on the wall and look at it constantly…that’s the bar….when a painting comes along that is better than the bar…replace it with the better one…make this the process of determination….

I’m putting up the new one…today….

“It’s useless to play lullabies for those who cannot sleep.” – John Cage

544. July 5th…Just because you can think it….doesn’t mean you know anything about it…and other Non-Objective Painting thoughts

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Seeing Back” ©2011 Robert Redus

“What do you do with what you’re given, and how do you transform it into something worthwhile?” – Donald Fagen

the transformation…like the cracks in the sidewalk…I remember walking those early morning streets…the sun would just peek up over the top of the liquor store across the street…high up where the pigeons would dance …back and forth…up and down…or just sit calm…depending on the time of year…and they’d be cleaning the street with straw brooms…pushing all the nighttime world…back where they thought it came from…the outdoor chairs were empty…all of the conversations quieted…it smelled like everything you never wanted to know about…sort of little black and white photographs with bent corners…and pencil writing on the back…dated …names…places they called home for a few years…or maybe they became the woodwork…the clacking noise close to the wall…when the roaches would scurry underfoot…and the street lights haloed with swarms…while the night was so thick…it was called the “lush life”…pink skin sort of thick…kind of dreamers was how the men by their taxis seemed…maybe sordid…maybe saints…rimmed gold teeth…funny little hats…”I’ll be your best friend…I sure will”…he held a dollar bill up high in the air…the broom tucked under his arm…”mira mira”….I puked on the sidewalk”….from The Black Eye Project

I’ve always loved watching water swirl down a drain; it seems to me there is a dialogue there that to this day I’ve not been able to get entirely. Yet I still work at it every time I see it happen

Painting is an interesting journey, much like water swirling down a drain, there is a conversation that if left unnoticed or addressed becomes just another day at the easel. I paint every day and like to look at each day as what it isn’t compared to what I might think it is. Each day is different and by no means a continuation of the previous day’s events while painting. There may be similarities and more often than not there are major ones, but each event has a life-time of it’s own and sort of dies a slow death right before my eyes. Once the piece is done, the conversation ends maybe to be addressed later or never again.

Sure there has to be some connective quality to painting, but for me it’s not the finished product; it’s more or almost all of the process of getting to the finished product. I feel the process of painting is the connective device that allows the painting to exist. Otherwise it’s just all practice strokes, or ideas that have a beginning and a rather hazy end.

The one thing I’ve truly found out about painting is the importance of a plan. Now the plan can be very vague and nebulous, but for me something has to be there in front of me to make the process begin. I don’t literally mean a drawing or a photograph there to my left that I can look at but the idea has to have a greater presence that not. I paint non-objective work; the dictionary defines Non Objective as:

1. Not representing objects known in physical nature; nonrepresentational:  2. Emotional; based on inner experience rather than fact.

So the question arises, how does one develop a plan for something that doesn’t really exist? Perhaps the answer is translation. Translation means: “change or conversion to another form, appearance.” So taking say an idea and translating that into a feeling that in-turn can be shown perhaps as a color or combination of colors, throw In a few directions and objects/shapes that represent what that idea may look like in your mind. Add some marks that accentuate the important parts of the idea, maybe different colors. Try an emotional approach like getting angry or sad or happy and get the physical equivalent of that to appear as paint on canvas. Maybe take off all of your clothes, cover yourself with paint and roll around on the canvas, for personal effect of course. Then see what you have for that day. End the paintings life for that day and continue this process for a few days a week for a few weeks and see what happens. Three things may very well emerge. 1. The entire canvas is brown, 2. There is a painting with a bunch of great possibilities, or 3. What you feel or think is much harder to express than you thought it would be.

Often No-Objective paintings are confused with “Abstract” paintings. “Abstraction” is taking an object as a source and manipulating it into something that no longer appears to be that object but is referenced to that original object and source. It is nothing uncommon to hear even gallery owners make reference to anything that is not landscape or figurative as “Abstract”, sort of like any tissue is “Kleenex”, or any Soda Pop is “Coke

My brother is mathematician, he knows a great deal about the math behind water swirling down a drain. The connection between the math and the art describing the water and the drain and the swirling is really not that different, is my guess. Translating those combinations of math, water, drain, swirling, and paint, just might make a really interesting painting project. I can say, I always laugh a little bit when I see water go down the drain, because as a child I would picture myself on a small canoe made from a piece of Wrigley’s spearmint gum navigating my way down the swirl….so I guess it really would be an “Abstract” painting….at least it feels that way….

“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” – Oscar Wilde