One visitor to my studio remarked (or was it a complaint?) that I have “too many ideas” — I should stick to one idea and develop it. I got the same advice (or complaint) in art school. One of my art professors was a painter of directional signs. His work was shown in one of NYC’s best galleries. I recently looked him up online to see if, forty years later, he was still painting directional signs. Yes! There they were, painting after painting of arrows. Arrows pointing up, pointing crossways, pointing down, etc. So, he had a brand — to borrow from corporate marketing — easily identifiable, uniquely his. And me? Do I have a brand?
Me? I start from the inside. I focus on whatever’s bothering me. Or what intrigues me. The past year, for example, I was faced with an upcoming court date and constant, nightmarish anxiety. How to alleviate my anxiety? I was tempted to throw paint against the canvas – expressionism!
Instead, I discovered a simple therapy: I focused on details, tiny intricate shapes, dots, triangles, stripes, using my trusty ink pens and fluid acrylics and acrylic markers and occasional watercolor pencils. Will I go on “developing” my “patterned” paintings? Probably not.