Thursday, September 20, 2012

My long-awaited Burridge workshop

Belfast, 12x12" acrylic on canvas
After years of waiting, I'm finally getting the chance to take a workshop from one of my all time favorite artists, Robert Burridge. It was largely due to Bob Burridge that I fell in love with abstract painting and the freedom of exploration that comes from painting with "no holds barred." Although my own style differs from his, my work and attitude have been greatly influenced by him. Belfast, shown here, is a painting I did a few years back, approaching its creation from the experimental viewpoint Bob advocates.

My reason for taking this workshop: I want to return to my "artistic roots" -- laying paint directly on the canvas. These last several years I've focused increasingly on mixed media collage. One day, it occurred to me that I might have forgotten how to "just paint." Slowly, over time, I had gravitated more and more toward using papers in place of paint. Hmmmmm. Might it be time for a tuneup in the creativity department?? When I learned of an upcoming Burridge workshop I signed up. Exactly what the doctor ordered for jump-starting my directional shift, and taught by the guy who got me hooked in the first place. Perfect!

Not that I don't love collage. I'm crazy about it. But increasingly I've found myself yearning for that incomparable sensation of splashing, smearing, stabbing or smooshing paint directly onto a canvas in spontaneous, even reckless, fashion. My collaged pieces, on the other hand, require a lot more forethought and planning. The whole process takes much longer. That is, if it's to be done right, i.e. with archival integrity in mind. There's the drying time between layers, the paper prep, the additional steps required to prepare the support, etc. etc. While the end result may appear wildly spontaneous, the process itself is pretty time consuming and labor-intensive. Collage is more of a carefully composed fugue than a jam session. Right now, I'm aching for some improv.

So my goal for Fall is recharging my painting batteries. Can't wait to see what happens next. Will keep you posted.

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