Painting as coding for brilliant mistakes

Viriditas 07.14

Viriditas 07.14
Acrylic on Canvas
30” x 40”

Complete with very little conscious effort on my part. Except that everything you do when painting is conscious, there just happens to be different levels of that consciousness.

When I plan a painting, it’s a series of drawings. The first are often the simple over-arching form. This is then followed by a number of drawings that focus out one area or another, digging into them to find out how they might or might not work.

But then in the act of painting it all happens quick, and it is just a series of decisions made rapidly, and with fluidity. The more fluid, the more often the painting goes the way you want it. Each action sends the whole towards a new possible outcome, exposing new and other possible iterations of a theme. Yet in each moment, in each painting, it is the individual decisions that move everything forward. Each exposing another possibility.

I have always felt my work followed a similar path to coding. I know what I want to achieve, I know how to get there, and now I just have to make the painting get there. So there are patterns laid, and then corrected and added to. Iterations follow iterations, and there is a long process of paring down, constructing and reconstructing.

Except its not quite so logical and I never debug. Cause often its the bugs that make things go wildly well. And the possibility of brilliant mistakes are the best things to paint for.