A life of letters

As a teenager I fantasized about living a life of letters. I didn’t know what it meant but it sounded cool. I interpreted it as a life of scholarship and solitude; part organic spiritually, part rigorous intellectualism. Ultimately, I realized I wasn’t the scholarly type (thank you Doc. P. for pointing that out) and as much as I liked alone time, I craved socialization too much to be a Virginia Woolf type. (Plus it turned out I wasn’t mad, just a little bit sensitive.)

But I’ve hung on to the letters part.

I write every morning. I love communicating through letters and cards. I read everything in front of my eyes; license plates, graffiti tag, signs (always rereading the ones I see daily and adding commas or removing letters) and look for the hidden or alternative meanings.

So it’s no surprise that I choose the words around my studio carefully and use them sparingly. Up right now:

  • Painting is not about what you see, it is about what you don’t see - Bernd Haussman

  • To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now – Samuel Beckett

  • Originality is the art of concealing your sources – Benjamin Franklin

As I work, I try to tap into a state of flow and decipher or form something new out of the drips and accidents on the page…I try to find form in the mess. Describing this process and condensing it into a catching one-liner for my show title is proving difficult. It’s flow. It’s deciphering. It’s a struggle, but it’s also a joy for me.

I have a few hours to come up with something clever before the postcard ships to the printer. Maybe I’ll drive around and look at signs…

Any suggestions?

image above: messing around with colored ink and this "y" appeared