Dancing, Prancing, Wrapped Up and Boxed

#30 – Tuesday October 11th

The new paintings certainly have their share of lovely lines dancing and prancing across their surfaces, and looking at the trajectory of my work, line has almost always been front and center. I don’t think the act of viewing a painting as static, and regardless of how closely a painting exclusively mimics a purely visual or intellectual experience, there is always a story being told, and yes the beginning, middle, and end can be turned about, or so obscure as to be unrecognizable as narrative . . . but still it’s there (and as far as I’m concerned, no story is a story in and of its self). For me, line is the tie that binds. Line is the thread facilitating the tour of discovery. I draw my lines with a brush, charcoal, oil and pastel sticks and graphite, carving them into their final path with a sharp-edged tool. While I chose all my materials with care, I have a certain affinity for mechanical pencils, and these are a few from my collection. A vintage yellow marbled Bakelite, a white contemporary Autopoint, several multi-lead and promotional mechanical pencils I’ve inherited from my draftsman par excellent father, a silver Retro 51, the odd group of old utilitarian lead holders, and a red KOH-I-NOR large lead holder (I’ve three of these, one each with black, brown and white leads).  I prefer a relatively large lead size (.9 mm and up) and a softer lead (3b to 6b). These lead properties give a more nuanced line both in hue and value, and a line more open to manipulation. Yes, the line binds and a proper tool to tie the knot.

In the continuing countdown to the opening of the tenth exhibition of my work at Perimeter Gallery, Chicago . . . this week, selections from the 1994 show. Gone are the segmented canvasses, now an integrated pictorial space, the volumes transitioned into smaller etherial presences and my affair with line began in earnest.

Speaking of counting down, the new paintings are almost ready to be sent off to the gallery . . . here they are, being wrapped and boxed up.

Thanks for reading.

Charles