My art is known for it’s sense of motion. I started painting on a rotating display stand a while ago to add some actually kinetic energy to my composition and brush strokes. However, many of my paintings can move from “kinetic” to frenetic” at times, leave no space for the eye to rest. I am reading a book by Pico Iyler titled, “The Art of Stillness.” (Look him up on Ted Talks). He is challenging our “frenetic” culture of instant messages, unending interruptions to slow down, breath and actually become aware. Early in the book he makes this insightful observation, “Movement makes richest sense when set within the frame of stillness.” That sentence stopped me.
I began to reflect on my work as an artist, “was my art telling me the I need more stillness and motion?” “Would my artwork make “richest sense” if the kinetic energy was set within a “frame of stillness.” Using the spiral as a motif in this painting helps a bit, creating a focal point of movement and contrast. But would it be even better with more places to rest like the water. I don’t know. I tend to the let my work speak what ever it wants to. However, I do need to stop, be still and listen more to what it is saying!
Artists have always pushed boundaries. What "can be" is more interesting and challenging than "what is." At the beginning of the year, I had a simple thought, " I wonder what painters are doing with 3D printing technology." I found little on the net. Partly because it would confuse categories, is it still a painting or is it hanging sculpture? Sculptures are not supposed to be painted are they? But I would rather explore "what can be" and figure out what to call it later!
What I wanted to do was "re-imagine" landscape painting. My process is generally - Painting - Photo - 3D Print - Painting. It begins and ends with painting. I won't go into all the challenges and dead ends, but after trying a number of software approaches, I ended up using Photoshop for the conversion to 3D. Every piece I do, ends up unique in some way because of unexplained interruptions in my plans! Kind of like life. But, I am having fun exploring some new territory. I hope you are finding some space to explore "what can be" too instead of being stuck in "what is." Blessings, Tom
Tom C. McGee, Jr.
Musings about mystery, art and spirituality.