Lorimer remarks: "I’m looking for a non-linear, more elusive image... There is always that contention between the reference image and creating an original picture. These are old painting problems… Perhaps it’s best not to over-think, and make the painting... The fun thing about painting is that you can do anything. It’s not like I’m building something (I build things for people where I have to apply a strategy). In painting it’s a whole platform where I can work that doesn’t require strategy. I can do one thing and then I can do the exact opposite two minutes later. And that’s exciting."
Christopher Joy and Zachary Keeting visit the studio of painter Alison Hall.
Hall remarks that while the subject may be veiled in an abstract painting, its feeling gets "embedded into the work. I think the spirit of that can be felt in an abstract way. It's not like you can identify it or name it, but I think there are feelings inside of [the paintings] that when you view them you get close to that experience."
In a recent statement, Hall wrote: "One would think that, in making paintings about pattern, there would be a defined beginning and end, an image that’s certain and void of breathing room. But that’s wrong. I feel as if I never know the ending. The mistakes keep you from knowing the ending."
Ramsay comments: "My starting process arises from a mixture of my environment and a desire to track something within it. My methods are conceptually rigorous and process-oriented. With a faithful allegiance to geometry and its capacity to reveal profound truths, I work to generate or guide form in precise ways. The idea comes first; the search for materials, methods and procedures that will best support the idea follows. The work develops around repetitive and serial systems. I get caught up in subtle calculations and decisions of proportion and interrelationships. Once I develop the system for the specific project and determine the calculations, what remains is a form of meditation: I become the conduit for the arrangement of shape and the placement of color."
Cypher comments that the work "starts with being open to the observation of everything at all times. It's important for me to have lots of different work happening all at once. I start with unknown marks and it goes on from there; it all begins with an idea that I don't know what the outcome will be. Over the years I've developed a trust and understanding of 'not knowing'. I want what I create to constantly inform me about my personal symbology. The hardest part about working from this unknown are the challenges of recognizing what needs to stay, what needs to go, or what just needs to stay around for awhile longer, but these are great challenges to work with. When you work from a place of instinct you are saying to yourself 'I am open'. When you are open to the possibility of creating something new, you have to accept all the paintings that come with that pursuit. I'm not interested in style; I'm interested in revealing how I think about the external world and how my brain filters that input. When I'm not in the studio I am cataloging observations all around me because art doesn't begin in the studio."
Larry Groff interviews painter Ann Gale about her work. Gale's paintings will be on view at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York in January.
Gale comments: "I am very curious and sometimes obsessive about observation ... The search becomes part of the subject of the painting. The figure is so familiar, it is challenging to see past prejudged ideals of the body and face. Measuring can provide an objective lens for perception... Some of it is very much about the grid ... I think it helps to measure against it. To see a gesture compared to a vertical is much more sensitive ... Other things are not so much a grid but a linear movement where I’ll follow something that is like a ribbon through space. I think it’s the direction my eye is taking. I might go from the floor, over someone’s lap and into the background. I think of it as kind of a path through the painting and through the figure ... As I’m observing, I’m trying not to follow the things with names, I’m trying to follow my way between them and through them ... During the adjustment of the figure, the space and the light itself becomes an emotional character. While there is a precision to the measuring, there is also an intimacy that is revealed and equally crucial to the process. Though the figures are abstracted through this process, they are not neutralized as subjects."
Robertson comments: "I’m presently dividing circles into multi-coloured sections which nevertheless still form an unbroken circle. The wonderful thing about a circle is that it always remains whole. For a couple of years I’ve been adding these divided rings running around the edge to create a sense of movement within the painting, so your eye starts to move around the circle in an almost kinetic way ... I’m interested in rhythms and measured logic but I’m interested in subjective systems too. I want colour to read as light and disrupt the geometry."
Chris Lowrance interviews painter Kathy Liao about her work.
Liao remarks: "I think of the formal issues of painting, of lines and colors and composition. I think of painting as a medium, as materials, as objects – the texture, the touch and the body of paint, the way it runs, drips, build up, get scraped away. But it is equally important to me that there is a REASON for painting. A reason that this image must exist, why it must be painted, why it came together the way it does. I allow a lot of room for the spontaneous, the unexpected in the making of my work, but often times, that one idea, that one feeling, or that one narrative is my guiding star. The painting could go to hell and back as long as I remember that initial idea. THAT to me is more important than painting a pretty picture, more important than the most formally successful painting, more important than every mark and every color being in the right place. I do not consider myself a 'Conceptual' artist, but to me, it is important to know why I am making the work. I chose painting as my medium to execute my idea."
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of painter Marina Adams.
Adams comments: "I don't like to dictate too much, I like to 'allow.' ... [in abstract art] you create a space for thought as opposed to dictating a thought... The work feeds itself; the work leads me along. So in that respect it's very different. There is work where people have an idea and then they fabricate it, and that's one way of working. This work is not produced in that way... I have ideas about things but I do also like to have the work inform me."
Ashley Garrett interviews artist Ann Craven, whose work is currently on view at Hannah Hofman Gallery, Los Angeles through December 20, 2014.
Asked about working in series, Craven comments: "... in a way for me it’s like how a poet revisits a poem, and then wants to change a certain word or a comma or a fluctuation in a sentence or something but then doesn’t. In a way I feel really lucky to be able to revisit something again and again and again, being each time that it’s different – it’s a different time, it’s a different place, it’s a different motion, it’s usually an attempt at all the same colors, although it’s always a different mixture but it’s very similar, and I want always to have that availability to go back and revisit and re-mix a certain color. But – everybody does this! I really feel that every artist, and everybody who is practicing things in terms of form, I feel that people revisit their ideas, you revisit your notions. I paint from life, like the moon, but each painting is done on the same 14 x 14 inch canvas, so I do have a system there – I have rules that I can break within the surface of the canvas."
Christopher Joy and Zachary Keeting visit the studio of painter Paul Behnke.
Asked about the pleasure inherent in the experience of pure color, Behnke comments: "I think of my color as more anxiety... color can serve as a segue into the work... the color makes them more accessible... an then ... when things settle down and you spend more time with the piece it starts to be a little grating." Expressing a preference for more traditional picture space versus an all-over approach to abstraction, Behnke notes: "I don't like a lot of chaos ... I want there to be important forms and then lesser forms, important colors and lesser colors. I want there to be that hierarchy in the imagery."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.