A quote from Richmond: "We must recover the sense that the commitment to materials cannot be sidestepped. Inevitably we approach our subjects with thoughts and feelings; only training in grappling with materials in the presence of the subject makes it possible for thought and feeling to go away, enabling immaterial imagination to materialise, the artist to approach the unknown, and recognise the invisible companion who walks with him, called variously spirit, angel, muse."
Moriarity writes: "Hungry for Light is full of depth, Schwabacher writes about literature, painting, sculpture, forms. I don’t know if I could find another artist journal like it... to read her thinking through details of the Myths, of decisions made, situations, composition, facial gestures, is provoking and painful. "
Vicki Schneider revels in the visceral qualities of the artist journal.
She writes: "Reading the daily bric-a-brac of people's lives, where Manet bought his shoes before his duel with Duranty, who met Courbet for dinner at the Café Andler; these small curios of information plunge me into their world in a way that a biography cannot do: I feel as if I know them when I finish reading their letters."
"I think about art because I have to. I am making it, and I believe that any artist who doesn't understand where he is in his work, and what the options are, is left without a road map in the fog. It isn't always done in words, but every artist has to do this."
- Gabriel Laderman
Earlier this year the great painter Gabriel Laderman passed away. His passing was marked by several moving rememberences and tributes that focused, as they should, on Laderman's paintings. But Laderman also left behind an important record - his blog where he posted his thoughts about the art of painting. His blog, bearing the simple title "Gabriel Laderman on Art," represents the best of what blogging can be - personal, thoughtful reflections and opinions based in real experience.
Gabriel Laderman, The House of Death and Life, 1984-85, detail (source: midwest paint group)
Laderman's blog is reminiscent of the off-line journals of other important painters; Délacroix’s journal, Myron Stout's journal, and Redon's To Myself come to mind. Laderman's blog is full of ideas for artists, particularly those beginning careers. He provides a fresh, healthy outlook on the artistic practice that eschews cynicism and careerism.
Laderman is uncannily clear in his thoughts about the basic questions of painting, in particular the simulatenous need to engage with the history of painting while pursuing one's own original voice. In The Important Issues, Now... he writes:
"The necessity in one's own work to make a connection between our understanding and some part of the heritage of artistic concerns and capabilities which is all over our past, before 1950. We must also make connections with the processes of conscious metaphoric construction. Knowing it when we see it is not enough. We have to be able, ourselves to make up procedures for developing it in our work."
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.