Wood remarks: "It is about how you set up a challenge. Sometimes you only need a couple things to challenge yourself, and other times you need one hundred. I like to have a lot of things going on in the studio the same time – different images and sizes. They are built up at different rates. I like to have options, to not feel there is only one thing I can do. Usually I have one or two big paintings going, and I offset that by working on smaller things — drawings and prints. I like to have something started as I’m almost finished with something else. Finishing a piece is fulfilling, but it can also feel hollow and empty. You might think you are awful when you finish it. Then, a couple of weeks later, maybe you think it’s not so bad."
Lopas comments: "There is a great deal of painting that I love, have looked at, and learned from. But resonance is something different from that. For a painting to resonate it should be with you when you paint. It should guide you when you make decisions. It should occur to you in moments of reverie. For me those are individual artists or specific paintings, rather than periods. That’s because I think all works of art that exist are in some sense contemporary. If you can stand in front of it now, you can experience it totally on your own terms, regardless of its place in history... For me I have learned that painting is a process that produces a state of mind. It is best when no other concerns invade it. The judgment of others or yourself, the reception of the art world, are hindrances. Paintings are best when made from a state of pure absolute personal need. You must give yourself permission and space to get to it and then notice when you are ripe for working well."
Celeste Moure blogs about the exhibition Guy Yanai: Ancienne Rive at Ameringer McEnery Yohe, New York, on view through August 14, 2015.
Moure writes: "Yanai’s pieces look pixelated, in keeping with the digital age in which they were created — and the artist doesn’t shy away from mentioning computers, Photoshop and Instagram in conversation — but they are also reminiscent of objects made using centuries-old crafts, like needlepoint or weaving. His style, he says, 'references a lot of ancient things but also a lot of new things.'"
Gordon Stillman interviews painter Jane Irish whose show Faience and Firenze was recently on view at Locks Gallery, Philadelphia.
Stillman introduces the interview by noting: "I am drawn to the way Irish works, painting en plein air and creating her own source material to remake on ceramics and large canvases. This allows her to re-see, and therefore rework older material to make it new again––to make the past relevant in a new way to the present and to develop new connections between people and places. The work in Faience and Firenze consisted of en plein air paintings from Florence, ceramic bowls, and several larger canvases painted with the natural light in her studio."
Yau writes: "[Judith Russi] Kirshner gets to the heart of Fish’s paintings when she advances that the artist’s 'close focus allows her subjects to become unhinged from their referents, to become inexplicable.' I would further advance that in reaching the 'inexplicable,' Fish exposes most realism as a devolution into a style, demonstrating that close looking – which she shares with such artists as Dan Douke, Peter Dreher, Catherine Murphy and Sylvia Plimack-Mangold – can supersede style (or branding) and become both an examination and a translation of attention. It is this quality of scrutiny – of looking with such focused intensity that the commonplace things in the world become mysterious – that I find compelling. Fish is able to revisit the familiar in paint so that it moves closer to its original state of incomprehensibility."
Garwood notes that "Simonian demonstrates a genius for color, texture, and the exploration of spatial conundrums. Twenty canvases, worked in acrylic, range in size from a mere eight by ten inches to as much as six foot by five with subject matter that cycles between categories of comparable breadth. There are what I’d describe as optical-illusion still lifes, domestic interiors, travel theme — on earth and in space, and nature studies. It’s a roomy, mixed bag of themes... Simonian’s paintings ... knit luscious pictorial fields that tease cognition, along with the senses."
Christopher Lowrance interviews painter Stephanie Pierce, whose show Radiant Welter will be on view at Alpha Gallery, Boston from April 4 - 29, 2015.
Pierce comments: "I love getting to the point where the realization of the space has happened, and that I can then begin to let go of things, dissolve, shift, and then make it full of so much at once that it’s overwhelming as an experience to look at it. That might not even begin to happen the way I want it to until I’m deeply into the work–about 3/4 of the way through. I really love the last stretch of a painting where everything is moving incrementally, slowly, and intentionally; when I can see it’s finally a painting, rather than the frustration period of many routes taken that haven’t come to fruition as something that matters yet."
Kate Liebman reviews a recent exhibition of paintings by Heidi Howard at Nancy Margolis Gallery, New York.
Liebman writes that Howard's "pictures are deeply embedded in the tradition of Western portraiture, and her biggest influence is apparent throughout the show: the Nabis. She paints her friends, herself, and her family, seeking to capture physical likeness and that more intangible beast, personality, with her unique sense of color and an original use of pattern... Her emphasis on line differentiates her from many of the towering contemporary figure painters who rely on blocks and bleeds of color to create articulated faces (Marlene Dumas, Luc Tuymans, Peter Doig, Elizabeth Peyton). By not making fully rendered figures with skin tone, Howard keeps her paintings open and confident."
Catherine Kehoe posts an essay by painter Tim Kennedy, written for his exhibition Paynetown, on view at First Street Gallery, New York, from March 3 - March 28, 2015.
Kennedy writes: "Working directly from the motif without an intervening filter such as photography, at least for now, is important to me. I think of my eye and my consciousness as a kind of funnel into which the world is poured and from which judgments about color, space and shape emerge in the form of a painting. This has seemed the simplest and best way for me to produce work."
Cooper discusses her series of paintings made during her husband's deployment to Afghanistan. The paintings depict Cooper holding the iPad she used to talk to her husband each day: "...I started to realize that this electronic correspondence really was my experience of [his] deployment. ... So I began to paint the iPad in my hands, this one obsessive view, as if nothing else mattered. Then I began thinking about the screen and the painting surface and how they were alike and different. How the screen emits this cold light and how light in paintings is an illusion made with color and value. How the screen is slick and smooth and paint is messy and layered. I began to think that the iPad was to painting kind of like this long distance relationship was to having my husband with me in flesh and blood."
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.