Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tiny Brushes

As a Freshman at the U. of South Carolina, my painting instructor (Philip Mullen, a great teacher) warned me that if I did not stop using my small brushes he would hide them from me. This was the mid 70's, the age of Minimalism, Color Field, and large abstract paintings, you troweled, poured, threw and sprayed the paint onto the surface, concept trumped "old world" technique. The brushes were taken away. Eventually, I decided to take the minimalist route, and got out the masking tape, my academic phase as a stripe painter had begun. The adopted heroes were Sol LeWitt and Agnes Martin. I wasn't buying the voluminous "art speak" that came with this style of picture making but what I did learn to appreciate was the beauty that was created using these most basic elements of painting. My years as a minimalist taught me the power of subtlety and nuance, lessons that enhance my work today (executed with my collection of tiny brushes, of course).
Top: Reading glasses and a 2 haired brush are called for at times.
Bottom: HYDRANGEA (Gathering) 20x16.5 (26x22.5 Fr) oil panel 2009, will be featured in my upcoming show at TEW.