The secret gallery’s blog

Maybe the first secret gallery in Doolin, Co. Clare, Ireland

Archive for September 1st, 2008

Risk taking and heart expression

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Lately there has been plenty risk taking and heart expression going on in the studio of the secret gallery! I was painting with our children again, it was great, exhausting but great! It is said that we are all born artists it is as we grow up that allot of us loose it, but Clement Greenberg said that child prodigies exist in other art forms but not visual art. I wonder why he felt that it was different to say music? I am not sure how I feel about it. I wrote an essay on Greenberg and Modernism it was a very long time ago though! I recall him being an advocate of art for arts sake, referring to itself and not the external world, like American Abstract Expressionism. Sometimes this is can be like a more considered form of how a child paints, in a way, but developing it to something beyond haphazard play, or at least being conscious that you are trying to paint like a child! Many of us spend many years trying to learn how to not paint like a child and then we have to start forgetting again! It seems for allot of artists to be an important process; you learn and then you shuffle around what you want to remember and what you want to forget! You change the scales of importance in a way, this bending and flexing is often very playfully. This begs the question does age or maturity have much to do with visual art? If a child makes a beautiful painting, does it mean less than if an adult painted it?  How much does a child have to express? What about reincarnation then?! if it does exist, I wonder if the great artists of the past are making visual art now?!

The paintings  we have been working and playing on are not finished yet, but they are looking promising. I have worked with many different elements before; including doing set ups in nature where the wind or rain made the marks but now we have children and they love making all sorts of marks! The three of us work on the canvas. I like taking risks with my work and pushing it beyond where is has been. Painting with the children has been a really interesting direction for me. It is also a careful balancing act between keeping them happy and enjoying painting and working with their marks to help it come to a new level; they have something I don’t have and I have something that they don’t have so, we are a good team! I have the years, plenty to express and years of practice! They have the have the magic marks that are not self conscious; they are very free. With painting sometimes you have to risk totally loosing it to make something better. One of the paintings I was working on I liked but know it had further to go I offered it to our children, with hesitation, allowing them to change its direction forever! The other painting is looking a little bit like a Cy Twombly, I love his work, to put it very simply, it is like some of the most beautiful scribbles and dribbles you have ever seen, powerful and delicate at the same time!  I wonder will anyone come and kiss it as one woman did to a Cy Twombly painting!

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Written by Marianne Slevin

1 September, 2008 at 2:19 pm