A place to put thoughts

Using oil paint on paper is a unique feeling, It sticks, holds onto your brush and hides the stroke immediately, like gouache. It is one of my favorite feelings and one that I haven’t entertained in years. At least since leaving grad school. There I was asked why I paint on paper and I couldn’t give a good reason, so naturally I couldn’t continue doing something without intention as a grad student. There really isn’t anything like painting on paper, and I think something I overlooked and most students overlook is that experience is a good enough reason to paint. It may even be the only real reason to  paint in our image laden world. We all have our own entry point into the studio, even those of us who share a door get to the easel a different way. A brush is designed as an implement, a one person utility. The same with an easel, a canvas, a palette. The only time this might be subverted is in a classroom, during a demonstration or a group exercise. There is something really traditional about the one person implement, a western individualism bolstered by the imperialized state of contemporary painting. Capturing reality and reiterating it on canvas. Using  the best linen at the highest fidelity. Creating nothing new but interpreting the beauty of others. Paint seems limited when we look through the lens of an American academy. Sitting here at my desk, I can list all the one person implements I have.

A tape roll, Charcoal stick, eraser, glasses, a watch, books, pens, pencils,  a love letter, tubes of paint, paint brushes, a mug, a ring light, mail, oil canister, canvas, paper, a game controller, a tablet, a smartphone, a makeup palette, block of graphite, a sewing machine, a chair, a microphone, a microphone stand, headphones, nail polish, sketchbooks…

There is more but I will spare you. An individual is expected to know why they need to use these tools, and only to use them when they need them. So what happens when we use them but don’t need them.