Barnett Newman: Getting comfortable with imperfect lines...

It is no secret that I am inspired by Barnett Newman.

I have built my own genealogical art tree with artists such as Barnett Newman, Rothko & Antoni Tàpies. You can read about that here. I encourage every artist to understand their lineage… and the lineage of the artists before them. History is very important to fully understand the importance of the problems we are trying to solve as artists. It keeps us relevant while simultaneously connected to our art ancestors.

In my efforts to study Barnett Newman closer, I have provided myself with a few exercises. One is smaller works on paper that play with the idea of ‘zips’ that break up and provide dimension into a color field.

The second exercise is demonstrated as a detail in this photograph. With an artistic training that required me to pay very close attention to detail and perfection, I am struggling with the imperfection of my linework. I’ve stretched a few canvases that are only acting as practice for me to become comfortable with creating imperfect lines. Maybe it’s my past training as a perfectionist, maybe it’s because I’m a Virgo. All I can say is that I’m training myself to have more freedom in my actual movement while applying paint and that has been a release in itself. A dogma of some type. It’s new to me and I am still experiencing what exactly it is…

For example, I’m beginning to challenge original beliefs that Ego should be completely removed from my art. What is Ego now?

Before, I thought Ego was allowing something inside myself to take over while producing art, or any project for that matter. Staying bound to some type of regulation to follow seemed to be less about me and more about doing things properly. Now, I’m understanding Ego to be the opposite. Is Ego what comes in and demands perfection? Demands perfect attunement to linework? Which narrative is more real? More pure?

I’m not sure what a lot of this means. I just know that right now I walk into my studio every day to see these canvases with imperfect lines on them. I live with and breathe these canvases every day and they are teaching me something. All of a sudden they feel perfect just the way they are…

I think it’s also important to mention these works are not for sale. I need to sit with them. They serve a greater purpose for the development of my true practice and that is something that cannot be sold. I have compiled additional thoughts on protecting our creations and deciphering where they should live here.