Friday, March 06, 2009

My painting XLIX

5.3.2009

The end of the affair. Finishing a major work, large by my standards and, by anybody's, long drawn out is an experience I can never get used to. Some kind of emptiness displaces the anticipated sense of fulfilment. Perhaps that is why I embrace serial projects that have no end, like 20 Sites n Years which will pass on to another to continue, or A Humument, a book that only death will shut. These are works I cheat of the dissatisfaction that their completion might bring.

With Quantum Poetics I set out to make a masterpiece and in the proper meaning of the work it is exactly that, albeit a flawed one. Back to Beckett and his indelible formula, Try again. Fail better, so apposite to the state of the artist. So this is a hill climbed, steeper perhaps than the one before yet whose top when reached merely reveals a higher hill beyond.

The painter doth protest too much? Maybe so; trying to be frank about the larger sensation I forget the small rewards that even now surprise me when I take down a panel to photograph and notice in some part of it a passage well imagined, finely wrought. The main frustration is having no idea what an object so familiar to me looks like through another's eyes. Once or twice I have caught sight of it in the mirror at the far end of the studio and see that it does have energy, microscopic and macroscopic, and the syncopated rhythm of a dance of signs. And it is a presence, w.a.f.

Most reassuring of all, on an adjacent wall, the panel that originally was its north by north west corner (and having started the picture's motion, was eventually replaced) now sits in the middle of a group of nine panels, hoping to seed a sequel. But that's another story.

8 comments:

Mike C. said...

It's been a privilege coming along for this intriguingly bumpy mystery drive, Tom. Thanks for having us all along, so we could listen to you muttering to yourself at the wheel, so to speak.

Please let us know if the finished work goes on public display: it's strange, having such a (false) sense of complicity in a artwork, and seeing it would probably be a bit like finally meeting one's daughter's pen friend ...

Mike

David Jennings said...

Just to echo both Mike's gratitude and request. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

And another follower thanks you for the long innings - without faults but with chances

Andrew said...

Please let us know if the finished work goes on public display???



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