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Summer Arts Intensives

Laura Taylor

Dates: July 6-August 18, 2019
Location: Kaaterskill Fine Arts Gallery, Hunter Village Square, 7950 Main Street, Village of Hunter
Gallery Hours: Friday, Saturday & Monday, 11 am-5:30 pm; Sunday 11 am-4:00 PM
More Information: 518 263 2060

Image: White Houses in the Garden, 2017. Oil on canvas 36in x 48in

Light Falling Across Dark Places

There is no failure. There is only the trying; awakening to what comes out, what develops … forming it. It is always there. I just have to find the pathway. There is nothing I can do or think that can make me lose it. It is me and not me—just there, all the time.

May I be unburdened of opinions. Without opinions there would be more room in my mind for being. For what is truly important—the mist shrouding the apple tree. Stillness. And out of that stillness, painting.

Where does painting fit in? Painting has to be a part of something bigger—an expression of the infinite, or it is nothing. And it can’t be what defines me. If I can unburden myself of my ego, the fear around painting will also go.

Working within this paradox: I want to express something specific about the characters in the photographs, the familial situations playing out in the home movie footage but I also want to paint the ambiguity, the lack of detail. To paint without filling in what isn’t clear—painting patches of light and dark, patches of color, shapes, lines, as I see them —not naming them, not trying to make sense of them—discovering along the way what it is I am looking at. Also, and perhaps most importantly, just trying to be present and true. Which in the context of painting means not to put down a single brushstroke that isn’t its own. In other words, not putting down brushstrokes in service of an idea I have about the outcome of the painting.
What is clarity then? One has to reach past the idea of the thing to reach the truth of the thing itself. The thing being moment, memory—present or past.

There is no end product but there is an end product. It seems that in all truth there is paradox—it is in working and yet not striving. I was watching a chipmunk at the top of the pine tree, beside the woodpile, collecting pinecones; getting ready for the winter. Working, working and Tomas the cat could kill him at any moment and all those pine cones collected for nothing. I don’t think the chipmunk sees it as work. It just does. Do they ever not work? Is there a difference for them between working and living? What makes us different from them? Is it awareness? Are they self-aware? Is the only choice for us between self-awareness and to be entirely driven by thoughts? Are thoughts really the antithesis of awareness?

Is it good? Good enough? What I wanted it to be? All of these thoughts are so tiresome! So limiting! Just move on! Pick up the paintbrush, find an image that excites me, that says something to me, something wordless, and move on to it. Try and try again. The truth is definitely in the trying.

I like to be in a painting because my thoughts are turned off a lot of the time. I am just doing; responding to what I am looking at. There is a certain striving; you have to make an effort, focus your attention, but that has to done with relaxation; non-attachment to outcome.

And I love what paints do when you mix them together and put them on paper.

Laura Taylor
March 2019

 

 

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