paintings, drawings and musings of artist John Sanchez. "I aim to paint the in-between moments"
(was Recorded Eyesight)
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Back in the Alley Trading Hands
This is the first painting I have done that is finished with a palette knife. Over the years I have been wary of paintings done with a palette knife, too many have a sort of look that bothers me. I guess the context in which I have seen these kinds of works has something to do with it: they are usually boldly displayed in cheap frame shops. They tend to have a uniform finish as if no care was taken by the artist to follow the form depicted, any how, yuck! I have developed a speed over the years in beginning a painting, I think I followed the advise of an artist I briefly studied with around 2001 or 2002 at the Arts Students League Ms. Mary Beth McKenzie. She had me begin a painting over and over again. I think that the value I have gained in this practice was to really let go of any worries as it pertains to be too perfect. You gain a sort of bravery this way because you realize that paint goes on in layers, so that any seemingly "wrong" passage can be corrected with a few more well placed brush strokes. In addition, I took to heart the idea that we have many, many bad paintings in us that must get out of us to make space for a good one or two. I share this idea now to my own students. This painting was a case in which I felt I was "correcting" too much, so I gave myself an assignment: I could only paint one patch at a time with a palette knife, knowing full well that I'd have to slow down way more than I am used to. In the end I was struck with a new sense of appreciation for the craft of painting, in that the palette and the canvas act like stenographers and record every thing that is said. The struggles are there recorded on the work and its overall look is pretty rewarding to me. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks
P.S. Does anyone know where I got the title from? I am from New Jersey afterall
One of the aspects I am aware of is the difference in the quality of light that falls over south Florida as compared to where I am from in northern New Jersey. One of my favorite paintings by George Bellows captures that northern light most strikingly. His "Winter Afternoon" painting gives me comfort. In that painting he captures the view of the Palisades where I grew up. I knew well the little jagged orange that represent the morning sun on those cliffs. I can go on and on, my point is that the representation of light is a catalyst to certain moods for me. In this painting a torrential rain had fallen over my studio in the early evening. As it often rains here the clouds moved fast and it was clear again leaving the parking lot wet. Little puddles acted like a mirror to the sky above. The light danced and jumped all over my vision bringing me a sense of excitement that I had to try and capture.