I’ve continued down the road with Frank Lloyd Wright these past few weeks as he “meets” one artist or another, and I’m about to begin the last painting on this journey.
I thought I was finished after he met Georgia O’Keeffe (see below), but it turned out there was one more meeting I wanted to orchestrate before I moved on to something else.
I’ve spent a lot of time recently considering the idea of a “body of work” and how to interpret that. I’ve also looked at a number of big cumbersome but beautiful art books that track the complete oeuvre of one artist or another and asked myself, “When did xxx begin painting like xxx?” The paintings we recognize as being the work of xxx.
Artists, it seems, almost always begin in one place and move on, finding something that speaks to their artistic impulses stronger than anything else and this is where they begin what we recognize as “their” work.
Can a body of work simply become repetition of something that’s worked and if so, does it become boring and lacking the energy of the first efforts? I don’t think so, but I’m not sure yet. I’m trying to sort it out for myself. Would anyone say that Pollock’s drips became boring? I doubt it.
In the meantime, I’m finishing my third series of paintings with ten or twelve in each series, each series larger than the one before. I’m ready to move on to something different – and bigger – although the through line will be the same for me – color all the time. But first I’ll give Frank that one last painting. The canvas is all gessoed and ready.
And what, I ask myself, am I learning as I go? Can I note progress? Do I feel more confident as an artist? I’ll let you know tomorrow. Or the next day.