On nurturing serious play
This picture of mine, 'sweet chariot' is a whim, a flight of fancy. We are informed from above that 'play' is good - following a whim in painting is also good. Keeping true to the whim and the spirit of play alive in harder than one might imagine.
When painting, the piece can easily degenerate into the silly or crass if the whim is not preserved in a serious mode. Balancing the quality of serious analysis with lightness of touch calls for a constant re-calibration of the work methodology.
Maintaining a sense of removal from 'the now' can be helpful insofar it lifts me away from our current norm to a less measured space. Music can help me here. I noticed this afternoon that to my surprise I have been playing the same album for four days! It is 'Glassworks' by Philip Glass that has sustained me - when it has finished and the studio falls quiet I work in silence until I notice, when I click play again - and again for four days.
I am not alone in this habit, Diebenkorn I know did the same for weeks, maintaining a trance sustained by a familiar womb of sound. Repetitive audio arrangements can act like a musical liturgy to sustain the spirit in a state of creativity that is not cloyed by the suburban air.
'Sweet chariot' is finished now - perhaps I'll have different sounds tomorrow.