One day in December I painted a round color field on paper and then drew concentric circles on it. After about an hour of drawing I felt grounded, somehow relieved, aligned, centered. The next day I saw the painting on my table and thought to myself, almost guiltily, I could do that again today.
I remembered when I was in grad school and I had drawn three 3x6' abstract repetitive geometric patterns drawings — tiny pencil marks covering huge sheets. My professor was unmoved. I was a bit stuck. My friend and mentor (who had been my teacher and helped me apply to this MFA program) came for a studio visit. I told her my frustrations. She said, "Well, I'm not your teacher. But I were, I would tell you to make 14 more." My mouth fell open. Fourteen more? These three had taken me all semester! Wouldn't it be better to find another avenue? One that was more promising?
But the shock I felt by her comment got my attention. So I did it.
Of course, over the time that it took me to create so many more large scale drawings, the pattern evolved, the materials shifted, and my understanding of what the series was about deepened. My engaging with the process (which seemed endless!), the work transformed. And transformed me in the process.
So that day in December 2021, I challenged myself to make one painting a day, every day, for 100 days. To keep myself accountable, I posted on Instagram every day. I wound up making paintings while traveling (Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Lisbon, Seville!).
The series taught me about the center, about what we put at the center of our lives, about how we ripple out, about what we circle around and what circles around us. It taught me about shared centers, about community, the moon, cycles, completion. Most of all, it taught me about practice.
MAY THIS PAINTING BE A REMINDER
May this painting serve as a reminder, a kind of mnemonic device, that we all choose what we center our lives around. That we choose what ripples out of us. And that we can always challenge ourselves to go deeper.
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