Sunday, February 5, 2012

How an artwork develops

The above image is one of several that I sent off for exhibition in New York later this month. For this show I was looking at pipes. Each image is one relating to pipes, and the structures created supporting the movement of liquid though pipes. For this blog entry I could write all about my thoughts on pipes and why I was interested in creating a body of work focused on pipes, but I don't feel like posting that here. Most of that information is included in the artists statement for the exhibition, and I would rather write about how these images came together.

I spent the better half of the last month looking at pipes, thinking about pipes, and sketching pipes. I almost always have my sketch book close at hand, and for this show that frequently meant going out and sketching pipes. An example of these sketches is below.

This was one of the first sketches I made, and therefore one of the first paintings created for this show emerged from this sketch. Is it here.

I think it is interesting that for this project the first paintings nearly matched the sketches. As I got more involved in the the process however, the paintings began to deviate slightly from the sketches. Look at the example below.

This image was derived from the following sketch, but notice how it has slight differences.

From here I moved further into my own interpretations of the sketches I had made. For example this sketch:

helped to inform this image:

Some of the most interesting images, I think, are amalgamations of several sketches:

To be clear, the deviation from the sketches I made to the more imaginative paintings was not something that I conscientiously set out to do. I'm not sure why this happened, but I do think that the more I thought about pipes, the more comfortable I became in creating my own interpretation of their architecture. There were a few images in this set of paintings that I really like, including the one at the opening of this post, which is my favorite. This project has given me a lot to think about, not the least of which is how the more thought I put into an image, the more interesting it becomes.

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