258: An Alchemist in his Apothecary

“I spin a cocoon around myself; let others do the same. I leave it to time to show what will come of it–a brilliant butterfly or maggot.” Caspar David Friedrich

I NEED to hibernate into the studio again–this time to evolve a purer form of self expression. Despite recently having turned 59 years old I still have too many voices in my head from old art professors and the ill-informed critique of so-called authorities. I realize that most of the stinging commentary was embraced due to my over-sensitivity–which is an even greater reason to scrape off the barnacles of past experience.

Here are the parameters of my new experimentation:

Craft must be left behind in favor of pure expression. The highest ideal is to attain a state of mind where great art becomes inevitable. Absolute calm must prevail. If I’m not calm I don’t paint. Slow the process by making tranquility the highest priority. Reject speed of painting as a worthy goal. Take the time you need. When you get into a creative impasse slow the process even more. Embrace everything you love about painting and cast away everything you dislike. Don’t make things difficult–opt for the easiest path forward. Abandon any inauthentic practise or convention. Reject all color labels–makeup names you love. Use color labels that are personal and useful. Use layers of surfaces to build rich texture. Make each surface rich in texture and color.

I will probably expand this list but for now it will suffice to get me headed in the right direction–toward pure expression devoid of past habits. I want to neither rebel nor conform to any artistic convention. Both reactions lead to inauthentic expression.

Wish me luck.

Brad Teare –November 2015

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Updated: 24th September 2023
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