I'm currently looking at John Dubrow's paintings and, wow...I am both challenged and encouraged by the weight of the color in his work.
I'm also challenged by his most recent experience in the studio. Last year he had two dreams in which, "a specific old painting of mine hangs on a gallery wall, and I am instantly dissatisfied, both the me in the dream and the me as the dreamer. But as I keep looking, the painting transforms itself into an entirely different kind of image- almost as a digital pixilation- and becomes darker with more resonant color, a looser quality of drawing and a more activated movement. I wake each time with such a clear image, what was that? After the second dream on awakening I decide to chase the images in the dreams." He reworked all his available older paintings and the exhibition Transformations in the result. I have some of the notes he made during his reworking time pinned to my studio wall right now:
Every day is an intense battle with my old impulses.
During my 10 hours with Giotto In the Scrovegni Chapel last year I glimpsed what I think of as Sacred Form. Form built by and holding perfectly-pitched color, based in devotion. Maybe all of the greatest paintings have this.
A key is breaking down what one expects.
Subvert expectations. Allow paint to break off and exist as itself - as long as it holds on to light and color.
Trance state. My eyes have been half closing when I start painting. It feels like I’m simultaneously looking both inward and out. My field of vision blurs, my eyes seem to be looking at the image of the painting that my brain is holding, not only what is in the studio in front of me. An alternation of inward and outward looking. Circular looking. After 35 years of work, this is new.
Reformulate constantly. Don't get stuck. Or DO get stuck and then get unstuck.