Have you been busy with other things? Children, career, houses, gardens, spouse, parents etc? Art is so unique, and not easily replaced with anything else. You have that desire to be creative, in any form it takes. It also enables you to escape a little bit, into your mind, your imagination, your loves. I think it’s necessary to put yourself first. There are ideas swimming around in there if you can just access them. And silence the critics. You can’t be both the critic and the artist. The joy of painting is its own reward. It will take time to find what really engages you, and you will need to try to paint/sculpt/draw frequently. Then you can start to see the path forward. Starting is hard, but not starting is worse.
Look, See by Jenn Wiggs 2020
A tree-like Figure in the center points to the right side of this landscape, to something we cannot see. An abstract rain cloud seems to be raining into the picture. Another cloud above the figure is shaped like a cowboy hat, a note of comedy. There is feeling of a graphic cartoon. The shapes seem to be laid side by side. It would be difficult to just imagine something like this. I saw this in another one of my paintings, so I re-created it.
The area in the bottom center is the source for the painting. The first painting was made as an imaginary landscape, drawn in india ink wash with a brush. I enjoy these free drawings; just letting it happen. Sometimes areas are cropped down and developed into something else. Letting go means passages of just brushwork, changing patterns and shapes, moving through the space of the page.
Look, See is a humorous painting, also an enigma, a puzzle for the viewer. I do like the strangeness in it, reminds me a little of some of Philip Guston’s figures; I’m not making a direct comparison merely adding my thoughts. I remembered the other night that I made a tree figure in graduate school, some 30 years ago, this is not new subject matter for me. I’ve made other tree stump images over the last year, their forms are interesting, they feel like figures and letter forms both, so a rich subject. And maybe they allow me to express some of my anxiety of the current time. You may have noticed on the radio and TV people using the word” look” as a preface to what they are about to say. I find this annoying and used it in the title as a tongue in cheek reference. The viewer isn’t sure what to look at or see. Which maybe is the point. The title is also a play on words, looking and seeing.