When I first began painting in May of 2019, I did a lot of planning for each painting–that is, until the 4th of July.

At that point, I decided to start and finish a painting all in one setting–the length of time it took for the Freedom Medley to start and play all the way through. About eleven minutes.

It turned into one of my favorite works: Flagging.

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It was the freedom I felt while creating my “painting about freedom” that I relished.


However, from July until the end of March in 2020, I didn’t approach the process in that way again. I had lots of ideas and worked feverishly to fulfill them.

But I kept remembering the sensation of flowing with the inspiration–to the sound of music. So I made a decision. I was going to deliberately go into my painting sessions with no pre-planning. No sketches–no definitive formulations.

On April 15th (ironic date) I launched my bid for spontaneity. Just a canvas, some fan brushes I wanted to try out and a lot of colors. No real planning.

Just an Unplanned Afternoon.

Here’s the first work to come from this approach:

Forested

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Using that fan brush, a palette knife and a lot of color, in about ten minutes Forested was virtually complete. I went back in to add pink clouds.

What did I feel? Mission accomplished. It felt like a forest of free flow.

(Thus the title, Forested.)

Afterthought: Forested feels very commercial to me. I think I may paint a partner for it. Or some mirror imaging. Or something like that.

More to come. I’ll let you know…


Tangled

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Having completed one afternoon of unplanned painting, I went into the second.

One aspect I accomplished easily–I had NO IDEA what I was going to paint. The only thing I knew was that I wanted a solid black background. But I didn’t paint even the background in advance. It was part of the “unplanned process.”

The aforementioned black background demanded something very visible. White. The white turned into a mass of…

Tangles.

“Oh, what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive…”

Lips. They kiss. Laugh. Lie. Deceive.

Tangled webs.

Tangled.

American Odds

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American Odds came out of the feelings brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic. Tic-tac-toe. An unwinnable game.

To even play it is a lose-lose proposition.

What odds are being given to us in this country of supposed exceptionalism?

As I painted it in my unplanned afternoon, I got confused and inadvertently won a game.

Then I thought: how American is that? Because someone always wins.

Just not most.

It’s American Odds.