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     When I Was A Baby  2012  Oil, Graphite on Canvas  60”x48”

Recently, I didn’t feel like painting one day so I did a couple of little drawings instead. I had never really done drawings in the busy abstract painting studio space where I paint at the Art Students League before. Anyway, I kind of got it in my mind that I was going to start at the beginning - my beginning - to try to paint more of my story. I did a little sketch of what I think of as one of my earliest experiences that I called, “When I Was A Baby.” It is hard to describe in words how powerful the experience behind that drawing was to me. Without beingoverly melodramatic or hopefully never self-pitying, it was a defining moment of who I am.

The next day when I went in, I got out a canvas that I have been working on where the consensus seemed to be that it was not finished (Moose Bay), and I tried to get a feel for going further with it. That wasn’t working. It seemed finished to me, no matter what other people may have thought.  So I put that canvas up in the rack and pulled out a large (60”x48”) blank canvas.

Okay, I thought, now's the time! I’m going to translate the experience from my little pencil sketch (8”x6”) to the big canvas.  i'm just going to have to reconnect with the experience if I'm hoping to capture the power, the in-your-face impact.  

Anyway, I got to where I needed to be and am very pleased with the outcome. I worked so aggressively on the canvas than when I finished, it seemed a bit loose on the stretcher - stretched from the impact of my strokes!  When I finished I felt such relief. I knew that no matter what anyone said, it is one of my most personally meaningful paintings.

Not long after, a young painter who paints near me told me she thinks my painting is “really bitchin!” Hahaha!! I love that.

Anyway, when the person who fills in for our advisor Larry Poons came in, I wasn’t going to show her because she seems to have anaversion to anything remotely representational. But I did. Sure enough, she zeroed in on one little section and made some comment about that little area.  But doing this painting was like a happening – I can’t go back and change some small bit afterwards – even if I wanted to. It’s so strange. I guess she just didn’t get it. It doesn’t matter if some spot is not perfect.

It needs to be the way it is because it expresses - when I was a baby.

Sketch for when I was a baby  2012  Graphite on Paper  8”x6”

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Posted by Trixie Pitts on 9/23/12 | tags: abstract New York Artist

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hello Trixie..this painting shows a really powerful sense of expression to it. Like a bull breaking free. I've often wondered how an 'advisor' would be able to approach such a painting too because it does not carry the usual requirements of composition etc. These paintings break boundaries...and yet I find in my own abstracts that there are facets of a painting that suggests a direction to take...perhaps its in a large area or covering the whole canvas(in that case its a master piece), otherwise its a portal into the next expression. I think that an adviser that can 'see' into an abstract such as this and then 'feel' the doorway and be able to point that out to the painter. I seen through my own works that it has been through these little doorways that I pass, leaving behind mark making that is worn out of over usage or that brutalizes the painting more than enhancing the savoring quality that a good abstract painting carries.

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