I caught a show of Pat Steir‘s paintings in November at the Locks Gallery. I’ve been aware of work for years but it was a pleasure to see it in person. Her paintings are similar to mine because they are made with thinned down oil paint that is poured.
The scale of some of them alone was impressive.
This one titled Forest in Snow is 127 x 109 inches.
Interestingly her approach is very different from mine in that she sets a course for the painting in the beginning deciding what order the colors will be added and how many layers and then executes it. She says it’s removing herself from the role as the grand creator and leaving some things up to chance.
Double White on Black, 84 x 84 inches
I on the other hand try to strike a balance between allowing and controlling in the making of my work. I really struggle with this, wondering how much to force my ideas onto a piece and how much to leave up to chance. It leads me to question how this applies to life. Is it an illusion that we are in control of our destiny? When we are fighting for control is it beneficial to loosen the reigns a little and see where things fall?