There are two sides to this art practice. There is the Day- the open place where my work is shown, seen, where I know what I’ve done, where I see it’s place in the world whether I like it or not. There is the Night, where I work in isolation, where things are unclear & unfinished, where there’s danger and risk.
I’ve been working in both the actual day & night. Sometimes I start right after the morning routine. I go online, following a trail of conversations & curiosities. The sun hits the curtains. I’ve noticed a slight shift in the light patterns as the month has gone on. Sometimes I start later, and I still finish the work reasonably within the day. Other times, I’ve started later and worked later, or started & stopped throughout the day, only to finish near midnight. I keep the studio windows open. The cold air drifts in. I zip up in bundled layers to stay warm. The electric light is insufficient. At night, I work a little from memory of what the colors are in the daytime. Sometimes I just put the work down, I walk away. The next day is when I’ll photograph & post, the next day is when I’ll do that last tiny fix. My weariness shows.
The Night. It’s the loneliness of just me & the work. I face what I’m making; I scratch at that surface and wrestle with it. I only half know what I’m doing and the image doesn’t always respond. Even when there is the most possible clarity, there are still shadows. I move intuitively, adding & taking away from the surface of the idea, the panel, the sculpture. So much happens at Night. There is no audience. I quiet the dictatorial voices. This place of lonely studio work is the place I need to be, the only place I can hear the voice that matters. The ghosts come out & retreat. Emptiness. Hunger rises. Working in the Night.
The Daytime. I can’t go into the Day without the Night. I don’t go out empty-handed. And once I go out, I have to let go. I want to see what happens to the work in the light of day. I present it (as-is) and it settles into its own weighted spot. Each piece has its own life. The online world has been a matrix for seeing its place in the world. Posting work has been a daily venture of pushing it (ready or not ready) into the daylight. I see how it lives as it’s posted. I observe the space it occupies, how the work behaves. Does it have a voice? And if there is silence, what do I do? It’s something to question, it’s part of the life of the work to see how & where it comfortably or uncomfortably lands. I make notes and I develop my understanding of what it’s doing. I see things. Then, I return to the Night.
I go back to the making and isolation of working. I remember how the work is living out in the world, and I refine what I’m listening for and saying. A crisp line of understanding comes from examining contradictions, either resolving them or letting them purposefully remain. I make peace with what I’ve done. I try to rest.
Daily risk, daily failure, daily up, daily down, Day, Night, Day.
Just a few more to go.
The “I Will Find” project statement is here.
The “I Will Find” artwork is: