Exercise vs Exorcise
As I get started painting again, I’m thinking of the two types of paintings I’m making, and the different motivations I have for making paintings. The most simple motivation is just the sheer joy of smearing that greasy stuff around on a surface. (Must be something Freudian about that, arrested in the anal stage or something! Read more)
To gratify that urge, painting anything will do. And I might as well paint something that will earn me a little money to pay the electric bill. Plus, it’s good exercise. Last winter, I just made some landscape paintings, done from photos (mostly very bad photos taken by me, but occasionally very good ones taken by Glenn Rose) that were very good practice at seeing. I’d been making up landscapes to go around my broken-up goddesses, and actually having something to look at was quite an education. So I call them, “Exercise.”
For me, exercise doesn’t remain satisfying for very long. In the physical sense, I like to have real work to do (splitting wood, working in the garden, or at least going for a hike) when I exercise, I don’t like “gratuitous” exercise (like walking on a treadmill.) In making art I have a great urge to be didactic, or narrative, or to get right down to it, to vomit up the contents of my brain onto at canvas (or sometimes upon a piece of mud). So that kind of painting I’m assigning to the category “Exorcism.” It satisfies the need to expel the images that are haunting me. It doesn’t much cross my mind whether anyone else would want to look at it or not. Sorry! I’m not thinking about you! I’m thinking about me! It’s all about ME!
So this week I’m posting some pictures of something I’m working on in both categories, and from now on I’ll just label them “exercise” or “exorcise.” Salud! and stay warm!
Two summertime paintings. I’ve been thinking about them since last time it was warm. Was that about 10 years ago?? Examples of “gratuitous exercise.” Though they make me happy, thinking about warm weather. (Why does February seem like the longest month??)
This painting below isn’t finished! I’m just posting it to give you an example of an “exorcism” type painting.
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Jennifer Cox is an artist working in Rockbridge County, VA. She shows her work regionally, sometimes nationally, but not that often. She works in virtual isolation, so if you want to leave a comment, please do! Just try to be kind.