"Aggregate I" (2006)
23" x 24"
Acrylic on paper
"As I am maniacal with a small brush, and this is what keeps me out of trouble most of the time, I find my obsessive painting strategies soothing. There are moments, however, when a pinprick of anxiety registers and I shift around looking for a place to park it.
Just such a pinprick came about when I realized I was wasting a lot of paint- acrylic paint- a non-recyclable plastic product. Additionally, there was the wasted time mixing and color-matching all those colors in little plastic cups (that ineffectually wear little plastic cup hats to prevent the paint from drying out).
I had to get on it, I was going away for a week; so I did this thing with the paint, something I have referred to as ‘patches’, such as what I make when mixing and testing colors on scraps of paper. They are always "the best thing in the studio" according to some visitors. Even though I hate those studio guests I am willing to take seriously that the paint test strips with their overlapping chunks of color do emit a certain eau d’modernism that people now more than ever just love to love.
So on an oversize piece of paper cut from the roll a veritable toxic geography of sloppy patches of paint spread out and piled up like old linoleum, which I cut up like yardage into squares to be used as grounds for ‘real paintings’.
Anxiety now dispatched, I settle into my favorite painting routines: outlining all edges with sharpie marker then painting them all out with white, watching only the line work bleed through (this I call ‘capture’). I also enjoy making pools of paint within the volumes delineated by the bleeding sharpie lines, letting these dry then pooling more paint within smaller sections ad infinitum until an information saturation of immense iridescence emerges, which I’ve termed ‘oil slick’. I cannot resist filling in already filled areas so that a thin line of the first color shows around the edge (distinctly different from throwing an outline around something, and a great deal more difficult), I call this one ‘fill’. I always do my best work when there hovers a raw fringe of anxiety tinged with paranoia. I call this ‘genius ‘. "
By Sarah Walker