"CITY " 32" X 48" 2000
My kid has one of these Super Mario Nintendo games. It's pretty far out. Mario goes around to the various rooms of the castle which all have paintings hanging on their walls. Some of the paintings are magical. When Mario jumps into them, there are other worlds inside.
I don't know how it is for other painters. This is how it is for me:
When I'm working on something (always more than one painting at a time) the thing I'm working on is the greatest painting the world has ever seen.
(IMHO - In the entire range of artistic experiences, there is nothing that comes close to the experience of creating. Viewing is but a dim shadow.)
Once I finish the piece and hang it in a different room, I can hardly bear to look at it. I can't tell what the hell it is.
When I see them in the gallery, I'm always embarrassed. It's kind of hard for me to be there.
It normally takes a few years to achieve the emotional disconnect which allows me to see the work completely objectively. I'm normally impressed.
Working in the studio on a daily basis is a microcosm of these same phenomena. I bring the painting along in many layers. Each layer, each section of each layer, takes the painting to an entirely different space. Leaps of advancement; plunges into ever-greater depths. The paintings always get better, but at the completion of each layer it fades again to a distant plateau. I can't see those peaks and valleys anymore. All I see is how much further I have to go.
Finally I will arrive at a place that, to me, is of undeniable significance and value. For the rest of the day I will be fascinated by it, basking in its sunshine. Once I get to that point, I know it's not going away. It will always be there.
Yet, sometimes, all it takes is for me to walk out of the room for a few minutes. When I return, it's gone again. The magic unobserved is that ephemeral.
So I'll have to sit there for a little while and stare at the piece. It helps to look from one to another.
But if you look at it just right, just like Super Mario, the painting will open up. All that stuff I planted in there is alive and growing. There are other worlds inside.