In painting class last week our teacher, Fred Lipp, was discussing his painting that was recently on display in the faculty show. It is a tour de force and it was a pleasure to hear him discuss it. He talked about his approach to creating this work and coincidentally it overlapped with the way he teaches us to think about our work.
Fred guides us by constantly reminding us to address the worst first and the whole trick is to be able to identify the “the worst.”. And if you don’t start a piece by throwing down a whole lot of “worst” you will have a lot less headaches. It is important to consider the space, the white rectangle, the whole, right from the onset.
Fred strives to achieve maximum results from minimal information so that very first mark must work with the space. “Always address the whole”. Fred says he knows what he is after but he doesn’t know how he will do it. That is the adventure. And he has the confidence to know he can pull it off. He thrives on improvisation and each move is a dialog with the whole.
The Little Theater has a promo display of free New Yorker magazines and I grabbed one between sets at last night’s Margaret Explosion gig. Peter Schjeldahl reviewed a retrospective of the Flemish artist, Luc Tuymans, on display in Columbus, Ohio. Although I had never hear of him, Schjeldahl described him as “the most challenging painter in the recent history of the art.” Tuymans was quoted as saying, “untill I get to the middle of the process — its horific. It’s like I don’t know what I’m doing but I know how to do it, and it’s very strange.” Schjeldahl says this, “— uncertain ends, confident means is as good a general definition of creativity as I know.