Serial thoughts

I am having to rethink my process.

I have naturally tended to be a formalist in both process and product. In Colors of Transformation, the process was everything. The dialogue between foreground and background literally “set the stage” in the studio – I brought the elements together and the process simply took over. Construct. Shoot. Construct. Shoot. Until I exhausted myself or, rather, until the process extinguished itself. It was about the color and shape to the exclusion of subjective reference. And also about the serial nature of the process. Each studio session would generate long strings of decisive moments – a progression of decisive moments – that remained otherwise hidden when images were cherry-picked for exhibition.

But the package work, with its 3-dimensional pieces, had put an end to the serial, or at least I thought it had. The painting process has, it would seem, recreated the stage. As I add a color – still trusting the primaries plus white and black – I find that I want to preserve each step as I explore the surfaces. I’ve spent the last week working on a symmetrical molded pulp end-cap (thank you Ramona), and forever imagined and re-imaginied the colorization of the piece. So that means paint, shoot, repaint, shoot, etc, etc as I work through this new process.

The new Reality? My time requirements have just gone through the roof. I can now spend weeks – months – on the same piece as I color and re-color, shoot and res-shoot. And still serializing each piece against multiple backgrounds. How an I supposed to make that happen?

I guess the answer is that I need to open multiple channels and have them going all at once, working through a number of pieces at the same time, which is how I’ve naturally begun this process. Right now I’ve got four channels open; that is, four pieces being worked on currently, with a few more channels completed and ready for the photo studio. And that reminds me: I’ve still got a lot of pre-press work to finish and print.

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