From the Studio

 In Painting

KeithHave you ever had the dream where you go to school, only to realize that you’re not wearing pants? I’ve heard Gnomes do that. For them it’s a casual thing. For most of us normal human types though, it’s a problem. The first thing that goes through our head is: This is bad. How do I get back to my room and get some pants? That would seem simple, but it’s never easy.  Sometimes embarrassing things even happen along the way. No doubt you run into an authority figure that raises a disapproving eyebrow and storms off in a huff. Ouch. Or maybe you have to take a bus, because it’s too far to walk and there’s two feet of snow on the ground. So not only do you have a bare butt, but you’re freezing it off. Seems like you might have remembered those pesky pants in the middle of winter, but there you are, on the bus, no pants, no dignity. In the dream, you think, uh, maybe if I act naturally, no one will notice. After all, I got all the way to class without realizing it myself. It’s no big deal. Then you hear yourself chanting…..I wish this was over, I wish this was over…I wish this was over….

So is painting like going to school with no pants? No, it’s actually not like that at all. I can paint with no pants and no one knows. You see my studio is at home and, yeaa-a-a-a-h…never mind…

There are times that I find myself in the middle of some pretty bizarre cover assignments and wonder how I got there though. That’s all part of the fun. It keeps things fresh. Figuring out a way of dealing with strange image sizes, intrusions by layout, arbitrary limitations imposed by clients, and tight deadlines, is the job. Doing it in a creative and interesting fashion is the challenge.

Once the art is created, whatever constraints and limitations were imposed don’t matter anymore. The art must speak for itself. Well, not in the manner of Frankenstein’s monster, but on a more basic level that’s somehow easier to understand than anguished grunting and howling. Anyway, I hope what follows “speaks” to you and you take from it what I put into it.

  • Keith Parkinson (Kingsgate 2004)
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