I've been struggling with the studio practice this year. I've started dozens of pieces, covered most of them over with white more than once, and started over. These two have left me curious. They were untouched in these states for weeks. I expected to come to some kind of sudden conclusion as to what the next move in paint should be. As I walked into my painting space over this past weekend, the "sudden conclusion" was that they were done.
Most of the pieces I've worked on lately have been a mix of old visual language elements, and an inability to just stop making more marks or layers. I've been dissatisfied in feeling like I was pointlessly trying to get to a place where the work needed to be settled and compositionally complete. I could blame this on my day job as a graphic designer, where everything must have visual harmony that creates a better experience for the user. I've been wanting, and working, towards surfaces that challenge and unsettle what I want them to be.
It's not that the image shouldn't resolve or have composition, so much as it had to leave me feeling they were at the edge, where comfort is just out of reach. If it's possible to be satisfied with tension and discomfort, then these do it.