artist /vision statement.....'Vision: From Before and After 9/11/01'
work in progress to precede some excerpts from sketchbook


I am on a pilgrimage and keeping notes to help remember where I've been.
Somewhere along the way I spread the notes out
a collage, a map, a puzzle.
video, paper, ink, crayons, words, paint
Not a picture puzzle, aiming at a destination.... more like archeology....
searching for meaning or, what new insight is contained in these fragements as
they reach out and link up, or butt heads in opposition with their neighbours?
What surprises are contained in new/unexpected juxtapositions?

looking forward
in anticipsation,
an act of faith that there will be discoveries yet
made during the installation
the whole being greater than
the sum of
the discoveries of which it's composed there's lots of material to work with.
improvisation, a theme and wide open
possibilies of orchestration


--------------------------------------------excerpts from sketchbook


...The aroma of oil paint and an old wooden building combined with gum spirits of turpentine adds another layer to the "other worldliness" of the studio. ... the sound of emergency vehicles brings you back to the here and now.
As it happened, the day I began working was September 11....
listening to WGBH from Boston, The "War of the Worlds" came to mind. There was no interruption in the coverage. My friend Susan was on a plane that morning on route to LA. They were over Chicago when the FAA brought all domestic air traffic down. People are driving around flying the stars and stripes from their cars and trucks. It's close to home here." 14.09.01


From the sketchbooks....Sept. 15/01

The drawings from (Sept. 11/01, #1 #2 #3 #4) were made in the company of pigeons, cooing and scratching around on the slate roof, and WGBH..... A foreign correspondent, an outsider keeping a record of the impact, the assault, working on drawing #1 for most of the day, the most preliminary of the group, a drawing that was reworked on 12th and subsequently..... What would it be like to be a war artist?

Whereas drawing (Sept. 12 #1) is conversational, drawing (Sept. 12 #2) is more about aloneness. The density of tone in #2 is achieved using white crayon over graphite to blurr.... turning line into tone. The pen lines are inert and remain static.
Drawing (Sept. 12 #3) began with a pen, (medium nib in a Diplomat) ... more scratchy-less elegant than previous drawings. A triangle form apparent from the start, the reduced palette in this case, green yellow blue. The triangle reiterated with heavy black line - artist's crayon -- the impact hitting home, yet contained in the suspended triangle, the potential of horrific destruction... a further threat.
The guilty taking the innocent with them on their joy ride - their misguided mission of heroic immortality, or do the perpetrators see them selves too as victims. The triangle, a symbolic hybrid tornado/jet powered fire bomb - looming high above in clear skies over a pastoral landscape of water, islands and peninsulas - malevolent, intoxicated with destructive potential - how can we as human beings arrive at such desperate resolve?

Skyscrapers die with a grinding scream and
through the smoke and dust and sorrow,
If you can't find a glimmer of hope,
where will you look tomorrow?

From the drawing (Sept. 12 #4) Figurative, with pen alone, the continuous line from right to left. Beginning in conclusion, with the consequences -- looking back into the sequence of significant events. What warnings were not heeded, precautions not taken. What lessons were not learned? Willful ignorance backed with arrogance, or blind faith?"

From the sketchbooks...Sept. 25/01 words arising

"from drawing (Sept. 24/2001 #4)
the contradiction: contemplating war
the contained fury of self-righteous indignation
indignant nation ...
How pointless it is to fight
for what is right
Better to look for a few values that
you have in common [are held in common] /march1 2002

Question: if it's wrong to kill innocent woman and children,
when/why is it OK to kill innocent men? When do boys become men?

from the painting (Sept.24/2001 #1)
a view from the eye of the storm
what exactly hangs in the balance?"

"Thinking about making art may be the best way to prevent it from happening." Sept. 28 2001

drawing (Sept. 24/01#1) virtually completed without hanging it up to contemplate...drawings could be assigned their place on a scale between intuitive and conscious....
Question: When a drawing or painting is closer to the moment in which the intuitive is given over to contemplative, is that quality, the openness to interpretation, the quality that we call "engaging" ?

"thoughts on (Oct. 1 #5 -back and white crayon and pencil)
A representation of the arrival
at a new level of
confusion

from drawing (Oct. 1/2001 #16)
How do we embrace a new idea?
do we not have to release our grip
on our beliefs for a moment
to take a chance

from drawing (Oct. 1/2001 #7)
softness

from drawing (Oct. 1/2001 #15)
tumbling boxes

Words from the sketchbook .... Oct. 13/2001
out of the dot calm before the storm
if lightning never strikes the same place twice
when the giant wakes from the sleep of denial*
and virtual reality returns to the place
where fog comes from
in which direction will we take
our next first step?

*thoughts from drawing (Sept. 19/2001 # 1)... you know the one ... shoreline on fire viewed from a boat at a safe distance....and another drawing (Sept. 24-26/2001 #4) looks like you've picked up the binoculars for a closer look.

...........................................

Providence Update from Peter Beckett, December, 2001.

Whereas the computer potential seems to be a closed loop,the drawing and painting seems to be cross-pollinating .

For years I have avoided working on paper, mostly for practical reasons......
I must have let my guard down and now there's a whole new box of crayons to explore. . How easy it is to have 30 or 40 sheets of 18"x24", smooth, acid free potential at ones finger tips. No reason to worry ... be spontaneous, what's the worst that can happen? You mess a few up, you throw them away, right? .... It's not working out that way.
The thing I've always liked about working with oil paint is the versatility: brush it, spray it, trowel it on .... or scrape it off ...the things can go on for ever...and... with oil, you can take a break and come back and your brushes haven't gone all hard... , my reluctance to give up on a disaster of a painting has transferred over to the paper and become part of the "drawing" process. A simple, spontaneous pen and ink drawing -- gone terribly, terribly wrong -- can slide into graphite and candle wax and to crayolas, to opaque "artist" crayons and when the paper is completely wax coated you can buff it and it gains transparancy and depth...."Cold fusion encaustic" you might call it.
Now that you mention it, there's nothing to stop me laminating the things onto a canvas or ply wood....
Approaching full circle from the other direction, I've started using paint sticks on canvas. [soft, oversized oil pastels that dry like paint.]
To further add to the confusion there are mixed-media 3d assemblages using paint, wood, copper (new sheets and old architectural bits), and found objects.... the boards that I clean my knives and brushes on are also becomming paintings.

Let's hear it for confusion, complications and slippery slopes.

feb2/2002
...video looking at rough cut/camera edits of works in progress ... it's like being "back stage" in the studio, according to one comparative literature/fondue enthusiast...early market surveys indicating "potential" for "Snorovision," the abstract painting channel for insomniacs.

After wrestling for two days with a horizontal green monster painting, some
of the drawings from the previous week started making sense, basic shapes
becoming apparent or becoming suddenly recognizable. It's more than just
being away from them, it's the returning from a slightly different angle.
>From a tangent previously unexplored.

Pieces of a puzzle starting to fit together, a little here a little there.
One thing about this puzzle though, it didn't come in a box with the big
picture on the front. It's sort of an act of faith that every piece you turn
over will eventually find it's place. The big fun is when you discover that
this patch here, if you rotate it and move it way over to the other side, it links up with that patch over there.
Like two parts of your brain bumping into each other and saying, nice to
meet you.

22 February 2002
In the recent adventure in green there seems to be a movement like zooming in from one painting to the next. The second painting like a detail of the first, successive simplification in the third into simply green in number four. Initially the green canvas was made to try an extension above no.1. That didn't fly, but it may have a home next to the third.

there is so much green around
at home in the woods in the summer,
that there seeems to be little urgency
to use it in painting.
As a consequence,
beginning with green,
like returning to the forest in early may,
proclaims a change of season july13/02

addendum: march 1 2002.
The jigsaw puzzel analogy is just a starting point. For example, imagine the pieces have "picture" on both sides,... now make them three dimentional. .... the cube becomes a dodecahedron .....a spere, facits becomming points. Now fill an expanding space with the spheres and of course they're spinning.
What exactly is the fourth dimention again?

imagine.... She is looking at crystal structures at the highest powers of magnification, something like looking through a kaleidoscope........at work....
.....so, how do we remember things?
The mechanism of memory...prions form as proteins "go bad," irreversibly altering the order in which their components are arranged along the strand. To date, prion observation has focused on proteins as they turn into pathogens. ( mad cow disese) However, the rearranging of the information on the strand of protein may prove to be the mechanism of memory. The glue that holds all the pieces together.
This research follows/when the genome project unraveled the DNA they found that there is more diversity of life than can be accounted for given the number of variables in DNA. Even though that's a lot of variables, there had to be a code within the code. So what did they expect.... same as it ever was