I have been out of the studio for a few days. I have been looking at art, went to a museum, looked at paintings: de Kooning, Picasso, Guston, Rothko, and Gottlieb — those are the ones I immediately remember. They had the largest impact on me. I have been contemplating; where am I? Where should I go? If there is any take-away from what I saw, and what I now know, it is this: I must simplify in order to be clear about emotional impact and engagement. A painting by Mark Rothko struck me very hard (it resembled his painting I reproduce below). Rothko's best paintings are simple, yet emotionally complex. In his brushed, washes of color, I could feel his emotional questions and possible answers. Rothko's painting stood in front of me like a monument, a testament to being here and now. It was an emotional experience, built with paint on canvas. No crap deluded the message. Direct and clear. This is a lesson to me. I will begin a new painting today.
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