fog suite 2: muslin

"consider the space between thoughts: instants when the mind is inventing exactly what it thinks and the mouth waits to be filled with language."


One of the primary intentions with the fog suites was the examination from a technical and visual perspective the idea of visible uncertainty. This is something I've talked about with my work for many many years. Leaving spaces undefined; leaving landscape elements unarticulated so that the viewer can fill and be filled by the evocation of emotions and thoughts. Art is an exchange and what the viewer brings to the piece is just as important as the work itself. If everything is defined--if all is articulated--what is left for the viewer to bring to play? I've always found that work is deadened by over-specificity. What I've tried to do with color and form and light and atmosphere is to prompt the interaction and to have the painting "finished" by the viewer's response or interaction with it.


Just like with Rothko's work, there is sometimes a diminishment of value in the work because of its perceived simplicity or minimalism. The "I could've painted that" syndrome. But could you have really? painted that. It is more difficult to paint indirectly--to have the image come out of the paint, to have the light glow out from layers of trapped pigment, to illicit mood from nothing more than paint layered on top of each other, to create nuance, to exhibit both control and accident in the same space.


Many of my more simplistic paintings suffer this same fate--as if they should be priced less for having less objective reference--when in fact they have so much more. Muslin is just such a painting.



“Consider the Space Between Stars”

Consider the white space between words on a page, not just the margins around them. Or the space between thoughts: instants when the mind is inventing exactly what it thinks and the mouth waits to be filled with language. Consider the space between lovers after a quarrel, the white sheet a cold metaphor between them. Now picture the brief space before death enters, hat in hand: vanishing years, filled with light. –Linda Pastan



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    SHARON KINGSTON