I remember asking my Mom once why it was so hard, when making a peanut butter sandwich, to get the peanut butter as smooth as they do in the commercials. Unbeknownst to me, my mother only bought organic peanut butter, which I do think tastes better, but falls short of fulfilling the aesthetics of that smooth, homogenized facade. The fact that I like crunchy peanut butter better probably didn’t help either.  I bring this tid-bit up because I’ve recently been preparing oil grounds for some new paintings, and laying down the ground reminded me of the impossibility of ever perfectly smoothing out my sandwich. Even if I can’t get my oil grounds perfectly smooth there’s something so enticing and satisfying about trowelling down this silky, satin white.  It’s a seductive surface.  Begs to be touched.  So much of painting for me relates to skin or flesh and touch.  It’s interesting to think about making something which is meant to be looked at but can trigger a physical feeling, or make me want to rub my fingers together.  When I’ve taught observation drawing in the past I used to say “we’re trying to learn to translate the eye to the hand”- I meant this in a kind of literal way, as in translating what we physically see. But now, as I think of it again, I like the idea that a painting can translate to the hand in another way, through touch.  That through seeing the material itself we can feel.   Perhaps that’s a good way for me to start thinking about these new canvases, which I now have to let dry for nine days before I can paint on them…

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2 Responses to Smooth!

  1. Rickhardo says:

    Dude, you’re good at writing. Now I want some peanut butt hair.

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