I’ve mentioned in a couple recent previous articles how I’ve been exploring some new things in my work, and I’ve shared a few of the new pieces I’ve been doing in those posts. I’ve really been enjoying painting these. This painting is another new one, and I haven’t shared the full finish of it yet until now.

oil on panel, 16×12″

This painting and the others I’m referring to were mostly done during 2020 and some are still getting finishing touches now as time will allow. I see them all as definitely being a reaction to much of what we experienced last year and the current state of things – my own personal surroundings and inner workings as well as a broader sense of things. They are emotional responses that are varied and nuanced and a conglomeration of many, and so these images I’ve been making are a depiction of that combination. With these works I’ve been motivated to explore this in an abstract sense without using the figure in the work and to also challenge the concept of space, time and reality, and what those terms tend to be associated with. I’m enjoying this and continue to explore it regularly. I’ve written a lot about it just for myself, but that’s basically what’s going on with these recent works like this one I’m sharing today. I also enjoy hearing what others observe from them too, and I find this to be a part of the whole process, really. If anyone’s up for sharing in the comments what you see in this piece, by all means, I’d love to hear it!

Recently, the question “why?” has come up in different circles in regard to the continuous exploration I do when I paint and draw, and why I switch around with different materials and surfaces. There’ve been questions of why I tend to experiment a lot, and even why I am making these recent more abstract forms and conceptual paintings too.

Well, I do love trying new things and challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone, and I also see it as a means to discovery and a way of digging deeper. I think that as artists, the more open we are to the dialog we can have with our art, the greater the visual vocabulary we build by practicing and remembering, and the more connected we see all aspects of what we do and experience – that life is art and art is life – the closer we’ll come to finding the truth and making the connection we’re truly meant to be making.

I’ve come up with a list of ten good reasons to experiment and try new things, and I think these are a great answer to the question “why?”

1 – To discover our full potential and then to act upon the insights and skills that we discover we’re capable of.

2 – To view things differently and in a new way, and from that, develop new possibilities, outcomes and initiatives.

3 – To encourage our ability to thrive under pressure, under spontaneous circumstances, or in situations with uncertain outcomes.

4 – To gain a better understanding of the tools we use in our trade and what they are fully capable of doing and producing.

5 – To overcome ego. To enjoy process, experimentation, and discovery simply for what it is.

6 – To learn how to lose ..and how to find again after losing. To gain the understanding that before trying something new, it was unknown, and after trying it, it’s become more familiar. And the more often we apply that theory, the more familiar we are with something (that was once unknown).

7 – To expand upon what we already know, and to constantly be pushing that envelope. We open our minds to what we do know while exploring what we don’t know.

8 – To be mindful and to be present. To get ourselves out of a headspace we may find ourselves in regularly.

9 – To sharpen our problem solving skills. To allow a chance to react, assess, and act upon what’s learned, and to be aware of our temperament and our tendency toward how we react to things, especially to the unknowns or unexpected things.

10 – To recognize that our best results have come from being curious, critical, full of wonder, and resilient.


I have more that I’d add to that list, and will do that in my next post here on Muddy Colors. I look forward to sharing another one of these new paintings as well!

If you’d like to view some of the other recent paintings, check out my previous articles like Painting The Intangible and Art Can Help Us Through Uncertain Times and Learning To Swim. A Metaphor ~