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Cynthia Packard - Artist Statement, A Generous Spirit 2013

IMAGES | STATEMENT | RESUME

 

These drawings and paintings were made as the summer of 2013 turned to fall and fall moved into winter. They were made in my Provincetown studio. Jen Bradley is the inspiration of this work, Jen's generous spirit, her devotion, commitment, and her deep understanding of this work made it possible. Jen is a respected, talented artist and teacher. Jen is a dear friend and I thank her.

The paintings begin with conversation and reflection. The process starts with sweeping the floor, arranging different colored cloths hung on the wall or draped on the chaise or chair. Brushes, charcoal, erasers, palette knifes and rags are organized. Solutions of turpentine, linseed oil, stand oil are made in various containers. The paint is squeezed from the large tubes around the outside of the pallet, starting with the lightest color to the darkest. The mixing of the color is last, it takes the most time. All the piles of paint competing with each other, by the end of the day they will all be together. Hoping the sun will stream through the four large windows - natural light is always preferred.

I’m ready, as we decide on a pose, its not really a pose, we find the pose much like a dog circling around its’ bed deciding which position makes the most sense at the moment. The journey begins as the first mark is made, something emerges, then the wipe of the rag or bare hand. The mark disappears, yet the surface has memory, like a word spoken, it still exists afterwards. My dialogue with the painting begins, each decision informs the next. I say "maybe turn your hips slightly towards me" She does that, then drops her head just a little, “ perfect" I say, "don't move". I try not to panic because I want to capture that moment.

I take a breath, I pause, now charcoal, quick straight lines.

Next wide brushes overflowing with paint, then paint, drips splatters, the a slow caress with paint or charcoal, wiping, rubbing, back and forth adding, and subtracting. Abruptly I stop I say “take a break, I need to see.” I step back and look in the huge mirror that lives behind me. The mirror reverses the image and gives distance from the painting I can see the painting from a different perspective. I say to Jen “I don't like it, lets take a break, its all wrong, I have to scrape and wipe it away." Jen says "No wait put it against the wall, leave it alone for now, there is something there". I drag and throw it against the wall with disappointment and defeat.

I start a new work or go to another that has not been resolved. I have the need to illuminate, to interpret, to imagine, to communicate. And so it goes, one painting after another. At times, I will be gifted with a magic ease in creating a painting. However, most paintings are the results of my perseverance through fear and vulnerability.