From 2002-2004, whenever I went into my studio to paint, I read books. I started nearly each and every day with an hour or more of reading and note-taking, checking for new books in our tiny but well-stocked art library. My MFA in Painting thesis had more poetry than painting in it with ‘titles as tenets as they related to various ideas and influences‘ (directly excerpted title). I was hot for Emily Dickinson, James Merrill, and appendixes. I included two, and the second appendix had endnotes for the endnotes.
Appendix II mentioned:
XII. Dutch coffee, which sometimes I miss to distraction
XIV. The color pink
XVII. Deep discounts
And a list of all the vehicles I had driven until 2004.
While I read and wrote, I smelled oil paint in our studios because we had poor ventilation. My professor listened to Eminem while peeling backing off of sticky vinyl to apply to her metal canvases. I did make paintings, big explosive ones that had volcanos, nuclear bombs, and sexy squiggles that I called map symbols. Later, I switched to paper because my work seemed better-suited to the hand-drawn and immediate, magnetized by words.
How does a hybrid of two-or-more comparable things: reader/note-taker, painter/writer, mother/expat, traveler/homebody, for example, allow something previously undiscovered to emerge?
The alchemical mixture of science lab-slash-library in my studio allowed for process-oriented discovery, and six years later the language of color and paint continues to transform.