Michael Divine

Writings :


In the Beginning (of a Painting)

I spend an enormous amount of time thinking about paintings I want to paint. And not just thinking about them but seeing them, feeling them, considering them. Sometimes they are in my vision when I'm making dinner and I'm chopping a carrot or a stalk of broccoli and I'm seeing this painting. It sort of lingers in the vision - in my mind, in this place between hallucination and imagination...

Small paintings: I make small things like 11x14 and such and they are relatively quick... They are a small facet, an aspect of myself - they are very precise and don't require as much forethought. They come from drawings and ideas of course, but they don't have as much going on with them of course. Likewise, they allow depth and scope and that, too, require some consideration - some allowance of what it might be but not like a larger painting. Why? I think in part it's because if I'm going to invest the time it takes to paint something that's larger than a couple of feet tall, then there is serious intention… there's serious consideration about how I am going to spend my time - IS THIS WORTH IT? Do I want to go there?

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Setting Up the Studio (Some Suggestions)

It's true: one CAN paint anywhere. And paint anywhere I have: on a board propped up by a chair surrounded by jungle. On a canvas taped to a wall in a downtown studio. Small shared spaces where what I called 'mine' was merely the space of the stool, the canvas, and the paint… One CAN paint anywhere in the same way that grass pokes through a crack in the pavement, or there's a bird's nest on a telephone pole, a flower in a metal pipe poking out from the ground in the ground.

But, given the choice - and when presented with options - I've found certain factors provide a more ideal situation. Here's a list of some… Your mileage may vary…

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