Apero Gallery Review

My Blog

Recently, I was reviewed by Apero Gallery's curator, E.E. Jacks.  of the painting shown below she writes "The fantastic aesthetic of this transformational work is an absolute pleasure to behold.  The floating, undulating shapes and natural movement of the piece by artist Judith D'Agostino, liberates the mind.  There is a connective tranquility in the foreground and background that seduces the viewer into this hypnotic scape."




The Process
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Taking Flight - Mixed Media on Panel - 30 x 40 inches


I have taught for so many years that it is natural for me to show my process in my paintings.  I love to share and hope that light bulbs will go on in the heads of those who see the progress.  It is good to see how others make their work, but it can also be detrimental to some who don't use the information wisely.  It is easy to find work you like anywhere on the internet.  It is important to realize that you, the artist, should create your own process and develop your own style.  Making the work is where it all begins, but being creative with your work is essential to making you stand out among the zillions of artists out there.  It can be daunting.  Make no mistake, this is your job!  Whether you learn a new technique or develop your own you must keep in mind that you must be open to ideas and problems that present themselves as you work.

In my non-objective work which I will focus on in this newsletter, there is something I have done since the mid 70's.  I create and I destroy and from that destruction comes a new way to look at the painting that I am working on and it forces me to develop new techniques or strategies to complete the work. 

When I was teaching, I often found that people became incredibly attached to their work.  They would paint a passage and think, wow, that is wonderful...how could I make it all look as good?  So, what do they do?  They paint around that wonderful passage.  I would suggest, that 99% of the time, this is not a good strategy.  This will most often make a pretty bad painting.  You need to actually take that beautiful passage out!  You have done it and you will be able to do it again.  Maybe not on the current painting, but it will happen somewhere, sometime on another artwork.  You must not let this idea of "preciousness" stop you from discovering and re-discovering new ideas and simply put, just making a good art work.

This process that I use has worked well for me.  It gives me opportunities that I would not have had if I had not been willing to let that preciousness go.  Not only that, I can actually destroy it again or sell it or give it away.  I am not attached.  It is the process that is the most important thing.

As I create and destroy, the work becomes rich, multilayered and has Pentimento which mean, according to this site: www.dictionary.com/browse/pentimento

  1. Painting. the presence or emergence of earlier images, forms, or strokes that have been changed and painted over. Origin of pentimento Expand. 1900-1905. 1900-05; < Italian, equivalent to penti(re) to repent (< Latin paenitēre to regret) + -mento -ment.  It has a history of layers. 

It gives me opportunities in the destructive stage to figure out the problem of ordering chaos.

Some coincidences just blow me away.  As I was posting this work on Facebook, the Robert Genn newsletter came out.  They titled that newsletter, Ordering Chaos.  So, you can see, it is nothing that I have invented, it is what many artists do in their process.

Although Robert Genn used different words, it all means the same.  I paraphrase here calling working in this way as seeing the work holistically.  It is an all at once focus.  It allows the work to materialize rather than develop out of areas of calculated rendering.  He said working in this way allows you to be guided by the work.  Some artists will use the term "the artwork speaks to me".  This is a natural way in which I work.  For some, it may have to be learned.

I had a friend who told me that what she would do is work on a print all morning, pin it up and go to lunch.  Upon her return, she would walk into the studio, careful not to look at the work.  She would position herself with her back to the print.  Then after a minute, she would abruptly turn to look at the work hoping to see it in a "fresh" way.  Some artists engage in critiques.  This is great if you can disassociate yourself with the work.  The artists in the critique will look at the work with a "fresh eye" making it easy for them to see what needs to be done.  Sometimes, nothing needs to be done.  It is a valuable exercise.

Below, I have attached some photos of the stages I went through with the work posted above. And, if you would like to see close ups, you can go to my new site:  contemporaryabstractpainting.jimdo.com.

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Stage 5 (the final stage)

In the final analysis, I felt the work needed darkening and also oriented horizontally.  It just seemed to work better in my mind.

If any of you have questions, please feel free to email me at my email address:  judithdagostino@gmail.com.