A recently completed portrait now hangs in the window of my storefront gallery/studio. The little boy now fronts an exhibition of my abstract paintings. The portrait is a combination of three paintings I had in mind to do of the boy. As I painted I saw that I was synthesizing all three in one piece. The brain has a way of unifying, amalgamating images. In painting I am not big on editing or reworking. A painting should have a voice of its own, you should know your subject and your tools so well that the image falls together in one to four rushes so it maintains the confidence and restlessness of a child not the voice of the artist struggling for a likeness. Value does not equal effort; value equals effortlessness.
I must be the subject and paint it from the inside This portrait being three in one forced me to fiddle around with tiny brushes correcting miniscule details so it came into focus as one boy in one moment. The approach required for this painting to be resolved ran counter to how I like to work. But every painting commands me to understand painting more fully or open humbly to not knowing it fully.
I am a painter. Oil paint, enamel, acrylic, ink, watercolor, graphite, pastel, canvas, wood, paper, metal, performance art, abstraction, portraiture. I do not care to fit into a mould; I want to explore.
Painting is mercurial it slips between being known. Its allure is that it can be anything you want it to be. I cannot rest happily on one trick or technique. People may think they know me, my work, but it is an aspect of my lifelong romance with painting. I still feel butterflies because paint is my connection to the infinite.
I do not wish to know who, why, or what I am. Knowing is illusory and seems stagnant. I am not interested in fame or wealth or even happiness. I am into feeling life as transient. Paint is a trail tracking and connecting my body to the environment and the supreme force of nature. Human concerns, mundane survival requirements and emotion based on self are boring to me and if you base a life time on maintaining the illusion that you matter I think you are missing the boat.
Selected Paintings – Theresa Byrnes
616 E9th Street (B & C) New York