Here's a painting I made recently. I put it into a show at the Rockport Art Association in Rockport Massachusetts. I did a demo there tonight. It went OK I guess, there were a lot of people there. I did all my usual silly schtick, a couple of ladies in the front row kept giving me disapproving looks. They saw the name Stapleton Kearns and were expecting Peter O'Toole and got a paint splattered old hippie. Actually I guess most of the audience enjoyed it. I am teaching a workshop there in Sept.
Here(with bullets) are some of the things I told them. You have probably heard these before, I repeat myself endlessly, but I am always trying to drive home some of the same ideas.
- You cannot observe good design into a painting.
- There are three stages in a Stapleton Kearns painting. (1) I am almost done! (2) Gee, I hope I'm doing this right. and (3) This was going to be really good.
- When my paintings fail its not because they aren't accurate but because they are matter of fact.
- The world has lots of ordinary paintings, it doesn't need another.
- I throw about half the paintings I start on location away. I keep those that have something special about them, something unique or captivating.
- I get way to hung up on the way the paintings actually look. I am the same way about music, I don't care about anything other than how it sounds.
- I am a poet and not a journalist.
- How do you know when to quit? I can continue to work on a painting as long as I can continue to make good decisions about it.
- Like my high school girlfriend, my paintings often look best in dim light.
- My favorite white is Lefranc, which I get from Jerrys.
- I always listen to music while I paint, usually rock and roll.
- Paintings have design, that is an underlying geometric structure. Design operates below the surface and its purpose is to imperceptibly tie the painting together and to give it a human imposed order that viewers find rational and appealing.
- For everything I say you can find another excellent artist who does exactly the opposite. That doesn't mean there are not better and worse ways to make a painting. There are different goals that painters have and they use different means to achieve them
- When I rule the world, all frames will have to be made of wrought iron. Better hang em on a stud. I am so sick of getting expensive frames back that are irreparably damaged.
- There will always be enough blue in a sky. Skies work because of the presence of the other colors in them.
- Whats the deal with Alex Katz anyway?