Two Years And Counting

After two years of painting professionally, I know less what kind of painter I am and what kind I want to be than I did in April of 2014. My world has grown. When it was smaller, everything was clearer, had a place. Now everything leads to something else. There are more possibilities than there is time. Nothing is fixed. Everything moves.

Untitled design (3)

I recently checked out the book “Zoom” for my son at the library. It has no words, just a series of illustrations. Every time you turn the page, you zoom out. What looks like an orange blob, becomes part of a rooster. On the next page you see the rooster through a window. The next, two kids looking at the rooster through the window. Eventually you see a farm. Then kids playing with the farm (a toy set). Those kids playing with the farmhouse are actually just an image on a magazine cover and so on and so on for many pages until the entire earth is just a little dot in vast black background. Ezra and I both love the book.



In some ways I feel like I’m zooming out with my art. When my vision gets broader, the images themselves get smaller, more abstract, and the surface on which they exist expands. When I look at the first few blog entries from two years ago, I see tiny paintings with very specific subjects. Part of me wants and might go back to that even as I continue to zoom out. I like the idea of going back and forth as though reading “Zoom” on repeat from beginning to end and then from end to beginning.

Things have evolved steadily over two years.  I find it hard to imagine what the next year or two will bring. What will my paintings look like in 2017 or 2018?

When I first started, the art was so deeply rooted in parenting and providing. Now that I’ve settled comfortably into a provider role, no longer worried about how to buy milk or gas, I dare say the art has become both more and less personal. It is still action, choice, deliberate movement in what feels a chaotic and random world. It is still partially motivated by the desire to give my son both the bare necessities and as well as a few luxuries. But it less about dealing with specific stress and more about discovery. It’s freer and less panicked. I think.


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Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

April 7, 2016

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