After the "Woods" paintings I found myself in the same place with several of the paintings. It was the same pond in the woods. It was getting redundant and felt flat. I spent a few weeks not knowing what to paint. I messed around in the studio. I studied the work of contemporary painters. Diebenkorn was the first contemporary painter who really spoke to me. I was blown away by what he did to landscape. I wanted a looser approach but didnt know how to do that. If I was going to work I needed to change things up and take some risks. I needed to throw away the constraints of rules and actually everything that I have ever learned or taught to my students. In experimenting with different mediums the only thing that I did that felt right was drawing. I spent about 2 months working in oils to figure out how to draw with a brush.
"Across the Meadow"
If anyone tells you that doing abstract work is easy don't believe them. It is the most difficult work that I have ever done. I worked for three months with nothing to show for it. I had to regroup. It was exhausting and I worried continually about my need to sell work. In that desperation I went back to the thing I do best and that is drawing. I needed a comfortable place and drawing has always been that.
I decided to put away the paint, and just draw. No color, just line and tone. Now this felt good!