Short Sands Serenade
by Adam Graves
As I scrape off and revise another area of the painting, I am reminded of the phenomenological dialogue I have engaged in with this image, the subject, the materials, and the place. Revising is an attempt (sometimes desperate) to bring more truth to the dialogue. Sometimes it takes a big move or a risky gesture to release more of the story that is in the impulse to paint a sense of this place. Why risky? We often start out doing something with an idea or a goal, and in the process of moving toward that goal, find that something isn’t working. It is a courageous act to acknowledge the thing that isn’t working and make a change. Scraping off or painting over a whole section of a painting; improvising with marks, gestures, and color – these are the risky acts that allow the full vision to emerge. Sometimes we can’t make this choice and the satisfaction we seek doesn’t seem complete. Sometimes we need someone else’s help to have the courage to make the revision. I paint the way I paint to be in touch with the ever-changing dialogue between maker and object, so I can be that person to help others make the revision they want to make.
Adam Graves is an art therapist, National Certified Counselor and assistant professor in the Department of Art Therapy Counseling at Marylhurst University. You can see Adam’s artwork at the Art Therapy Counseling Faculty Exhibition at Streff Gallery through May 31, 2013.