Second Source

by Bart Baird in Work in Progress

This painting is in a series of three, Primary Source, Second Source and Tertiary Source (another work in progress). They are all roughly 28 inches square with an almost three inch depth. Some call them box canvases, or gallery-wrapped edges, or masterpiece canvases. They normally are not framed, and simply hung on the walls woth exposed, wrap-around edges. With mine I aim to keep the same level of detail and work, as the rest of the canvas. A nice continuity is achieved.

The first in this series, titled ‘Primary Source,’ took me a year to finish. It has been a turbulent year, even before the pandemic. my life was going through massive transformation, after the previous five years of struggle. And I did not work on it everyday, or anything, and I did not rush it (though I never do). I worked on it in three different locations, it was moved around. One session, I used paint that was a little grainy, as I was wanting to add a little texture, and then followed that thread. There were times where I worked with different viscosities, according to my mood. Times where I was emotionally charged, heated, Other times, it seemed as if every single move was perfectly guided. Sessions…some lofty and other times not so lofty. Regardless, the colours and hues that ebbed out of that creative process, that gave me the opportunity to work with, was exemplary, in experience. A feeling of gratitude remains. When it all came together…it was pretty magnificent.

This one, will be created in one location, my big studio, that I love. And I am at a very good place in my life. I am feeling in tune with everything around me, healthier mentally and physically than ever and with patience and astonishment I see my life unfolding beautifully, my efforts fulfilling.

I wonder though, that because I am not in such upheaval, as far as life circumstances, location, emotionally, mentally, etc…will it possess such variances, such storms of rage, despair and ferocity? Maybe a storm of exalted and creative ferocity? Sadness, yes, there will always be sadness in the painting. There always is, to some degree. But there will be other elements. New love, longing, gratitude, confidence and a new intensity, and deeper appreciation. I always want to see what can be achieved. It will be interesting to me to see how these will integrate, and what forms will follow.

Each painting stands on the shoulders of its predecessor, in terms of refined skill, confidence, daring and evolution. Evolution being the theme of this series.

So here is the beginning to ‘Second Source.’

The first pic is the blank canvas. What a sight! Such possibilities. I love a blank canvas. These canvases were methodically, painstakingly prepped (with layers and layers of gesso, sanded between coats, all the 3 inch edges, too) as perfectly as I could. I want everything I produce to have a museum-like quality. Meaning, it is sharp enough, with quality materials and an ‘expert craftsmanship’ look, great and striking art as well…that it could belong in a museum. That’s the kind of quality I want to exceed to.

I have over time, developed some strange and useful skills. I guess the best way to say it is that I am confident I will produce the kind of I art I want. It is the most intense thing for my mind, as far as an activity (there are many, many adjectives), and I am often surprised with the end results. They way it is often said that creative endeavours take on a life of their own, seems quite true. Each is an evolving life-form.



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