Painting for me is about three things:
1. Creating—Taking a blank
surface and putting something new upon it, using shape, line, and
2. Communicating—Sharing my creation with
others. My desire is not to create something in isolation. I want viewers to grasp
some of what I see and feel.
3. Learning—I am committed to my own development.
I like to learn new things. Each work is an opportunity to grow.
My need to learn means that I paint many different subjects and in
many different styles. If I can do something well, I want to "move
on" to other types of painting. This experimentation results
in a diverse body of work where the only common denominator is that
the paintings. Viewers who require that a painter has one recognizable
style will be disappointed. My freedom to paint differently, if I
choose, is a right I hold dear.
For this site, I have organized
the work into eight parts. The first three are more abstract, the
next four are
more realistic, and the eighth part is a "catch all" for
works that don't fit in the first seven categories.
My work in abstraction I call "searching
for structure." Since pure abstraction is not about anything concrete,
"there is no there there." Often there is no top, no bottom, no horizon.
In such a non-representational world, how does a painter structure
the picture plane?
I have learned that there are many ways either to impose
or to discover structure on a canvas.
The site's first three parts focus on three organizing
webs, and grids.
The traditional division between abstraction and realism is
one I often avoid. Many times I paint in the "murky middle." The
viewer can usually tell what I am painting, but not always. I have
grouped paintings that are more realistic, or recognizable, into
Parts Four, Five, Six, and Seven: Figures 1, Figures 2, Landscapes 1, and Landscapes 2.
—Willoughby Walling, 2011