Roland Barthes

Notes from Blue Fabriano journal. April 7, 2015

Roland Barthes — 

 “it had all been done before as no individual expression possible.”

Is painting a hermetic activity?

The question I asked when starting these new group of paintings that were titled “Traveling Light” was, could the meaning of the work go beyond just the materials of the painter? The “what you see is what you see” said by Stella could be replaced with what you see you don’t see, or in the words of Paul Klee — “to make visible“. Greenberg denounced the hidden and spirituality in favor of the optical and materiality. Arts purpose was to search for its purest material state.

Joseph Beuys — the alchemy of an artist’s materials and the power of transformation that evoke meaning.

Painting is about feeling what would occur next; in the next moment.

Looking for something more expansive, than taking years to develop a signature style and using patterns and color juxtapositions to highlight the subjective nature of experience.

While the nature of paintings limitations as a two dimensional flat object, the image  can evoke a sense of vibration and movement.

Realizing that the painting process is an inquiry rather than a set of predetermined ideas or theories.

Creating a surface of feeling.

Ease between resting on structure and allowing openness to generate through repetition, brings you to a higher plane.

Give the paintings a sense of structure that allows the process to remain open and generative, and in a sense is mimicking nature.

In visiting Petra, Jordan — the notion of the physicality of material, cinnabar, copper, iron and the tension between what is earthbound and what moves toward the infinite, the horizon.

Not interested in the fragmentation of memory, but rather time – the fluidity of time, the present moment of experiences and the material of paint. 

Stella aligned himself with a reductive, materialist view of art where paint is paint on a surface, rather than interested in the ineffable roots of abstraction that goes back to Hilma af Klint and the relationship between materiality and immateriality, between finiteness and infinity. One sees this in the paintings of Agnes Martin.


Art is an expression of human relation to human psyche and to the cosmos. Abstraction has been widely conceived of as non-dependency on nature and connection to the void as well as a discovery of invisible spiritual patterns”
— Bracha Ettinger

John Yau. “strips away everything until left with one simple repetitive act that requires intense concentration and a precision that allows for change and accident. It is a way of marking time’s relentless unfolding in which infinity is the only destination. The placement of each impression influences the orientation of the following adjacent impression.”

Macke— an open mechanical process where the touch of the brush leads you through the activity of creating through intuition rather than just a closed repetitive system.

Painting as an act of slow focused contemplation where the mark of the brush marks times unfolding presence.

Color is space and not just something applied to the canvas. Structure, improvisation and the relationship of color creates light and vibration.