|PAINTING BY ALEX KANEVSKY|
Like many of the artists there, I wasn't sure about what to expect from the structure of the weekend. I wondered what we could learn in 2 days from a man whose works are famous for the number of layers and months that go into producing them. I needn't have worried: it wasn't about technique; the weekend was all about how to be an artist. Never once mentioning market forces or galleries, Alex talked eloquently and at length about the practises and thought processes that will lead to the creation of meaningful, honest works.
We divided our time between painting one of two model set ups in the large studio, and going to a separate classroom to look at slides and hear Alex's thoughts on making art. Referencing such diverse examples as Diebenkorn's "notes to himself" and Liz Taylor's multiple and passionate marriages, he made us laugh and made enough light bulbs go off in my head to light a room.
This is all vague and tantalizing, I know. It can't be summed up in a blog post and will be something that I can chew on for the rest of my painting life. But, for me, the examples and philosophy that Alex presented made me realize that honest communication and expression, and absolute commitment to the execution of every single brushstroke and passage of paint are what I need to focus on. Just that. It's plenty, I think.