As you can see, some of the objects have already appeared in more than one painting. I find myself increasingly drawn to painting the same objects and object sets over and over again. Maybe that repetition has to do with Morandi and how much I like his work. Over the course of his long painting life, Morandi painted the same objects repeatedly. And he is not alone. A recent article (January 5, 2016) in Hyperallergic, one of my favorite art websites, describes the painting repetitions or multiples in the careers of artists as diverse in style as Clifford Still, Rembrandt, Robert Motherwell, and Willem de Koonig.
For me, while I am painting objects, I connect closely with them and the human experiences that they come to represent (the object may start out as a vase but it soon becomes a home that houses people, or it begins as an egg but it becomes a person in search of a kindred soul). After these beautiful objects have come to stand for so much, how can I leave them and just move on to paint something else? Also, when I go back to the same objects, I see more: I see things about the vase, the egg, the apple, the glass, etc., that I didn't see the first time around. I also see more about the relationships between objects and the collectives that they represent. Seeing more leads to deeper thinking and caring, and to better painting. It is a good thing to go back and do it again.
Yes, these are ideas that stretch from inside to outside the studio, from painting to life. In work, family, relationships, political commitments, cultural and educational pursuits, with friends, we probably don't get it all the first time around -- don't respond, don't contribute, don't receive as much as we might have. Why not try to go back and do it again. This isn't about living in the past and getting caught up in regrets. It's about looking for and creating second chances, seizing them, thinking and caring more deeply, and doing it better.