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agnes martin


I've been busy with details this week. Canvases to stretch, supplies to order, inventory to put in order, emails to answer. I happened to catch an hour long interview with abstract impressionist Agnes Martin one night on the Ovation channel. Part of the interview is now on YouTube.

I have to admit that I have never understood Martin's work until seeing this show. Sure, I have viewed her works in museums, but never could grasp what they were about or why she painted them. Now, I understand; I was looking too fast.

Martin spent forty years of her life painting mostly six-foot canvases of lines. Just lines, in many colors and patterns. Now, that's dedication to a theme!

Hearing Martin speak about her work made me realize that I cannot dismiss these works as just lines. They are each a mood, an emotion, a wisp of an internal reality rather than a representation of an external thing. To understand such an artwork, a person has to slow down to the vibration of that painting. To create such an artwork, an artist has to be empty of everything else but the work.

A reminder for me to slow down, don't let the business details get in the way, and simply enjoy the process of creating.