art by Arlene Kim Suda

pay attention...

pay attention…

pictures as miracles

Posted on August 19, 2014 by aks

I am taking a great online course produced by the MoMA on the techniques of postwar abstract painting. Here are a couple beautifully inspiring quotes from the class that are resonating for me in my studio currently.

Mark Rothko, Untitled 1968
Synthetic polymer paint on paper, 17 7/8 x 23 7/8″

“The most important tool the artist fashions through constant practice is faith in his ability to produce miracles when they are needed. Pictures must be miraculous: The instant one is completed, the intimacy between the creation and the creator is ended. He is an outsider, the picture must be for him, as for anyone experiencing it later, a revelation, an unexpected and unprecedented resolution of an eternally familiar need.”

Mark Rothko, 1948


Jackson Pollock, Number 1A, 1948
Oil and enamel paint on canvas, 68″ x 8′ 8″

“When I am in a painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It is only after a sort of ‘get acquainted’ period that I see what I have been about. I have no fears about making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well.”

Jackson Pollock, 1949