charles walker + francis livingston

march 6 - april 25, 2015


painting a painting is more about listening than speaking. while in the beginning you do find yourself doing most of the talking. “this goes here. this goes there. that works, and that looks awful so get rid of it.” these are the things you find yourself declaring with your gestures. at some point in this process the painting wakes up and starts chirping at you, making suggestions about what to do next. you will be well heeded to listen to the painting at this point. sometimes you get into an argument or have a different view of things with the painting and you have to ‘blow up’ a section. this happens. you move on and keep working.

at the end of the painting cycle the painting reaches a point of stillness as the painting tends to go silent. that’s when i know that i am done with this particular painting. sometimes i refer to this as the moment where the painting ‘disappears,’ offering no further instructions on what to do next. i then have to decide if i agree with the painting and move on or blow it up and keep going.

My paintings are a record of this dialogue or conversation I have with the object. The Art exists in the process, the call and response between artist and canvas where in the end the painting has the last say as to what works and I am simply left to agree. One thing I have learned is that the paintings are a lot smarter than I am so it is in my best interest to listen to what they have to say.

charles walker,  2015

architecture has long been a subject of painters.  i look back through history and artists that have had an influence on the evolution of my interest in painting buildings and they are a formidable group of painters. from john singer sargent to the ashcan school, george bellows, edward hopper, richard diebenkorn and so many others.

the particular section of the buildings, the facade, is the subject of this show. While working on the paintings, i find myself attracted to the abstract quality that is present in the structure.  the primary reason for buildings is to serve a function of housing, storage, shelter of some sort.  i don't concern myself with the architectural function.  when
i look at the facades i see shapes. i see light and dark.  there are details in columns and moulding.  things on the fronts of buildings are thick, thin, colorful, colorless, reflective, and to me, an endless source of inspiration for creating artwork.
we have all grown up and lived our daily lives walking down streets and passing stores and places of residence. even in small towns this occurs.  on holidays when the windows are decorated or there is something in particular that draws us to the building we pay attention to it.  mostly it is something we pass by on our way somewhere else.
even if we don't think so at the time, these building facades are etched in our memory, sometimes on a daily basis.