Geer Morton

Artist Statement

My painting is the result of seeing things I care about and wanting to capture them.  As a kid in the country, I often spent my free time drawing and painting.  It seemed like a natural extension of an isolated farm life.  Later, as a young man, I wanted to make important paintings from important issues, in line with social realsim and the war-time art I'd seen.  But those ideas didn't fit comfortably in my hand, and learning to instead use the simple themes of my life was a bittersweet process of acceptance.

Like most, I started with some talent, but found that the real struggle is emotional and spiritual.  Each artist is called to make something out of nothing each day, to go it alone despite the competitive demands of the world:  time, money, ideology, security and intellectual pretension.  So my job each day is to make as good a painting as I can, one pleasing to me; and leave the question of aesthetics to the critics and art historians.

Painting to me is like eating a great meal.  At a friend's house I saw a bed of flowers that looked gorgeous in the sunlight, and I wanted to get down on my hands and knees and browse cow-like -- they looked so delicious!  I wanted to take them all inside me, and this is what painting is for me:  a way to own what I see.

For years I've wondered why I often get my best stuff while working late in the day.  Recently it's occured to me that it comes from working under limited conditions:  in this case a limited amount of time.  There's not time for the niceties, no time for adjustments, and design takes a back seat.  Most of all, there's not time for listening to the critic in me, the part that plays art games, trying to forever please my teachers of years ago.  To hell with everything.  And quite  often it's a good painting.

Now in later life, I work to enrich the experience of painting for myself.  I seek a deeper intimacy with the work, a delicacy and elegance;  I look for a sense of space, a place in which a variety of responses are possible.  In the paintings of the masters, the artist shows us a wide variety of possibilities, depending on both how he wanted us to see things, and our own ability to see.  That's magic.  I'd like to have something of that in my paintings.


                                                           Kitchen Still Life,  22" x 18"

 

                             Boats and Dock,  11 x 14