HOW I WORK
I relate the pictorial process to the ideas of Carl Jung (developed upon in jungdarwinbook.com). Accordingly, I try in the course of a picture to combine my conscious and unconscious responses to the subject. Creativity comes from the unconscious, but the creative impulse is best served when it is mated to consciousness. Jung demonstrated that there is a collective unconscious common to us all. It plays an enormous role in our lives and is the well-spring of consciousness. When our consciousness and the collective unconscious act in harmony we can sometimes surprise ourselves with what comes out. A famous painter, Sargent I think, once said of a successful painting: “The important thing is to have been there when it was done”.
I have painted all the usual subjects, but my primary focus has come to be on the female nude. It is something concrete to which to respond and something I find infinitely variable. I hope the encounter with the figure, and later with the evolving painting, will activate unconscious processes that participate in the production of the work. By tempering these processes through conscious control, I aim for a unified work that achieves freedom in execution while honoring rules of color and composition yet maintaining a recognizable relationship to the figure. Without constraints imposed by consciousness, there is chaos. Without the creative power of the unconscious, there is sterility. For Robert Frost. “Free verse is like playing tennis without a net.” For me the figure is the net.
(Tom Lawson, out standing in his field)
My office and studio are attached to an old stable a short distance from the house.