1. No beginning. No end.

The Circle, 2008, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches (copyright Steven Kenny)

The Circle, 2008, oil on canvas, 30 x 30 inches (copyright Steven Kenny)

Artistic freedom can be paralyzing. The responsibility that comes with creating a new work of art (or blog!) can be overwhelming. What helps me avoid getting bogged down, and gives me a sense of reassurance, is the concept of the circle. (Side note: I have no tattoos but have thought long and hard about what my first one might look like and I think it would be a simple "o".)

For me, creativity is like a merry-go-round. There is no beginning or end and I'm free to hop on or off at any point. At times I think of each of my paintings as a single frame in a long roll of film. Each differs from the one preceding or following it but all are interconnected.

Ouroboros

Ouroboros

Like Ouroboros, the mythical serpent forever swallowing its own tail, I am simultaneously devouring myself and growing at the same time. By holding onto the conceptual tail of my last painting, I'm pulled into the next one. That circular thread acts as an artistic lifeline. The trick is to make sure that each new work, while related to the last, is not simply a reiteration of it. No going back. Only forward! In my case, I've always been able to work on only one painting at a time. Otherwise, I lose focus and my momentum slows to a halt. Stagnation can be deadly.

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So, between now and December, I intend to keep moving. Each blog post will be related to the last in some way, perhaps only apparent to me. My plan at this point is to touch more on the conceptual aspects of my work and less about technical issues (but that may change). Stay tuned to my Facebook page where I'll announce each new blog post. Thanks!

Steven Kenny, Untitled #8, 2016, mixed media, 11 x 11 inches (private collection)

Steven Kenny, Untitled #8, 2016, mixed media, 11 x 11 inches (private collection)

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