Drawing has been a daily activity throughout my life, and my most recent work is composed entirely through a process of linear repetition of drawn lines, each individually drawn by hand horizontally across the entire width of the canvas from the left edge to the right edge. The notion of “time thinking about itself” is intensified in both my embodied physical creation of these many lines, and in the viewer’s perception of these lines.
This physical process of laying down a first line free-hand, and then in the next line immediately below, responding to slight variations, leads to a cascade of undulations and vacillations from one line to the subsequent one, all the way down to the lower margin.
The viewer’s eye follows these undulating, uninterrupted lines that simultaneously evoke both the shifting reflective surfaces of water as well as its ineffable depth. To some these abstract organic lines evoke brain waves, topographical maps, sheet music, and writing. Each painting has it's own resonance, rhythm, harmony and depth and evokes highly personal responses. I combine aspects of writing, music, and recording into a form that, like reading and listening, takes place over time. Viewers can follow these lines to "read" my drawings purely visually and interact with them at a level beyond comprehension, description, and narrative. My process of making them and the process of viewing them opens up wide possibilities of interpretation and collaboration.
In these recent works too, I first apply gold, bronze, or aluminum leaf to the canvas, before then painting over the entire metal surface with acrylic paint. My technique is then very simple: I use the end of my brush handle, a stick or similar tool to scrape through the layer of wet acrylic paint to reveal a swaying web of light shining through the color. To make other works, I work almost in reverse: I first paint the canvas or paper with a luminous field of color and then draw lines across its surface with a pen. In fact, to achieve the visual effect I wished, after much experimentation, I adapted a fountain pen tool for use with acrylic paint.
Drawing each individual line requires a focused concentration and also records the time it takes to go from one side of the canvas or paper to the other without lifting my hand. Time and distance are such relative concepts and experiences, and these abstract time-based works translate a philosophical idea into a visual form that can be experienced and envisioned by others. As viewers walk along the larger paintings, their shadows and reflections create a unique yet fleeting experience, one that is echoed by the flowing composition of the paintings.
These newest works, like time itself, are far more abstract than most of my earlier work. Though the composition is very abstract and devoid of a horizon, my lines might recall landscapes or certain musical characteristics. Music, like a walk through a landscape unfolds over time, in a flow, with beginnings and ends, and crescendos and lulls, depending on what we notice, or where we started.
Paul Hunter© Libretto #LM, 40" x 60", aluminum leaf, acrylic on canvas
Paul Hunter© Libretto #DE, 40" x 60", aluminum leaf, acrylic on canvas
Paul Hunter© Libretto #TV 60" x 80" aluminum leaf, acrylic on canvas
Paul Hunter© Libretto #NO 40" x 60" gold and aluminum leaf, acrylic on canvas
Paul Hunter© Libretto #QS 40" x 60" gold and aluminum leaf, acrylic on canvas
Paul Hunter© Libretto #PR 40" x 60" aluminum leaf, acrylic on canvas