Into a Realm of Freedom
Sometime in my sixth decade in the beginning of the oughts I passed into a realm of freedom.
In the early 2000s I stopped making work for three years and didn't feel bad about it. I faintly realized then that I was making a transition from 30 years of working only from direct observation.
As I entered my seventh decade I experienced some mild cataclysms and sharp synchronicities where just about everything about my art came together and I began to use the skills I had learned from those observational years that were as sharply focussed on what was in my mind, memory and heart as they had been on the observed world. So it was a good thing because finally I knew what I wanted to explore and pursue in my art.
The anxieties of constructing an art work within the strictures of formalism passed into a sense of the lightness with revelations that my work could just flow to the end, whenever that may come.
There’s no finality, no fatal-ness there, no resignation, above all no morbidness; but, as I said, a lightness, a lightening up, a permission given to myself to treat the work as an entity responsive to my sensibilities, moods, ideas and touch each and every day.
©John Tomlinson, Lumberland, Upper Delaware River Valley, New York • 2010; revised in 2017 and 2019
The artist at his studio work table 2017 ©photo Noah Kalina
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