close
gburns logo

Unmapped Journey 2004

I always hoped that huge floodlights would illuminate my path as an artist, beaming brightly across the potted landscape, enabling me to clearly distinguish what trajectory I should take.

Instead, I discovered that the journey unfolds without distinct signposts. It is like walking on a moon-less night in the pitch-black woods with a partner that tarries fifty feet behind holding the only flashlight. The flimsy beam of light that illuminates his footsteps begrudgingly spills a pittance of light forward and onto the area in front of me. I can discern only the faintest of indications as to which way to go without stumbling over a cliff or crashing into a tree. I stagger forward, correcting my path as I go with every tidbit of information available.

I have grown accustomed to this methodology of starting off half-blindly and then discovering en-route which way to go. In traveling, my journeys often embrace this same routine, departing with only a sketchy notion of where to go and what to do. Arriving in airports or train stations without hotel reservations has been the norm and often precipitated delightful adventures.

Allowing for life and the journey to unfold on its own terms can lead us to locations we would otherwise never enjoy.

When painting, I often begin with a similar methodology. I may choose a starting point and some coordinates, but after reaching an initial landfall, I open myself to the journey. I find with no fixed destination I often end with exciting and meaningful compositions and conclusions.

‘Unmapped Journey’ is a series of paintings constructed while en-route towards yet to be defined destinations. In my stumbling I move forward, arriving in places I always wanted to be, but could never have imagined before starting out. I’m still getting used to this after forty years of stubbed toes and wasted paint.

California, Canada & Singapore

Go top