Interiors
Tom Ferguson

1969-70

 

All Interiors 12"-ish square,
oil on canvas, 1969. You can
walk through, from the Interior one, by using the "next" button

Interior 1.
Interior 2.
Interior 3.
Interior 4.
Interior 5.

Interior 6 & 6a

Interior 7.

Interior 8.

Interior 9.

Interior 10.
Interior 11.
Interior 12.
Interior 13.
Interior 14.
Interior 16.
Interior 17.
Interior Group

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Artist statement from a touring
retrospective brochure of 1984

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 I dropped out of art school after 5 semesters of intensive work. At the time I couldn't have articulated it but I needed to withdraw and digest what I had encountered. I was being expected to create large "serious" canvases but I wasn't there yet. I did some of those, falling into a vaguely social realist style but then decided to get together some money to travel to Europe. A back injury working as a stevedore, Spring 1969, put me in bed for three days. By the third day I was seeing composition every- where and hobbled to my studio to stretch up some canvas, and thus began the series that is, as of 2006, now complete.

I would usually use sunday or monday
to stretch up the week's canvases, being loose, not measuring the wood
so they'd be not quite square... and i'd paint around the edge, continuing the image there. The 12" square suited my attention span at the time, allowing me to finish a painting in one sitting then shift to studying music or writing or reading -  fiction, politics, philosophy.

Attending Art School had given me a direction. I realized I could LEARN!
I could hardly contain myself, wanting
to do everything - study philosophy, filmmaking, fiction writing, music, politics. I felt like I was born to do these things and I was getting a really late start, no time to lose! There was also the factor of self-esteem... I had found an identity and was anxious to fill it out.
The interior was all around me so I
used some of the seemingly endless compositions - on the kitchen table, then beyond it, there in the corner, a small table, a vase... I had discovered that Painting was organizing color and that insight freed me to do it, to just engage in the activity and let it grow.

When I dropped out of school I drove a cab and later worked in a gas station. I moved into the lower of a $45 a month duplex with a fellow art student. We got married to please her macho father who was very sensitive on the subject of propriety. When I started producing 4-5 paintings a week I also started doing summer art fairs, selling paintings quite cheap and living cheap - no TV, no phone, rusty VW, the occasional album for a clunky stereo.
I spent my reclusive days painting, studying music, reading political books, writing poetry & fiction, short stories, delving into my new-found intellectual & creative heritage.
In December of 69 I took a job
at the post office, working 6 tedious months, saving $1,000 or so for a planned Europe trip. I couldn't paint while working full time, never could but
I did some writing and my first songs. The friend who lived upstairs had sold me a guitar for $10 and thrown in 10 lessons. He also turned me on to Bob Dylan. I've always been kind of approach-avoidance regarding perfectionist personalities which is abit self-destructive since Type A people tend to be impatient with my shortcomings... and so it eventually was with my first intellectual mentor. But that's about judgement and i've grown less vulnerable to it, from myself and from others.


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Bonus(!) Images
These two paintings were done for a gallery at the request of a client who subsequently disappeared. He or she wanted something, or so they said, in
the style of post-impressionism, Klimt, Van Gogh maybe, something like
that. So I did the paintings on spec, expecting to sell them but ending up
with two paintings I didn't really
want to put forth as mine yet... it
was fun to do them & one eventually went into a collection:
Interiors a la France!


Most of the interiors and some of the cityscapes were painted around the
edge of the canvas to emphasize the objectness and eliminate what I then considered meddling, framing. Here's
a couple shots showing that aspect
on the first interior.

These interiors were so well received
that occasionally I would do a new
one as a gift. View on here.
   
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