David Swann: On His Studio

"When visiting my studio for the first time, people are usually surprised to find that it's not cluttered with the usual trappings found in an artist's studio. While there are some half-finished canvases scattered about, there are no splattered dropcloths or sideboards filled with jars of paint or bouquets of brushes and other remnants of the trade. In fact, it seems sterile, almost anticeptic in comparison to the customary artists' lofts and botegas of the past. But in spite of its appearances, it is nonetheless every bit a working studio in every sense of the word."

"While I draw inspiration from a myriad of sources-- at different times and in different places-- my studio is where I go to first give expression and then closure to the creative process. It's the core of the creative act-- the environment in which the creative process takes place, the setting wherein "the method" takes shape."

"I make no pretense of the creative process. For me it just happens. Sometimes what we call "art" (as well as aesthetically pleasing design) is an accident."

"One of the most rewarding aspects of the creative process is to feel something emerge that is in many ways totally different from the original idea. "The painting is finished" Braque once said, "when the idea has disappeared."

"The idea in a painting" Braque said, "is like the launching cradle of a ship. It is like the scaffolding. After the ship is built, it floats; it has left the cradle useless and forgotten. The idea for a painting is similar. You use the idea to build, to guide, and, when your piece is strong enough, it goes off. It floats; it no longer needs the idea to uphold it."

"So my studio contains the tools I use to build my "ships." Sometimes I paint with a traditional brush; sometimes I paint with a sponge or with paper; and sometimes, I paint with a digital "brush" or other assorted electronic impliments. When I do "paint" with the computer, it is simply a means by which I get my vessels into the water sooner."