A few thoughts on painting: what is an image, really?
Drawing, as Matisse remarked, is simply painting with limited means. When I make an oil painting or a watercolour painting, it is an extension of my drawing. The term “drawing” is much more interesting than “painting”. The former, in English, also means to pull out: the image is pulled out of the surface. That’s how I think about the practice of image-making: images are pulled out of surfaces. At the same time, an imaginary or illusory space is pushed in to the surface. This process begins as soon as you make a single mark, with the mark in the foreground, floating in a kind of void. So no matter how two dimensional you try to be, your image is always already three dimensional, a projection.
Making paintings is a game
You can play other games: try to make your painting a single colour, for example. But that only reinforces the relationship between the work and its environment: the work itself is a figure against the ground of the wall.
So we’re always playing with projections in visual art. That’s okay. The visual world itself is a projection too, inverted on our retinas. Now we can begin.