About the painting: layers of water-soluble ink applied loosely with a brush. Acrylic paint added to sky and liberally vandalized with bare fingers. Acrylic added to lower portion and sprayed with water. A thin line of quinacridone violet added to the horizon with a small brush.
Art is a highly organized form of wandering - Brian Rutenberg, Studio Visits Episode 51
At first glance, there is very little about the creative process here that seems organized. But when we look a little closer at the quote...wandering isn't organized at all, is it? Perhaps the organized part is just that we show up regularly with art supplies and free hands. And then things happen - like this painting, an atmospheric free-fall using only rubber wedge and paper towels. The magic in this particular piece was achieved by beginning with an underpainting of gold gesso, which adds a glow to everything and loves to be revealed when paint on top is scraped away. And the gold is only there because I wandered into it while rifling through paints while waiting for the muse. Hmmmm. Wandering might just be the key to everything. :)
Thank you to EVERYONE who responded to our Valentine's story, and especially to those who submitted their own heart-felt tales over the last week. :) Cat, Kitten and Pooch, Inc. were a bit overwhelmed by their choices, and so have decided to select TWO winners! Congratulations to Cindy J. and to Candis, whose stories of love late in life and early in life, respectively, will each inspire a collaborative piece from us. Love ALWAYS wins!
This weekend, we spent a lot of time with Barbara Rae and her paintings of the Northwest Passage. Color, texture, collage and shadowy figures. Her influence on what I see has already begun. She takes the mood of Ornulf Opdahl and turns it into a feast of vibrant color and delicious abstraction.
But let's take a minute to dwell in the promise of spring and new beginnings with the wisdom of Irish poet John O'Donohue:
Though your destination is not yet clear
you can trust the promise of this opening;
unfurl yourself into the grace f beginning
that is at one with your life's desire
_ from "For a New Beginning" from the book To Bless the Space Between Us
Thank you to everyone for all the stories of LOVE in response to last week's Valentine blog post! Keep 'em coming! The winner will be drawn Wednesday evening and announced this Thursday.
Let's talk about Murphy. Facing down a mastodon (well, at least that's what I see in this painting). What on earth could that mean for us this week? It rattled around in my thoughts until this dropped into my lap:
“A further sign of health is that we don’t become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it’s time to stop struggling and look directly at what’s threatening us.”
― Pema Chodron
Oh. Yep. Looking directly at things. Even those things which make us cringe and want to avert our eyes. I did that recently - stared directly at the elephant in the room (or the mastodon in the painting, so to speak) and voila! A clear understanding of what needed to happen next to lead that pachyderm out the door. Life imitating art imitating potatoes and behemoths. It's going to be a good week. :)
Ordinary courage - speaking from the heart - isn't so easy. This week I've been drawn to all kinds of people speaking honestly and openly (brave, vulnerable humans!) and also to the exquisite openness the listener often feels safe to display in response. Telling our stories from the heart forges a connection unlike any other. A sweet reward for an act of ordinary bravery. I'll take more of that.
You, dear readers, are bravely risking yourselves in the world. Some of you, for a son or a daughter. Others, for the right partner. Many of you for the right thing (often that thing is making art or creating whatever your heart is pulling you to bring forth). Your longing makes you brave, courageous, tenacious and bold.
Whyte says longing is a form of moving...In longing we move and are moving from a known but abstracted elsewhere, to a beautiful, about to be reached, someone, something or somewhere we want to call our own. Let's move from abstracted elsewhere to beautiful. Here - take my hand. We can be brave together.
About the painting - black gesso over a well-grained wood panel. Initial sketch with a chopstick and red paint. Adding layers of acrylic and acrylic mixed with gesso while resisting (RESIST! RESIST!) the urge to overly refine. A layer of deep dark blue over the black gesso'd background to add depth and more contrast and interest.