Nepo's poem goes on:
In the very center, under
it all, what we have that no one can take
away and all that we’ve lost face each other.
It is there that I’m adrift, feeling punctured
by a holiness that exists inside everything.
I am so sad and everything is beautiful.
When all that I've lost (in nearly six decades, in my case) meets all that I have (which is more than I ever imagined), I catch my breath. There is a holiness, an unmistakable sacredness, to this. Wonder and grief, in a beautiful duet, leaving me smiling and brimming with tears.
Here are some of the recent gems in the realm of overwhelming beauty:
About the art: beginning with a panel covered in black gesso, mixing a limited palette of colors and applying them with rubber wedge, paper towel, chopstick and brush. Allowing the paint to move and dictate its direction, resisting the desire to drop more color than a small piece can handle. Finishing with colored pencil applied with a very loose, non-writing grip to keep the marks organic.
The wild Pacific is surging through the studio, and a cosmic octopus dropped by.
This piece was a commission request from one of the most sparkly humans I know. So when she asked "would you?" I immediately said "yes!" Personal altars are just that - personal. They speak to your insides while sitting on the outside, gathering your special talismans and holding your hopes and wishes in a sacred place. And if you are a very colorful, very sparkly human, your altar needs a candy-coated cosmic octopus.
I'm going to want one of these for myself!
About the art: beginning with a solid wood, two-tiered altar, the areas to be personalized were taped off and coated with black gesso. A colored pencil sketch followed, along with the requisite 80 million layers of color in both acrylic paint and Uni Posca Paint Pens. Finished with a coat of cold wax to protect paint and wood.
In case you're looking for a little stony inspiration, here are a few of the colorful cast of rocky characters we met at the beach. :)