A sister’s death knocked the stuffing out of me, taking with it the desire to paint. Settling Kathy’s affairs kept things humming along for a while but once activity slowed, anxieties took root. A trip to India slowed the breath, settled the mind and released me to get back to work. Perhaps scattering little sister’s ashes in the Ganges helped. Who knows? I’d been doing tiny things here and there, such as this small baby painting for the Art League Thumb Box Exhibition, but basically it’s been six months since I’ve done anything of note.
Since returning from India, things have turned around. I’ve been painting steadily for over a month. Two works are complete and back from the scanner: “Humpbacked Whale” and “Belle of Columbus Commons.”
The whale piece was mostly a way to move along supplies I’ve stockpiled over the years. The frame was way over-sized for the board in the center, hence the stylized water surrounding the image. I like the visual tension between the two parts of the piece. If nothing else, I feel free to paint exactly as I please.
“Belle of Columbus Commons” is based on a young lady dancing her heart out to a band downtown and, like the whale, it’s all over the place style-wise. The musicians are fairly realistic and so is the figure (well, sort of), but the picnic mat is straight out of an Egyptian tomb painting. I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering why I must work in such a strange, unfashionable way but I can’t help it. My things are like programmatic music. I devise the parameters and place them in the viewer’s mind, quitting only when the piece becomes perfectly still. Maybe these are sight-poems or hieroglyphs but, whatever they are, real creation happens only when someone sees them.
A substantial grant has appeared from the Puffin Foundation so there’s a vote of confidence from the world, even if wall space seems lacking. I am working and waiting for the next opportunity to show these strange, lovely things.