2019: Balancing the Bitter and the Sweet

2018 ended with the completion of “Tana of Waikiki” (or “Devi” or “Witch” or however I end up naming the thing) and three little paintings of harpies. I’m letting “Tana” rest, either as a test of resolution or just plain old possessiveness, who can tell? In contrast, the harpies are about as done as I can make them.

“Rainbow Harpy” by Lynda McClanahan

These are small works, 4 1/2″ x 5 1/2″, an unusual size required by three frames found in a thrift store. Friend and master carpenter Dave Barnes generously cut the surfaces from leftover birch plywood in his garage.

“Blue Harpy” by Lynda McClanahan

The subject came as a surprise, to myself and others too, I suspect. In a world in which being pretty is the prime directive, it feels profoundly risky to display female rage for public view. Frankly, I wish I’d given myself more cover by not including the white braids on this one but there must have been a psychic imperative to do so. For women, being brave can mean not much more than affirming that you’re a full human being.

“Green Harpy” by Lynda McClanahan

2018 was a year of doing the best work of my life. It also marked a change in the way I curate the ideas which continually bubble up to the surface. Perhaps watching my mother-in-law progress slowly toward death has ignited a more visceral reaction to the prospect of my own demise. In any event, the impulse to dive deeply into the bitter as well as the sweet has become more and more insistent.

This year’s motto: I am brave, industrious and clear-eyed.

I contemplate life as it is.


One thought on “2019: Balancing the Bitter and the Sweet

  1. Melissa Obergefell says:

    Many blessing to you in the new year, Lynda. You are a source of great inspiration to me. I appreciate Life’s living of you. Peace—- Missy O

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