And isn't it lovely permission, Oliver's words, that our work is "mostly standing still and learning to be astonished"...permission to pause, savor, stand. Let's stand here together, dear reader, in rapt astonishment. :)
This piece wasn't exactly supposed to happen.
It began as a paint throwing (splattering, spreading, spraying, playing) experiment and then, as it tends to be, I saw a face in the paint. A form, a pose, a shape. Honestly, one of a number of life drawing pose pics I've been contemplating was stuck in my head. So I grabbed the paint (and not the camera, dang it) and just kept going.
There is something about vulnerability in a male face, gesture, body, pose - that strength and softness in one that speaks to this tender hearted artist in loud voices that say PAINT ME. And so, I did. :)
A pictorial history of the painting:
Whether it is a big sky over the ocean or a big sky on top of a mountain, my heart leaps and my eyes widen and I have to stop and ogle. The thing about skies is - they change in a second. The sunlight shifts, the clouds morph and move, the mists overcome the light...you have a second to capture that image. Or an hour to stand slack-jawed and just watch its splendor. It is the cure for many things, these big skies. Go out there and get one for yourself. Let me know what you see. :)
I've written here often about the softening of my edges and the opening of my heart. And what I found in my hunting is this: it takes me a little longer to process these experiences lately because they soak in well beyond my surface. There is so much...so very much...exquisiteness and beauty and sound and scent and texture and feeling and OH OH OH.
So, as I process it all today, I contemplate the next painting. With more images to choose from than an artist maybe has a right to have, I've narrowed it down to the three here. Notanized photographs from these hikes, with interesting compositions and values and line and shape. Not too busy, not too simple. I will put these on the wall of my studio to contemplate. But, dear reader, if you have an opinion on which notan is most interesting, let me know in the comments below. Wherever your weekend takes you - happy hunting!
And what I've learned is this: sometimes a thing will reveal itself when I stop trying to understand it. WHAT? That's some sort of zen magic there. Doing NOTHING and learning SOMETHING? But here's the rub - the reading, mulling, talking and thinking about things opens a world of ways of viewing those things. So that when I do (finally, reluctantly sometimes) just let a thing BE and it reveals or resolves, it is only because I tried to understand that I can recognize what just happened.
Sigh. Life is messy. We might as well be covered in paint.
The pose of this piece attracted me to the words of Oliver, which of course felt a little like the universe expounding on my own life and the desire to keep reaching out...or, rather, "standing around as though with (my) arms open." I am learning, lately, to look with my arms open. And by arms I also mean heart and mind and life and spirit. The more I stand with arms open, looking, the more I see and feel and know exquisite things I never dreamed of before.
Along with that, of course, I also see and feel and know sorrow, pain, longing, loneliness, doubt and grief. My own and also the feelings of those my arms reach for and hold tenderly. And yet, in the slow, careful pace of a pandemic, there is time to process all the things and give them each attention. It feels right, this pace. I'm pretty sure my current spirit creature is snail or sloth or slow loris. Bring it on, universe, but slowly. :)
While I get back to work on videos, enjoy a little pictorial history of this painting:
About the art: these insect studies were created as inspiration for a graphic novel project (currently in process). Pen and ink and watercolor on watercolor paper, with hand printed paper collage. In the moth piece, old-timey cap=gun caps were detonated with a rock on the paper to leave a tiny vertical trail. Because with mixed media, anything goes!
Jen Jovan and her imaJENation