"Each Day Empties" and "Nothing is Lost or Forgotten" - acrylic on wood panel (plywood, uncradled) 10" x 12" and 7" x 5", respectively. Available here and at Artfinder.
Possibility is the secret heart of time. On its outer surface time is vulnerable to transience. Regardless of its sadness or beauty, each day empties and vanishes. In its deeper heart, time is transfiguration. Time minds possibility and makes sure that nothing is lost or forgotten. - JOHN O'DONOHUE, Anam Cara.
Where has the month gone?
Four weeks of color studies are coming to an end, and I feel like I was just getting started. From earth to air to fire to water, Pauline Agnew has taken one set of paints and given us the keys to the color kingdom! I will take up residence there for a while, converting our small tubes to big tubs.
Meanwhile, out in the world, there is shaking and buzzing, the sight of my sisters (from a safe distance) and the considered contemplation of how to do things in a new reality. But not yet...Portland is still "closed."
Five days of caterwauling continues on Facebook and Instagram (are your ears on fire yet?) as we approach the big closing number with Gin Blische on Friday. The malarkey meter is glowing red, and the top is about to explode! Just the way I like it. I wonder what June will bring?
About the art - many layers of acrylic paint in the color palette of the incredible Joan Mitchell, applied with as wide a variety of tools as possible. Allowing the composition to reveal itself, and then following the clues left by the muse. Thank goodness she left one or two for me to follow. :)
In the studio, week two of the e-course with Pauline Agnew awakened a love of new color palettes, new ways of seeing light and a courage to try even more outrageous things in the pursuit of art. We aren't yet "elegant and in rhythm with our selves", but we are doggedly determined to make each lesson stick.
In the park last week, we watched a mother swinging her child around and around in that helicopter way we used to swing our own children, recalling fondly the contagious laughter and the word "again! again!" which all children know is the universal signal for halcyon glee. As this painting emerged last week, my painter spirit whispered again again to the muse.
I like to think that the constant internalization of artists makes us sturdy enough to carry the love, to take it in and pour it out again for others to savor. As I watch the artists in my own creative tribe navigate the waters of current global and personal change, my jaw simply hangs open in awe of their fearlessness, optimism, openness and generosity. It tumbles out in the art, wraps the world in its arms and whispers hey, here's a hug.
About the painting: Some stories are meandering....this painting is one of those stories. Beginning as an e-course exercise in abstracted earthy colors based on an inspiration image, it took a few detours. It wasn't until a subsequent exercise in Diebenkorn glazes that the lightbulb went off and the abstraction fell into place. Acrylic, watercolor crayons, colored pencil and Artgraf. And a whole lot of persistence! (Many thanks to Carl Stoveland Photography for permission to riff off of one of his incredible images)
The Oliver quote above made me pause and smile to myself. It is true. I can be absentminded....but only because my head is busy thinking other things. I am always thinking. Thinking while I walk while I plan while I compose while I write while I paint while I water the plants. There is a whole world of thought in there which I haven't yet tired of exploring. Maybe that is just the lot of the introvert. Or the fertile ground of the creative. But in the new social order, I will likely do-se-do instead of grapevine left. Mind yer toes, there.
About the painting: this began as one of the course color studies, which became an underpainting for the final piece. Acrylic paint, palette knife, paint brush, spray bottle and rubber wedge. The chromatic black is my new favorite color - a mix of Van Dyke Brown and Prussian Blue. Of the colors nearest to black in art, Pauline says the goal is "dark, not dead." Omg. Right on, I say.
This same stillness is oppressive to my newly graduated son, recently returned home from university with his life put on pause just at the moment his momentum was mounting. His feet ache to race forward, even as mine are stubbornly dragging. Sometimes our feet all stop their nonsense and meet in the kitchen for conversation and coffee.
The planets we strained to reach
That was how being young tasted...
I am no longer young except to those who are older
In the way that youth moves along
The conveyor belt
At a consistent distance
- Alicia Jo Rabins, Fruit Geode
About the painting: beginning with a greyscale composition, then adding thick layers of acrylic paint directly onto the board and blending with an extra large brush. Spray bottle and water. Then more paint and a fluffy dry-brushing. This one nearly painted itself - the paint knew just where it wanted to go.
Jen Jovan and her imaJENation