"Waking Close to the Bone" - mixed media on cradled wood panel, 12" x 36" x 1.5". Ready to hang (sides are painted; no. need to frame. Hanging hardware attached). Available here and at Artfinder.
Now, simply by waking, waves of feeling pulse close to the bone, and this continual pulse is so deep it aches. It is the ache of being alive. I used to think this ache was sadness, but now know it is deeper than not getting what I want or losing what I need. This waking close to the bone is the pulse from which both joy and sadness rise, where pain and wonder meet. Now I wake on stubborn fall days that resist the cold, I wake before the sun, the world wet with anticipation, and feel this ache, the way the Earth feels its core grind about that central fire that no one sees. It is the slight burn of being here. - MARK NEPO
'"The slight burn of being here" - Nepo wields words in a ways that resonates deeply with me. When I am floundering for the right words, a way to cut through the muck and get to the unabashed heart of things, it is always Nepo.
The year fearlessness, the emergence of Lola (which really means, the year of being afraid but leaping anyway, the emergence of all that I have always been but was too afraid to be) has had some unexpected consequences. By opening my heart to see my own pain, I see the pain of others, even (and perhaps especially) those who have caused my pain. By opening my heart to the beauty of others, I see my own extraordinariness. And I discover it is harder to look at what is bright and beautiful in me than to look at what is broken and flawed. I strive to wake close to the bone...where pain and wonder meet. It feels very close.
Waking Close to the Bone
About the art: This week in the studio, I embrace the peculiar again. Allowing a portrait to jump off into wherever it wants to go, shushing the inner critic and seeking the emotion, without sacrificing composition and color. Charcoal and acrylic paint on unprimed wood panel. Liberal use of water, wedge, squeegee and fingers. An oddly-edged Catalyst wedge provides striations in the paint. Embracing the color of putty, and how it sings when pushed up against cadmium red light and magenta.
It is such a great joy when something I bring into the world somehow helps another birth her own creation. In this case, the outrageously amazing art of Matilda Carr-Betts.
Carr-Betts is a 16 year-old student of artist Deborah Gregg in Florida. She used one of my distorted self-portraits to inspire her own piece (left), and gave me permission to share it here. Keep. your eyes out for this up and coming artist. She is already embracing her inner wild.