Friday, November 20, 2015

A Question of Size

One of the great pleasures of plein air painting is watching the expanse of a view appear on a small canvas. This tiny painting is only 4" x6", done some months ago, but, it immediately recalls to my mind the freshness of that autumn afternoon and the breathless speed of the brushstrokes. 

Many, many elements contribute to the experience of a work of art.  One of the most fascinating, for me, is scale.  There is so much to consider on this subject, that I'm sure I'll return to it often in this blog, but suffice it to say that my interest began years ago when I discovered that a work I thought was huge (the iconic Red Poppy by Georgia O'Keefe) was really quite small.  Since she painted the subject several times, various dimensions are reported.  The painting that became the image on the stamp, the one that I thought surely had to be monumental was really a rather modest 30x36 and a similar one, I was told, was much smaller, although I cannot verify that.
       What I do know, is that this image, the Red Poppy, looms large in the mind - in our individual mind, and in the shared experience of our cultural mind -and this phenomenon is a kind of metaphor for our current world where every tune, phrase, image and concept goes viral.   It's a very curious phenomenon.

        My little painting, a momentary capture, is utterly inconsequential, having only personal significance of memory and experience - but it makes me wonder - and perhaps on this tiny scale, it speaks, or whispers, of the essence of art.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Returning . . . and a New Beginning

Ahh, Returning,

Well, as we all know, you can never step into the same river twice.  And since I seem to be blogging with the impressively dedicated discipline of once every six months (or so) it should be no surprise that the path, and the tumbling stream, has covered quite some territory.   The future as a gleaming path of snow, ah, what a dream!  (actually delusional -  sweet, but not very interesting).  Even the more challenging unexplored field, now seems more like a fun trek.) The past few months  ( literally exactly five months today)  have presented some of the most physically and emotionally traumatic experiences of my life!

But, here I am, Returning, with eyes wide open to survey the gleaming  field of a new Beginning.   My energy is fueled by the two simple phrases that stay deeply and permanently in my mind -   the first, (which I made up for myself to carry me through life's assorted difficulties), has become my personal mantra:  "Rise above and go beyond"  and the second:  "Renew yourself everyday".

I share these because they helped bring me back here, to the studio, to the work, to the ever emerging beginnings. The pain and traumas I referred to are unimportant.  It doesn't matter what happened - it only matters that things happened, that I survived and my recovery is slow but steady, and that these past five months have left me profoundly changed.