Monday, August 25, 2014

Walk Toward Me

“In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.”
I ran across this quote by Rumi today, which is just lovely, as Rumi is apt to be, and it got me to thinking...I wonder, how many times have you heard the question, "Where does art come from?"  Have you thought about it?  Does it matter to you?   Do we think about these things too much?  Can the question ever really be answered?  Is your answer the only relevant answer--for you? 

I liken the Rumi quote to the Sanskrit word, namaste.  We've all heard it spoken; it's part of our popular culture now, but more than a greeting, the word namaste is saying that we recognize a spark of divinity in another person, and that that same spark resides within us.  Is art, perhaps, the physical manifestation of the witnessing of our divinity? 

"Walk Toward Me" 10x10 oil and cold wax on wood panel. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

So I Changed

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” Rumi

I've been struggling a bit with my encaustic painting, and have been on a self-imposed break to regroup.  I'm pretty hard on myself when I paint.  Perhaps it's because I'm looking to deliver a piece of myself onto the board or canvas, and if I can't feel my presence, neither will anyone else.  That is my purpose, that is what drives me: to feel the catch in my heart when I know I've done it.  To have the colors, textures and lines translate into an expression of well, my soul.  I'm not saying I've created a masterpiece or that the feeling happens as strongly with every painting, it doesn't.  What I mean is that I am no longer waving my hands about and saying in a childlike manner, "see me, see me!" Instead, I grow older and wiser (hopefully) and feel like it's a kind of offering.  Something that people can take or not, like or not--it's still me.  

"So I Changed" is 16x16 cold wax and oil on a cradled panel.  I posted two photos showing the transformation in my layers on my last post on August 2nd.  This is now the finished painting.  

Saturday, August 2, 2014

On The Easel Lately

"The beginning is the most important part of the work." Plato

In my dreams I often find myself in front of a very large canvas holding an equally large palate knife.  I smooth the paint along and it flows like soft frosting.  The room is quiet; the only sounds are the scratch of the knife as it moves along the canvas and that of my breath.  The act of painting itself seems effortless and natural--graceful even, with movements akin to a waltz. I am meant to do this.

Maybe I've watched the Gerhard Richter documentary too many times, who knows, but seriously, this a recurring dream.   I'm not questioning whether I know what I'm doing or not; I'm just painting.  If only that state of mind would follow me into my waking hours!  I have at least 6 encaustic paintings started and I'm stalled, which is why I've been allowing myself some cold wax time.  It's kind of like the buttery paint of my dreams!

My first layers....   

I image not much of the red will remain-just hints perhaps, but it's just the beginning and like Plato says, it's the most important part of the work.  Surely not for it's great beauty, but rather for the process; for the seed of yourself that is exposed and implanted before your brain and ego get involved.