Saturday, September 24, 2011

A New Cave

I have been looking at my painting for a while now, and just couldn't bring myself back to the painting. I finally figured out that I didn't enjoy looking at it. I had to ask myself, if  I don't enjoy looking at my painting, why would I ask anyone else to? Don't get me wrong, I am not painting only for an audience, but I am aware that I have a desire to share my expressions.
So, I repainted the cave into a space I wouldn't mind going in to. And now that I can look at it again, I will be able to come back to it and continue painting.
It's strange to me the way different mediums inspire different ways of working. I haven't figured out how to capture the immediate emotional intimacy in oil that I have done in India Ink. India Ink inspires a light and hopeful raw expression from me. Oil seems to create a heavy, tedious tendency to bring up every serious thing to the surface. If I could somehow merge these two things together, I might have something.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Trading Art with Ralph

I am so excited, I just traded art with Ralph Giunta. He is an amazing prolific photographer who documents his life through the lens. I traded him my "Two Joyful People" for his "Welcome Home".  Definitely check out his work, and click the link to see the work he traded. I love the photo he traded for so many reasons. Of course there is the obvious brilliantly balanced composition and fantastic contrast...but my favorite part is the path that disappears around the corner. Every time I look at it I think about something great happening just around the corner. It's a peaceful space to occupy even without going around the corner, but that just adds to it and becomes three dimensional in more than one way.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Other Painting

I started this painting weeks ago, but have only managed to come back to it recently. This is my second attempt to paint over an old painting from a long time ago. So far, more of the old painting is incorporating itself into the new painting than in the first painting I painted over. But I am only on the second layer, so who knows what could happen. I have been thinking a lot about inner spaces, and will elaborate on that more later. For now, here are my first two layers of paint on the old painting.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Giving you a moment to view the inside of my mind

Because so many people have asked me about the meaning of this painting, I have decided to allow you a moment to view the inside of my mind. The painting I am discussing is the deer painting from my last post. I usually talk about what my paintings are about on here, and I didn't do it with the deer painting. The main purpose for this painting at the beginning was to conquer my fear of painting over an old painting that I have had for a long time. To just paint, and be willing to paint whatever came up to the surface. The things that came to the surface of this painting were products of real things that recently happened as well as books I had been reading and subjects I had been going around and around in my mind. I don't want to get into everything, because some of the subjects I am still thinking about and still planning to work into future paintings.

The deer painting contains the subject of a real deer who had tried, and succeeded in getting into our edible garden for at least a month. We had tried several things to keep the deer out, but he kept getting in. The trees on the bottom of the painting are Moringa trees which we planted more and more of along the fence and grow fast and will one day become a living fence, thus keeping the deer out. We have since added a top part to the fence and the deer no longer visits the garden. So, that is a literal aspect of the painting. But, at the same time I was influenced by these books I was reading about human behavior in prehistoric times, along with images of these caves in Cave of Forgotten Dreams .

None of that was an intentional conscious inclusion, but all of these images surfaced from my mind because they had been circling there and creating a life of their own. There is also, always I think, an inner conflict between old natural ways of doing things---organically aligned with everything on the planet, and the current destructive way that we live now—driving cars, building structures that do not contribute to the smooth natural flow of the ecosystem that has existed for so long. So, the under painting managed to squeeze itself into the new painting because it was the modern and the ancient battling behind the deer. I don't often bring all of the background of things I think and struggle with in my paintings, because I think it's easier to present one theme or one idea. Sometimes there is only one theme or idea, but usually there are things that went into the painting or are associated with it that I don't feel are necessary to explain. They have been transferred energetically into the painting, and give it a weight that it otherwise wouldn't have, but they don't need to be spelled out. I also don't want to overwhelm the viewer with too much of my own mind. Like always, I feel that the viewer brings their half of perspective and associations to the painting, and that is what completes it. The viewer in a sense finishes the painting by bringing their own personal meaning into it.