There was a movie a few years back that was about a young poet who drove a bus for a living. He had a painter wife who would redecorate their home every day so when he came home there was always something new to find.
Ordinary people you see every day have the same infinite capacity for beauty. There is something unique about each person that is either there on display for is there to find . Everyone. Everyone . You just have to look for it . It may be buried pretty deep but it is in there somewhere.
This is something worth pondering . I know I have been looking at people on the side of the road asking for help and think about that. Somewhere in there is something wonderful. Buried treasure is under a lot of dirt too.
“Calla” is a new painting that I have been working on a few months. Here is the backstory. There is a beautiful Mexican woman I know who has a face that I was compelled to paint. She reminded me of the women in Diego Rivera paintings .There was no photo of her to work from so it is just from memory. The more I put down lines the more she had a story to go with her. I know a little of her actual story but the painting took me a little more down the road of thinking about people who have a totally different life than I do. Mexico has always been a real heartthrob for me because of the passion of the people. The way they celebrate particularly speaks to their soul.
I had to add sequins and rhinestones to the painting to get enough of her in the painting. “Calla” is both the flower and the woman. Simple graceful beauty with a smattering of sparkle for her spirit.
So much work is online now for ease. I know, I know it’s easy! Just scroll through the pages and pages of pictures, quickly scanning them like a shopping list. What is the cost of this to our souls? Are we losing interpersonal contact by just staying skin deep??
Best case scenario is work is done and people physically come see it and be with it and feel it as another person entering a room. What is the energy and story of the work you are looking at? I am thinking back to when I was running a gallery and I had work on the wall from astronomically unique artists who had poured out their beautiful soul. It was an honor to sit with the work for a few months and keep seeing new things that made my heart ache. That is what happens when you connect with the artist , your heart aches a little bit from the connecting with the piece of the universe that you know together.
I think art should be shown in a chapel where you feel compelled to linger and think and be quiet with it. What if there was a gallery that was only one painting big and just had a chair ? What a gift that would be. Everybody has time for looking at one thing. The best thing about that is it would be impossible to be just skin deep.
I was looking at a painting I did 22 years ago when I first had a studio. For some reason when I started, I was just painting in black and white and did these big dancer paintings. It’s not like I had a market for them but I was just walking toward the light by renting a studio and just acting like it would happen. There was a nice big room and lots of light . It was my first real studio.
I had large canvases that I quickly did these big painting on, trying to get gestural strokes of paint to look like dancers moving. I don’t even know what happened to all those paintings. I remember getting this handmade paper from Daniel Smith that spoke to me because it was so heavy and ragged on the edges . Dipping my brush in white and black paint , I just started choreographing the paint around the canvas and the paper.
This was a totally euphoric experience because it sort of was like sumi but had the thrill of being able to ruin it at any time. Acrylic is not like ink so it was like moving spackeling around a wall. Anyway it was a wild free experience that I had forgotten about till I saw this painting. This one little ballerina is the last on left of maybe 50 that I did. Now I wish I knew what happened to the big ones I made and all the little ones that have been forgotten.
It is kind of achey in my heart to look at his painting . It took me back to where I just started to fly and that is always the most exciting part of life- just the first few seconds when you realize you have left the ground.