Monday, May 28, 2012

Bluepearry, 6x6 oil on canvas.  Bid on eBay

A little more on my history:  My artist friends can attest that my earliest work was, to say the least, ēmo.   A small sampling below:

 I played tenaciously with chiaroscuro.  At times losing the the lit edges entirely in the light and the shadow edges in the shadows.  I used to joke it was because there was no drama in my mundane life that I felt a need to interject it into my art.  ...?  Who can say that??  Certainly not me.  Not at the time anyway.  My father had died around that time and I had learned that he had covered for my mothers Alzheimer's like a pro.  I was left to care for her and that, boys and girls, was not mundane.  It was maddening, horrifying, and a multitude of other feelings I'd rather not explore right now.  

So as I progress through this retrospective period and analyze the daylight out of my work, I ask you, what is said about an artist through his/her work?  Look at Edvard Munch and The Scream.  On the other hand, consider Georgia O'Keeffe's work.    Is it color that we first respond to?  What do  brush strokes, choice of brush, or subject matter have to say?  What can be said about how we interpret and relate shadow and light?  How much can really be said without saying it at all?  

I've certainly traveled a few miles from my ēmo (short for emotional, by the way. An older buzz word for those who prefer to wear all black including black fingernail polish, black eyeshadow and so forth - as I understand it)  fruit.  I, myself, was never ēmo.  Not even close.  I was a soccer mom.  With a perm.  And a station wagon.  Actually, no.  By then the station wagon had evolved into an Acura I'm happy to say.  All in all I was, by and large, the average American homemaker, caring for her elderly mother.  One of many. One in a crowd.  A army of housewives, invisible to the world, caring for their elderly mothers dieing in care facilities. Dieing on the inside and the outside.  Losing touch with the world and themselves.  But I digress.

I was never ēmo.  Certainly not when I painted Bluepearry.  Nope.  By then I had come to terms with my reality.  I had bonded with the congregation of housewives across the world crushed with the reality of losing reality.  I had bonded to my reality and accepted it for what it was. I was now able to paint happy, rich, colorful little worlds on my little 6x6 canvases in the privacy of my 10x12 studio just behind my yellow house.   I could paint the same pear until it was worthy of the compost pile yet you would never see a scar or a bruise on one of my little pear paintings.  You would never know it was getting to the melting stages.  Decaying.  I would paint the heck out of that thing.

I still like chiaroscuro.  It no longer comes naturally for me though.  Or maybe I should say, I'm not drawn to it like I used to be.  That was an era.  A moment.  That was then.  

Today I list my Bluepearry.  The background is warm which is fairly odd to me.  And the foreground is cooler.  Even odder.  I've begun painting warm shadows and cool light.  I prefer that now, actually.  It's happy, I think.  And I think the pear is in charge - if you want to go there.  Or maybe it just looked right to place it as such and randomly scatter the little blueberries about.  It is what it is.   But I wonder what, if anything, it has to say..

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Crisp Trio, 6x6 Oil on canvas. Bid on eBay
After a much needed sabbatical from mid March through April I am happy to say I am back in the saddle, so to speak,  inspired and energized. 

Much has transpired since then.

I've been giving a lot of thought to my paintings and what others see.  I've heard many comments on various aspects such as "beautiful work!" and "juicy brushwork" as well as " full of color!".  All of which are much appreciated! :)  Who wouldn't want their ego stroked from time to time?  I wonder though, after a rather riveting conversation with a local gallery manager, what people feel when they see my work.  Granted, this is a painting of 3 apples.  What are you supposed to feel?  Hungry?  Maybe..  I glanced back through my digital files in the day view (that is - the most current upload listed at the top and descending by date to the first upload at the bottom of the file) what, if anything, is said about me through my paintings ~  Too deep??  Get used to it, I'm reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Repair and it's inspired an introspective approach to my own work ~Wikipedia says, "..Introspection (or internal perception) is the self-examination of one's conscious thoughts and feelings.[1]"

This particular painting is happy.  Satisfied.  Non threatening.  Maybe even sunny - cheerful.  The composition is non chaotic.  Simple, if you will, yet the apples are snuggled together.  Whatever that means. 

When I painted this, all was well.  My future was perhaps not defined but secure enough.  I had a degree of routine but not boring.   You see, at the time I painted this I was caring for my mother who had Alzheimer's.  Not by myself but with the help of a wonderful facility about 4 miles away.  My responsibilities were to love and visit her, pay her bills and the occasional trip to the doctor.  The easy part.  Sounds easy enough.  Visiting got harder as the disease progressed.  More can be said but at another time.  The point is - I knew my role and I performed it to the best of my ability. 

When I painted, I was alone in my studio and zoned in entirely on these three apples and their little nuances of color.  Everything else - gone.  Dissolved.  My Bose radio repeated the same 4 discs over and over yet I wouldn't even be aware of the discs changing.  In the zone.  You artists know what I'm talking about. 

I dont know what others see in this painting but I see someone who had come to know who she is/was.  Satisfied with that.  Maybe even happy with it.  Definitely comfortable.  It had taken a while to get there but I had arrived.  These apples are a testimony to that.