Friday, October 28, 2016

Measuring Progress Over Time

"End of Summer VII" 21" x 21" 
I finished a painting today.  It's a little like giving birth, a sense of exhaustion along with "WOW! Look what I made!" Not all paintings arrive with that impact, this particular one did.  Facebook has been offering up photos from the past and one caught my eye, a photo I posted of artwork I was working on one year ago.  I was surprised when I saw it. What a measure or marker it made compared to where I am right now.  It's a measure of  how my thoughts have matured and the expression through painting right along with it in one short year.

"Peoples of the Earth IX" 21" x 21" 
Over this past 12 months I've started to use weaving in my paintings.  I was very influenced by my visit in 2015 to the US desert southwest, both Arizona and New Mexico.  Those visits started me thinking of how much the human race has impacted the earth.  I saw how a single tire track through the desert landscape could alter it because of the fragile microsystem on the surface, how footprints (hoof prints) would only create pools, tire tracks create rivers.  I saw how civilizations vanished because they tried to control their environment which failed utterly as conditions changed.

"Weaving the Desert" 
The weaving represented, from the first tentative uses, the story of how we humans are tied to the land and to nature and how, because of our influence, the weaving of human life on earth and earth itself starting to pull apart, become distorted. Within this year, as well, is an increasing sense of my personal age, how I am in my ending years.  All of this is being conveyed in all that I create.

A short series called "Peoples of the Earth" began.  It quickly featured a barred moon, a barren tree of life. Fran Larsen challenged me to understand all the symbols I use.  Catherine Chang Liu told me to plan my work, not to waste time hoping something will turn out and to combine my love of spontaneous with the discipline of pouring paint.  Both of those ladies have influenced my approach to  my work through this past year.  The second series became "End of Summer".  It doesn't just suggest it's autumn - it also suggests the end of my passage through life.

The Journey Series of the past 4 years continues, I think, just with closer looks and a little more discipline.  We all have friends who help us on our way.  I have numerous.  I am very blessed.

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