March 19, 2017
“Invitation,” 1977. Watercolor
I’ve always considered my paintings to be “Spiritual Editorials,” as opposed to “Decorative” or “Representational Art.” In 1977, when my parents asked me to paint them a picture, I wanted to create something that was relatable, but that would symbolize my personal vision too.
I recalled a favorite walk through the woods, reliving the vitality of life, and the mystery hiding behind every leaf. And this is what I painted, using very thin washes of color, letting one layer dry and then adding the glaze of another color over it; sometimes up to a dozen layers in one small area. With this technique, light passes through each separate glaze to the white paper beneath and a lively, glowing light bounces back to you.
On a long distance call to my mom, I told her, “I’ve hidden a couple secret messages in there too. Tell me what you think, when you get it.”
I was referring to the scrap of paper I had painted, peaking out from under a fallen branch. Was it placed there on purpose? Perhaps it was an invitation to a fairy ball—or a clue about where to go next! My intention was to evoke a child–like sense of wonder. At the top of this highly detailed painting, the light, color, and form break into abstraction; inviting you to look deeper, beyond the surface of things.
Mom called to say they had received the painting—and loved it! “I found the praying hands, and the bust of Jesus,” she said, sounding very pleased to have uncovered my secret messages. I wondered where in between the leaves she had seen what she did! But I had no desire to correct her. At that moment I understood; the meaning is in the eye of the beholder!
This painting hung on their wall for 30 years! Now, my brother, John, and his family own it.
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February 21, 2017
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January 16, 2017