Friday, August 2, 2019

Where are those Lazy Days of Summer?

I've been lagging in my posts of late, primarily because I've been caught up in the whirlwind that is summertime.  The table you see above you has been my primary canvas, as we have had guests--sometimes a couple a week--for the past month or so. Although I am the typical introverted creative type, I have enjoyed each and every visit to the utmost.  But it does remind me of how Henry David Thoreau, author of the book, Walden, and famous icon of the solitary, simple life ironically discovered that many a visitor wanted a tour of his 'lonely' monastic life. We have been paid that same compliment, and although it has been sweet, it does tend to shrink my studio time.

I thought I'd just give you an update of what is happening on my the hopes that these little tidbits/musings will keep the juices flowing for when I am able to devote more concentrated hours. Right now, I am working in small snatches when I just can't stand to be away any longer. But I am missing that slow 'hushing and holding' that Dr. Eric Maisel talks about in his book, "Fearless Creating," where he describes a meditative daydreaming about the work, where the mind is testing out possibilities and imagining different objects and pathways for the work. I've been far too busy to simply stare at my canvas and wonder where it is going. I don't feel passionate about the work yet, and it shows. But I know this busy time will all things eventually do, and then the paint will fly.
 This is the current work on my easel right now. Wow, I'm wincing... it's really in ugly duckling stage. I'm not quite sure where this thing is going right now...only that I am interested in showing how people can be physically close together and yet lost in their own worlds. It is slow going, because I am dealing with the challenge of multiple people on a bus, all that variety of expressions and thoughts, the clash of public and private. I'm still toying with what to do with the scenes out the windows. I have a few ideas, but feel too scattered to delve into them yet. Funny how impressions get channeled into a work...the little girl in red really reminds me of our chatter-box neighbor girl, and the blond woman was inspired by someone I saw in a fast food restaurant. One of the things I love about children out in public is the way they so calmly and so starkly stare out into the world. They are inscrutable and yet so open...all at the same time. 

The work below, by one of my favorite artists, Alice Neel, really captures that curious combination of expression and expressionless-ness in children...something I also seeking to portray in my own way. Look at how effortlessly she is able to show personality and our basic humanity...masterful!! And boy, does it show that I have a long way to go.
'Two Girls--Spanish Harlem' Alice Neel, 1959.

 Well, folks, that's probably about all for today. Still searching for that fabled hammock and endless glass of lemonade--or even better, a few uninterrupted hours of creating--and I'll report back when I find it.

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