Friday, April 18, 2014

Empty House, Near Ike's

Empty House, Near Ike's
  oil on panel  8" x 10"

"Painting is damned difficult - you always think you have it, but you haven't. 
We live in a rainbow of chaos."
Paul Cezanne

As is often the case, Cezanne is able to see the core of the problem and the essence of the attraction of painting. Because what is it that makes one go back, day after day and wrestle with the impossibility of grasping understanding out of our 'rainbow of chaos?" It is the joy of the moments when something comes together, when form and space emerge - when shadow and light define a chosen place, a devoted moment. 

One can never know what end results await - the painter has to allow the process to be an exploration of the subject within the initial expressive intent. The poetry of the initial moment has to inform the process. The 'Empty House' above is a small example of my own, evidence of a few hours spent in pursuit of that elusive goal.

I'm heading to Provence in a couple of weeks to spend some time with a painter, Julian Merrow-Smith, who has learned the lesson Cezanne taught; the joy found in the daily challenge - the rhythm of tuning one's sensibilities to the visual moment each day, a kind of offering in a humble ritual.  As he goes to work, Julian almost seems to melt into his surroundings and leave the distractions of life aside, excepting a wry comment or a humming kind of back up and go forward as he assesses both the work and its origins. 
While the process is similar each outing, the results are never the same, 
proof of the nuanced poetic awareness discovered in the work;
the commitment to the difficult task of true seeing.
It will be a wondrous experience.