Thursday, June 18, 2015

Storm Lifting

"Storm Lifting"
 oil on panel  7" x 9"

"What can you do with your days but work and hope
Let your dreams bind your work to your play
What can you do with each moment of your life
But love till you've loved it away
Love till you've loved it away."
Bob Franke

In the face of the news over the last few days, I thought this lyric from a song I first heard in the early 1970s might do us all some good. Art can't solve social problems, won't cure disease, can't make people treat each other decently in any direct sense. All it might do is to bring an individual to a stop and allow them to leave alone immediate problems or concerns and enter into a thinking, feeling, contemplative state of mind and perhaps find a pathway toward empathy or at least recognition of another's experience. A small goal perhaps, but whether an old folk song, a symphonic composition, a dance, or a small painting - perhaps it is one of our few remaining pathways to human connection. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

"There Is No Reason Not To Follow Your Heart"' Steve Jobs, Rainer Maria Rilke, the Outer Banks

"Morning Sandbars"
  oil on panel  20" x 24"

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. 
There is no reason not to follow your heart."
Steve Jobs

"What is required of us is that we love the difficult and learn to deal with it. In the difficult are the friendly forces, the hands that work on us. Right in the difficult we must have our joys, our happiness, our dreams: there against the depth of this background, they stand out, there for the first time we see how beautiful they are.
from the Selected Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

When making paintings one must approach the entire operation with willingness to take on whatever difficulties present themselves as pathways toward the visual idea or trigger; the ever elusive joyful poetry that started you. This willingness to attempt the difficult can be a valuable habit and an encouragement in itself - a kind of freedom grows out of it that makes following one's dream a daily involvement.

This painting grew out of a visit to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and a renting of an old house that had survived enough storms that it's front porch stood just feet away from the surf. A great chunk of my life has been spent by the beaches down there and have always loved the rhythm and presence of the sea. The hazy morning light was the poetry I was after; the structure of waves bathed with the peculiar light 
was my challenge. Hope you enjoy the result!