I don't often document the stages of
the development of my paintings, but I am wanting to do that more.
Since a painting starts as an idea, its development tends to take
on a life of its own. I can think I know what I am painting, but as
the process works on the idea, and vice versa, what emerges may be
nothing like what I had imagined.
I like being surprised by my own work. It makes painting more of an
adventure. It makes it more a part of my psychic development, as well...something
like active imagination. As you look at the stages, you might
see some of what surprises me...at least I hope so.
Of course, not all I am doing can be executed within a day. One
project in oil is a triple paneled look at my bedroom. I was taken
with the rich color and shape of a dress thrown onto the comforter.
I will be adding stages of this process as I go. My hope is to find
a furniture maker who will frame the canvases into a free-standing
screen, which will act in the place of curtains at the glass door
from my bedroom to the porch...the boudoir within the bedroom. The
idea was inspired by two Japanese prints that hung above the bed.
I understand why such prints have inspired artists throughout the
last century or more. We shall see how it develops.
In the stages of "Darkening of the Light," the process was
a surprise from the beginning. My idea (which I would still like to
execute as it is in my imagination) was to create a bright, luminous
center over which a smoky transparent darkness is spreading. It is
expressive of the feeling I got when "W" was re-elected.
The goal is to "veil the light," yet have it still shine.
Transparent darkness is a tough conceptI'm still working on
it. It has inspired many of my studies and other non-objective works,
including "Carol Ann's Dilemma."
The Altar Piece is an homage to mythology, the Italian Renaissance,
classicism, and the Christian tradition. Here I show the completed
panels that depict the story of Amor and Psyche, as retold by Apuleius
within the collection, The Golden Ass. My work was inspired
by reading Amor
and Psyche: The Psychic Development of the Feminine,
A Commentary on the Tale by Apuleius, by Erich Neumann.
I intend to post stages in the development of the remaining top and
center panels depicting 1) the god and 2) the assumption of the pregnant
Psyche, having been accepted into Olympus as a goddess with nods from
Zeus and, finally, from Aphrodite.
Obviously, displaying this work will involve some creative framing.
The work is done in colored pencil on colored paper with elements
of collage. Once completed, the panels will be mounted on foam board
and laquered. My hope is to find a collaborator who will create the
free-standing frame for the Altar Piece, plans for which I show in
the catalogue above, although I would encourage other suggestions
for the design from any collaborator. Ideally, the frame side panels
would close over the center to reveal an inlaid mandala design made
whole by its closure.
On a summer trip through
Archer City, Texas, I snapped a picture of Larry McMurtry's bookstore,
Booked Up No. 4 (of four hence, the last bookstore.) It is on Main
Street, Highway 25, where Billy was run down in Bogdanovich's movie
version of McMurtry's The Last Picture Show. I liked the symmetry
of the image. As I tell my students, every good painting is a mandala.
The only question is whether the balance is symmetrical (formal) or
asymmetrical (yet harmonious.) I am compelled to walk the line of
balance on this one. Of course, I call it The Last Bookstore.