During my recent period of enforced idelness, I've spent a bit of time going through my computer files and paintings. I rediscovered a few pieces I'd forgotten about.
"Om" came through in a bout of anger and frustration, yet, is now a focal point of relaxation and calm.
I labored over the piece, "Ornithology," for months in early 2006. I am fascinated with the process of glazing to achieve shading and depth, and how a painting is revealed with each thin, nearly transparent layer.
"Blue Mandala" acrylic/canvas
Circles and circular movement are recurring themes in my work. "Mandala" loosely translated from Sanskrit means "circle" and in some spiritual thought, represents the center and beginning of all creation.
This will always be an action painting to me. Not in the art history sense, but in the sense of something alive, something that evolved into its current state.
I worked on this piece intermittently for an entire day-- this little 8x10 that was supposed to be an easy exercise. I watched it grow and change as the day advanced; at one point, it seemed near completion. The colors were beautiful, all soft-focus and placid-- a very different work.
Then, with one stroke, I destroyed that feeling. I panicked and almost threw the painting in the trash.
But, this tree would not allow me to do so. I had to keep going, to find a new answer. I had to give up my own plans and let the piece dictate each brush stroke.
Despite my flawed technique, this work now speaks to a deep place within me.
My computer screen hums.
I scan the electric landscape, and out of the corner of my eye I catch a thread,
a shadow of the ghost of my father.
He is shrouded behind the curtain of my mother's heartbreak.
He is there but not there--a name I carry in my heart but elusive.
My father's family--silent, invisible--have never known me nor I them.
Whether by intention or ignorance, it's the same effect:
we are strangers sharing bits of genetic code and DNA.
I try, but have not broken my mother's injunction of secrecy,
frightened by unnamed dark things buried under rocky silence decades old.
I try, but have not escaped the necessary lies she hides behind.
What monstrous truth could still be sharp enough,
still reach deeply enough through the years to shred our current peace?
Can her past really hurt me now?