My mother's parents were painters. They sold many of their works, and now, 50 years after their deaths, I have an attic/loft with 1/3 of 1/2 of the remainder (my aunt had half, my mother the other half, and then my sisters and I divided up Mom's portion). Many are student works, or started work, or things that, well, it's no surprise that they didn't sell. During quarantine, I thought, "Well, I should do something with their work," rather than throw it out, or pass it on to my children who don't want it. The first step is just making a copy of the ones I really like. This one showed in an exhibit in Berlin in 1921, but it doesn't have a title. I see a cathedral-like forest, executed in a style that was right for 1921, but with a theme that speaks to me 99 years later.
I have an upcoming show at Gray Sky Gallery in July/August. Or maybe I don't. Only COVID-19 knows for sure. Anyway, the galley owner said, "Make some big canvases, those sell well." I had no idea. All along I've been avoiding painting big because who has that kind of wall space? Aside from me, of course.
At great expense, and with a somewhat sociopathic carpenter, I had an addition built onto my smallish house about 15 years ago. As I'm not a skilled architect, the room he built turned out to be larger than I had envisioned, with a 20' ceiling. It's actually perfect for me, now that I've gotten over the shock. The other large paintings I've done are on the walls, but there have been a few stored canvases under the stairs to the loft which languished there.
Let the languishing come to an end!
Long-time fans (and I hope there are a lot of you) will recognize this car. I make a point of visiting it whenever I'm on that side of the island. An old friend, by now.
A friend of mine bought land nearby. It has a tangled plum and quince orchard, a wetlands, and a car that had been parked oh, maybe 50 years ago.
I was teaching a class on Zentangles to the two students in a remote island school. We went to the beach there to look for motifs and I was captivated by the Madrona tree which had been designated as a buoy collector.
The entanglement of the human with the non-human world is a perennial theme with me. Who knew? I've tried to allow the choice of what to paint next be intuitive, coming from the subconscious. And this is what happens. Entanglements, either overt as in this painting, or implied.
I walk the same beach twice a month when I'm on the island, scanning for beached birds. My dog scans for otter scat. Just over the bleached logs in this image is an otter ... den? holt? stinky spot? ... anyway, it is often inhabited. What fascinates me more than the redolence is how dark the forest seems compared to the brilliant gray light of the beach (grey light? Yes! This is the Pacific Northwest, after all. The light is like the pearly nacre of an oyster shell, most of the time).
For an ad commissioned by a friend. The goddess is Avalokitesvara, who is male in some traditions and female in the tradition that Dharmagiri Sangha follows. In the final version, I made her skin color darker. I'm not sure what I think about that. Do we change longstanding traditions if they are ridiculously not inclusive? Or do we forge on into the future, resolving to be more sensitive, and leave the artifacts of the past as a lesson?
I felt similarly when I visited several sites where the Berlin Wall had been. All traces were gone (though there are some places where it has been preserved). Is it more or less likely that we will repeat old mistakes if we erase all evidence of them?
Don't even get me started about what appears in history textbooks.
Yggdrasil is the World Tree of Norse Mythology, containing the nine worlds. There is an eagle at the top, and a snake at the bottom. Two stags eat the leaves, a squirrel runs between the eagle and the snake carrying gossip. Many other features of the tree came to light as I learned more about it, but my version of it is designed to use the fabrics that Astri and I have both used, and reflect the color schemes in her house. I asked her friends to do a bit of work on it too, and then sign the back. I think there are about 40 signatures now, but we can add more over the years. The quilting is not nearly done.