Those that know me comment on my use of the colour Purple. I don't deny that I love the nuances of purple but I do use other colours on occasion, one of them being Blue. Of course when you mix blue with red, guess what, you get Purple. This painting is predominantly blue and explores a building here at the beach that I am fascinated with called the Blue Hotel. It is commonly known locally as the shrimp plant but is now abandoned and falling into disrepair. This painting also explores my fascination with geometric shapes, which shouldn't surprise to many people who know me as a Carpenter who strives to build things square. How does this painting make you feel?
When one looks closely at an African Violet you will see a multitude of fine hairs on the surface of the leaves and it is these that give the leaf that distinctive shimmering effect when the light strikes (as well as benefits to the plant that we have no idea of as of yet). The surface of the earth displays similar effects, although because of the complexity of the surfaces one is confronted with untold light effects under varying light conditions of course. I believe that is my muse, all the texture of the earth and sky, these tendrils poking up out of the ground receiving that which they require. In return they give it back to me and I give it to you. Its a Mystical experience that has many layers. I don't think these thoughts when I'm painting, I'm just in receiving mode quietly pushing the paint around.
Oftentimes in the spring when I am out and about painting or just hiking in the hills I hear the geese much sooner than I see them. When I finally locate them I often think of diamond or pearl necklaces as I watch the flocks twisting and turning in the sky above me, particularly when the sun catches the bottom of their wings every once and awhile. There have been probably millions of Snow and Canada geese flying around here lately, likely getting fed and watered up for the long trip further north. It is a sight to behold as squadron after squadron make their way overhead! I am a fortunate son.
We woke up this April morning to a gentle snow fall. The lake was perfectly calm and I was inspired to firstly write a Haiku poem to commemorate the moment and then to paint the scene. What peace I felt as I painted while being serenaded by the calls of playful ravens frolicking in the sky above me, specks of snow sticking to my painting panel and numerous other birds looking for their breakfast. I remember a similar sentiment when I was sitting near the house a number of years ago in the early evening while a gentle misty rain fell down. It literally transported me back to the West Coast where we lived for awhile, I caught whiffs of cedar trees in the air. Times like this must be what Mystics experience in states of enlightenment. Its an extremely hard thought to articulate. Life is music.
Try as I might I cannot seem to escape the complexity of Mother Nature, so I just have to give in to it and embrace and paint the chaos in front of me. Wolf Kahn is very accomplished at it and devotes a few pages to the topic in his book on Pastels. I love texture, in nature and on the support I choose to use for the work. This paper is coated quite heavily with marble dust and manipulated with a painting knife, go figure. Painted the other morning in front of a favourite poplar tree.
I've been pushing the paint around on this piece for a few days now. It is a 48 in x 60 in canvas and let me tell you there is a bit of paint on it! Not that I mind, I have enough paint for a life time and enjoy using it. This piece will have to sit around for awhile now, maybe it will tell me it needs more work somewhere. I've got to give it a rest, although I feel it is going where I am happy.