This painting is one of my newest personal paintings – one of the mindscape paintings I’ve been working on in the past year. I’d finished it a few months ago but hadn’t been able to share it until now. I’ve found that when it comes to writing about these paintings, I’ve been experimenting with different sorts of ways to speak and write about them – maybe through poetry or a short story containing metaphor rather than trying to explain what’s going on with them in any sort of literal context because it’s truly a conglomeration of many emotions and experiences. The making of these paintings has been a powerful and important thing for me, and I’m very inspired and motivated to do more of this, if for no other reason than to simply enjoy the making of them and to immerse myself in the strength and importance of the work it’s doing while I make them.
I wish this for all of us, in any or all of the work and other things we do.
The painting is oil on panel, 12×16”. It was built up in many thin layers after making an underpainting of abstract marks in oil using mostly silicone spatulas and mops. You can see this sort of process I’ve shared in many of the other articles I’ve posted here on Muddy Colors. For this particular painting, the several layers added after the underpainting were painted in thin veils and softened strokes using sables and mops. I felt that this softer approach in which it was painted was best in order to depict the sensitivity and intimacy that it represents.
Here is what I’ve written briefly as a companion to this painting:
There is a place where soil and air are one with the most beautiful and elusive of creatures, with flesh shaded of many hues, and sensitivity and equanimity as their strongest and most coveted assets. These creatures wrap themselves in the emotional cascade of everyday existence, twisting in a way that water folds around a rock in a river, they are in constant motion, but with a stillness instilled in their core.
In this place there is a shared language, a communication in flow of marks and an ancient circuitry that moves the extremities, floating as if submerged in a halo of life-giving water. The creatures separate and come together, never wavering in their intensity that they are always intertwined in. A shared rhythm, a sense of belonging and the exploring and discovery is the nourishment for their vessels as they bloom into a new understanding.
There are no defining edges between atmosphere and creature, between creature and other creature, between air and water and soil, between skin and soul. All is one, always evolving and shapeshifting on a moment’s notice, though moments are not noticeable and the shapeshifting takes the aging of a tribe and the stories that are shared to carry them into the continuum.
When they are unseen, they are mingling with roots and pulsing in the depths of dark waters, and when truly seen they have been known to move mountains. Touched by the most compassionate of existences, they are powerful and delicate at once. And their song! Their amazing voice that is heard like whispers in lush valleys, echoes in distant canyons, even on vast areas of windswept sandy desert floors, it can cause a flooding and release of absolute truth and knowing of what it is to be in the present and to be truly connected to all else.
They are love, they are givers, and they are free in a safe space where they can let go of the thought of having to be something they are not.
You can see a list of the other articles I’ve written on Muddy Colors by clicking here. You will find information on process, tools, stories about other works, some featured artists I admire, and other art-and-life-related content.