Thursday, August 7, 2014

Joy in Reconciliation

This one was very slow to bloom, but I was able to be patient with it because I had some other smaller projects to work on while I waited for it to unfold.

I'm actually thrilled with it -- it's one of those rare paintings that has something to say no matter which of the four directions you choose to hang it.

But what intrigues me the most about it is how it started.  I had decided that rather than fight my tendency to strong verticals and horizontals, I should just assume that's where I was headed and do something to encourage that.  So before I did the gesso, I built a strong vertical band about two inches in from the left in crackle paste.

What happened in the earlier iterations of the painting, then, had this fierce divide. I had rotated it 90 degrees counter clockwise to paint it, and there kept being all this excitement above the line and boredom below the line, and I couldn't seem to reconcile the two.  But it was the strength of the impulse to get past that division that drove all the movement of the painting -- which seems to me to be marvelously significant at the spiritual level: it is, after all, the heart of my practice, to unite upper and lower, to find connections, to eliminate divisions...

So the thrill I felt, when it finally began to come together, and the thrill I feel now, looking at it, is a heart feeling, a sort of joy in reconciliation; a taste of those rare moments in meditation when everything seems to come together...

And, just so you don't have to twist your neck, here's what happens when you hang it in each direction.  Which one do YOU like best?

1 comment:

Maureen said...

At first I thought you'd created a series. I like how the various orientations work together. Strong!