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The Call of Water

I’m thinking about water.

JonesFalls

Water falls – either river or rain – speak a whole spectrum of the Language of Wet, from soft drip & trickle to pounding slam-hard powerful.  I’ve come to believe that all are profoundly healing in the long run – even Tsunami, Hurricane, Cyclone.  Sometimes tragically so, painfully so – but real healing is like that.

JonesFalls4

There are ponds, pools, tiny lakes and great lakes, oceans of deep and old – ever renewing collectors of water.  There are aquifers deep and ancient, vast and secret reservoirs of …. memory?

Memory that cools, grounds, sinks and dissolves into something the stars might sing.

Windsheild

I’m thinking about water, and how it feels like a physical and emotional home to me.  It is at root a promise of renewal – immerse, let go of air for a moment, alter the pull of gravity, of time; extend the reach and timbre of sound so you feel … lifted, suspended, embraced.  Resonant.  Dissolved, for a moment.

To rise again into the mantle of gravity, air, task, focal point, verbal articulation, but cleaner, clearer.

Georgian Bay, from the eastern shore at the mouth of Owen Sound
Georgian Bay, from the eastern shore at the mouth of Owen Sound

Water stands, too, in those places where the amphibians go and humans do not, where toxicity is dissolved.  I think of wetlands as precious, timeless places.  Perhaps Chronos lives there, listening.

littleshoreWave

The sound of water falling – rhythmic & repetitive, whether it’s a drip or a roar – is the soundtrack of our days.

There’s an idea that water is a collector of Story – from us, from flora and fauna, from sky and sun.  Horrific stories- catastrophic, miraculous, impossible – but also mundane, incidental, apparently unimportant.

I’m going to paint this.  We live in times of deep and profound change, all over the planet.  No culture, country, community or person can avoid being confronted by this, and by the deep fears we all experience, collectively and privately, in reaction.

Wave2Oct_21

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New Rounds

fire painting to begin
fire painting to begin

Another snow-day gift…

So I’m throwing paint again:  I find myself working in the round.

Round 1
Round 1

hmmm.  walking through fire, maybe?  in Tibet?

Round 2
Round 2

These are all underpaintings, and they’re all humming loudly.  I’m excited to see what happens next, and next…

Round 3 (ding)
Round 3 (ding)

This canvas is many paintings that have all been painted over – I think the total is four.  Maybe this one will work, since it will have smaller round companions.  We shall see!

While I’ve been working today I’ve been thinking about how we all exist in and through relationship with other people.  How love can transform what we see because it softens the barriers that we work so hard to maintain – and there are always miracles revealed.  Love, music, poetry, art – we are better for these things. I do think it’s that simple.

Here’s Yeats mining a similar vein…

ALL things uncomely and broken, all things worn out and old,
The cry of a child by the roadway, the creak of a lumbering cart,
The heavy steps of the ploughman, splashing the wintry mould,
Are wronging your image that blossoms a rose in the deeps of my heart.

The wrong of unshapely things is a wrong too great to be told;
I hunger to build them anew and sit on a green knoll apart,
With the earth and the sky and the water, re-made, like a casket of gold
For my dreams of your image that blossoms a rose in the deeps of my heart.

WB Yeats – The Lover Tells of the Rose in His Heart

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New Work, 2014

New work.  From Storm-Stayed first week of January.  What a pleasure.

Here are some of the bits that will go up at the River Cafe – hoping this weekend, if Karen and I can make it so.  Subsequent Gathering tba, stay tuned.

detail from "Manitoulin", which I painted in 2004.  This one's big - approx 7'w x 5'h
detail from “Manitoulin”, which I painted in 2004. This one’s big – approx 7’w x 5’h

 

diptych Shovel/Axe.  29"w x 78"h (x 2)
diptych Shovel/Axe. 29″w x 78″h (x 2)
detail of Snaffle Bit (in progress).  4' square
detail of Snaffle Bit (in progress). 4′ square

…and a few other littler things.

I’m happy.