I came across this painting from 2001 just this morning, one that had slipped off my radar some time ago. It wasn’t in the studio for long and sold very quickly so I didn’t get to ponder over it for an extended period. It is titled A New Mantra and is 31″ high by 51″ wide on mounted paper. I do remember painting this piece and how it hit every goal I had for it from the first moment I started on it. It came so easily that it felt as though it truly fell out of me, with not a bit of struggle at any point. I also remember just being exremely pleased with how this showed in its final state. It was large and airy yet it had a real up close presence. To me, it was how it must feel to have the secrets of the universe whispered mysteriously in your ear.
It just felt powerful, whiich is probably why I was so surprised at seeing it again this morning. How had it slipped out of my mind when it immediately rekindled such strong feelings upon seeing it again?
I don’t know that there is any real explanation. I think there are other pieces out there that will do the same for me, especially some work from the earlier years when my photo-documentation wasn’t as thorough. I can think of one painting that I have often used as an example in an account of how some work flows easily while others are a stuggle from the first brushstroke. This piece was done after a month of working on a series of paintings that resulted in a commissioned piece. One morning I went into the studio about 5 AM and this large painting just fell out. It was about 40″ square and I remember how the paintings of the past month had served as rehearsals for this very moment in time. Every movement was really from muscle memory, moving without prompting and the conscious thought process was hushed and in the background. Two hours later and it was done.
I would tell people who asked how long it took to paint a piece that this painting didn’t take 2 hours to paint. It took over a month. It couldn’t have happened without those other pieces building up to it.
To my dismay, that is a piece for which I can’t find an image. But I will keep looking and hopefully, if I find one, I will feel as I did about once again finding A New Mantra.