Whenever I take up a newspaper, I seem to see Ghosts gliding between the lines. There must be Ghosts all the country over, as thick as the sand of the sea…. We are, one and all, so pitifully afraid of the light.
–Henrik Ibsen, Ghosts
Another newer painting, this one on paper and measuring about 9″ high by 26″ wide. I call this piece The Ghost in Memory, using the Red Chair here as an icon for memory, both personal and collective. Although the Red Chair can have many differing interpretations for many people, I often see it as a symbol for memory personally, seeing in it people, places and events from my past .
Stylisyically, this painting bridges the gap between some of my recent monochromatic work and my typical pieces filled with color. The sepia pall that hangs over the scene gives it a feel of ghostly nostalgia that was unintended during the painting of it. There is a waviness in the wash of color that creates vague amorphous shapes that seem to be making their way to the horizon as though being coaxed forward by the hazy light of the sun. The blue of the trees in the foreground that create a frame for the scene contrast sharply as though marking the boundary between a world that we see and one which is hidden from us. The Red Chair straddles both of these worlds here.
This is a very simply composed piece with a spare color palette yet it has, for me, a nice depth of feeling and meaning. It wastes nothing and all of the elements contribute to the overall atmosphere in it. Though the color is subdued, it still dictates the emotion of the piece. The sepia gives it an eerie feel yet still has a warmth in it that makes it still inviting.
As to what the actual meaning is here, I leave that up to the viewer to decipher on their own. Is it about ghosts? I can’t say except to say that I believe that ghosts exist mainly in our own minds and memories. That is where most of us are haunted.