Archive for May 19th, 2011

Yesterday I was working in the basement of my studio which is set up to accomadate the matting and framing operations for my work.  It’s a finished space  that is decorated in a typical 1960’s fashion with woodtone paneling, a drop ceiling  and carpeting with a geometric pattern that has  brown mustard  as its main color.  It has a kind of shmaltzy feel and I always mean to overhaul the space but never find the time. 

I have a number of  long tables throughout the space as well as a couple of large drafting tables, covered  almost  always with something.  Sometimes they contain sheets of heavy watercolor paper as I apply layers of gesso.  Sometimes they are filled with frames in various stages as they are being finished or with canvasses that are being coated with their final protective varnish.  At one end there are heavy industrial shelf units that hold unfinished frames and canvasses and stretcher bars.  Along the walls there are several other shelfing units that hold bottle of gesso and varnish and  tape and all the little things that are needed  for framing.  Large rolls of brown and black kraft paper are hung on one wall.  There are several paintings of mine on the wall, a few older pieces that have somehow stayed with me over the years.

 There is also a painting that we bought many years ago from a PBS auction.  Shown above, it’s a folky piece of a black Lab sleeping on a checkerboard pattern surface.  There is no name but we have always called it Winston Churchill.  I can’t remember the reasoning but we both immediately latched onto that name.  It has bounced around with us for a long time and its plaster frame has began to show its age a bit, losing a few of the half  rounds that go around its outer edge.  It’s not a great painting but I have a lot of affection for it.

I mention all of this because yesterday as I was working down there, I had a moment.  I suddenly stopped at one end of the space and turned, looking down the length of it.  I had this odd feeling that I needed to take in the whole scene, register the details in my mind.  It was as thought I knew that somewhere down the line I would be remembering this moment, this view.  It might be in a dream or in a moment of deja vu, those moments where one seems to recognize the occurring instance as being from their past and are reliving it.   This felt pre-deja vu, as though I knew I would someday relive this moment and this feeling.

It was an odd moment and I took in as much as I could, looking from item to item as I stood there.  There seemd to be nothing profound in that instant when I turned from that mundane view back to the frames I was staining.  I wondered how this could possibly matter in the future, why my mind would want to someday recall this moment, this scene. 

I don’t know.  But, as I’ve learned from my painting, sometimes we don’t really know what we know.  We can’t question that moment, that feeling.  Just have to take it in and see where it takes us.

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