Archive for May 26th, 2011


Origins is the title that came forward in my mind for this new  painting from the Principle Gallery show, which opens June 10th.  It’s a  small piece, 5″ by 7″ on paper, that recalls some of my earlier Archaeology series pieces, particularly the ones that focused more on the strata rather than the artifacts. 

Origins is primarily painted in shades of sepia with some grays and blacks.  It is highlighted with a thin greenish tone in the grass and a deep orangish sun above, touches that push out well from the sepia background, giving a pop to the piece.

The title, as I see it, refers to the relationship between the sun and the grass, as well as the tree which connects them in the scene.  The very beginnings of life, the start of yet another cycle of existence.  The layers below the surface represent the generations and ages that have come and gone before, now buried together out of sight.  The surface is the present,  for the living, unfettered by the past.   The tree, and its limbs that move in many directions, represents the potential of youth.  The freedom of the now.

The grass at the base of the tree symbolizes an urgency of existence, being pulled upward by the feeding sun, feeling fresh and vibrant while knowing its time is limited here. The pale tint of the larger grassy area is a pulse to me, faint but becoming stronger.

As I’ve stated many times before, these are what I see after the fact.  When I’m painting, these things are not in mind at all.  At that point, it is all about balance and rightness and rhythm.  The outcome, the what-wiil-be, is undefined.  It’s like being a reader of tea leaves- before I can read the leaves the tea must be made.

That may not make sense to anyone but I think I know what I’m trying to say.  And for the moment, that will have to be enough.

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