Archive for June 24th, 2011

This is a new piece that I just completed for my next show which opens in a scant three weeks at the West End Gallery in Corning.  This is a smaller painting, at just over 6″ by 14″ on paper that I’m calling Island of Memory.  It incorporates two of my icons, the Red Tree and the Red Chair, in a simple composition that recalls much of my earlier work.  It also is divided into two large blocks of color with a ribbon of white between the two parts, also like the earlier work.

I have mentioned the Red Chair signifying memory for me and in this painting it takes on that role.  It seems that often our memories become unique through time and  a memory of an event might only exist for one single person even though others might have witnessed the same event .   The event may not have etched itself as deeply in the minds of the others or may not have much significance.  Or they may remember it in a much different way, perhaps a differing aspect of whatver happened, if they remember it at all.  That is what I see here– the idea of a recollection exisiting in one small place.  I know I’m not doing this justice with this explanation.

It also reminds me of the classic Otis Redding song, (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay, a song which fills my own island with memories.  I listened to that single hundreds, maybe thousands of times growing up yet I’ve avoided using it on this site.   I always felt a protective attachment to it and it’s always bothered me when other singers (and non-singers– I’m reminded of a hysterical George Hamilton version of it from the late 60’s) covered this song through the years.  It seems like these other versions somehow pulled from the special nature of Otis Redding’s version, making it less special.  The awful histrionics of Michael Bolton come to mind.  But all I have to do is hear the simple ease and strength of Otis’ rendition and those thoughts fade to nothing.

It is a special song.  And it seems to go along in tone with this small painting.  Give a listen…


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