I’m so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on trying
Till reach my highest ground
I wrote that when I was visited last week in my studio by a film crew from WSKG that they had taped me working on a painting in its early stages. The painting above is the final version of that piece. It’s a 20″ by 40″ canvas that I am calling Higher Ground, a title somewhat borrowed from the Stevie Wonder song of the same name quoted above.
This piece has a couple of different elements than most of my work. For instance, the rocky walls of the canal/river as well as the rocky outcropping of the rise on which the Red Tree stand. There’s also an orchard in the lower right corner that I use sparingly in these pieces. I have sometimes said that these paintings are often not really about the Red Tree at all but are more about the mood created by the combinations of color and form. But the Red Tree is definitely center stage here, everything revolving around and focusing on it.
Higher ground could represent the safety offered by it in times of flood or in combat. For me, I see it as attaining a higher plane of being, or at least aspiring to it as a goal. Perhaps not the same highest ground that Stevie Wonder is seeking , which seems to represent a Raptured heaven. No, I see it more as being free of the the everyday, represented in the anonymous houses below. To a point that is above hate and anger. Above envy. Above spitefulness and deceit.
Above judgement. I add that because I don’t see the Red Tree as looking down on those house below it here. Rather, I see it looking upward and outward. And higher ground affords that better view…
Here’s the song from Stevie Wonder. Great groove to start a day.