I wasn’t going to feature another new painting here this morning but I felt that this piece just fits perfectly into the momentary state of our politics. At least how it appears to me.
In most of the recent paintings from this series featuring patterned skies (I don’t know what else to call them) the sky represents hidden forces and powers that are just beyond our sight and reach. It’s pretty much the same with this piece except that there is, at least for me, a more chaotic and turbulent aspect in the sky.
The tree stands as a direct counterpoint to this chaos, straight and unwavering. It has strength and resolve along with a placid sense of being. A sense of self awareness beyond the influence of the madness occurring beyond it. While it is simple in design, it has been a painting that has given me a lot to think about while at the same time calming me.
As I was nearing the end of this 18″ by 24″ piece, I began to think of the famous poem If from Rudyard Kipling and how it related in many ways to how I was seeing this painting. The poem is basically a father’s advice to his son, telling him all of the things he should learn to endure if he wants to become a man. It would also be good advice for the ideal political candidate, male or female. I think most of the people we have seen in this year’s presidential primaries fail to meet most of those requirements that Kipling has laid out.
The poem is below but if you would rather hear it read aloud, there is a recording of actor Michael Caine reading it at the bottom.