This painting is an orphan, one of those few pieces that ended up back with me here in the studio after making the rounds of the galleries. I don’t mind that it came back as it has always held a special place in my heart– orphans have that effect on me. I like the roughness of its surface, the deepness of the colors in the sky (which are so hard to capture with my photography) and the contrast of the scene’s quietness against the turbulence of the sky’s energy.
It now hangs in a seldom used hallway here in the studio so I don’t see it as often as I would like. But when I do wander down that hall I often stop and take it in and it inevitably makes me both smile and think. It has a very tactile nature with a strong texture that makes me run my hands over it, almost as though I am trying to reach into that swirling mass of energy to connect with some hidden dimension.
Here’s what I wrote about this painting several years back. It a redux of a redux, in a way, as it references yet another earlier post, one back in 2009:
I call this new painting String Theory. It’s a 20″ by 40″ canvas that is simple in design but has great depth of color and a strong underlying texture that gives it added dimensions. It’s a striking piece in the studio, especially given its larger size, with its saturated tones and the thick spiral bands that run through it catching glints of light at different angles.
The Red Tree’s crown is painted as a monolithic form and seems to glow with life amid the contrasting darkness of the sky. I chose a deep red for the color of the fields in the foreground because I wanted it to represent the earth as a physical dimension, the red symbolizing the blood of the living. The swirling blues and greens of the sky, to me, represent a different dimension, one less tangible and more ethereal.
As for the title and the thought behind it, I described this in a blogpost from July of 2009. I think I will let the words from that post describe what I see here as well:
The title of this painting comes from the way the sky is formed from many patches of color and the way the light is formed therein. It reminded me of one of the supposed byproducts of the string theory which is a very speculative area of quantum physics. Without going into the scientific basis for the theory ( which I really couldn’t do very well anyway), string theory basically creates a platform where extra dimensions could and may exist alongside the dimensions that we know and dwell within, without our knowledge of their existence. A simplified example of how this might work is the way we are surrounded by radio signals all the time without our knowledge but with the proper receptor, a radio, they become apparent. With string theory, perhaps there are also parallel dimensions around us without our knowledge, dimensions that contain others forms of energy, other forms of existence.
People have used this as theoretical basis for many things such as time travel, the existence of UFOs, and things supernatural such as ghosts and other spectral occurrences. The string theory has been a very fertile field for science fiction writers to work.
Perhaps it also provides a place where the soul, the source of energy that animates the body, ultimately dwells. Perhaps there is the energy of souls all around us in these alternative dimensions. Maybe the photons we see are also the part, a facet, of something unseen. That’s how I see the sky in this painting, as masses of disparate energies that we only see partially in the dimensions we can detect.
Okay, remember that it is early in the morning when I’m writing this. I’m not smart enough to really discuss quantum physics. I am not familiar with all the New Age-y spiritualism. I’m just saying there is some form of energy out there in the light we see. What it is, I surely don’t know. In this painting I like to see it as light and energy of souls.
And that makes me feel good…
It made me feel good then and does now as well.