I’m so glad that he let me try it again
‘Cause my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin
I’m so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on tryin’
Till I reach my highest ground
— Stevie Wonder, Higher Ground
Another new painting headed for my show, Part of the Pattern, which opens June 3 at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA. This piece is 8″ by 14″ on paper and is titled Highest Ground, borrowed from the chorus of the great Stevie Wonder song.
This is an easy piece to absorb at first take with its mix of deep warm and cool colors and simplified composition. But despite that, there’s a lot of going on in this piece. It both feels soothing as though it represents a sort of safe haven but it raises questions. If this is a safe haven, what is it safe from? Is this an end of the world scenario? There’s a boat but nobody seems to be present– where are they?
And the ladder is a new element here. I see it as a symbol of a continual upward climb toward some sort of final personal fulfillment. A spiritual endpoint. As the song says– gonna keep on tryin’/ Till I reach my highest ground.
Here’s Stevie Wonder’s song to help me along as I continue to look at this piece for a while.