I was looking at some older paintings in the studios, my orphans as I call them. But some are not orphans, not without a home. Some are just here because they are my own and have some sort of special meaning for me. Such is the case with the piece above, Endless Time. It’s a piece that I consider a link to my earliest works, a reminder of the inner forces that drove me into the work I now do.
Back in 2009, I wrote in a blogpost here about this painting:
This is really a direct descendent from my earliest work that focused on open spaces and blocks of color, work that was meant to be spare and quiet. The weight of the piece is carried by the abstract qualities of the landscape and the intensity of the colors.
With this piece, I have chosen to forego the kinship that the red tree often fosters with the viewer, acting as a greeter inviting them to enter and feel comfortable within the picture plane. In Endless Time the viewer is left to their own devices when they enter the picture. There is no place to hide, no cover. They are exposed to the weight of the sky and the roll of the landscape. They are alone with not a sound nor distraction.
It becomes, at this point, a meditation. One is not merely looking at a landscape. To go into this painting one must be willing to look inside themselves as well.
This painting, like much of my early work, was in large part influenced by a piece of music, Tabula Rasa, from the great contemporary composer Arvo Pärt. It’s a piece that speaks of empty spaces and the meditative quality of silences. The purpose of my work as I saw it at that time was to find silence, to find a sanctuary from the cacophony and discord of civilization. That is still very much the case although the work has evolved in other ways.
I thought for this Sunday morning music I would share another composition from Arvo Pärt which I think also very much fits this piece. It is titled Spiegel im Spiegel which translates from the German as Mirror in the Mirror. Think of an Infinity Mirror where two mirrors facing one another produce an image that is endlessly reflected back upon itself in ever smaller variations until it finally disappears. In some ways, some art serves as an infinity mirror of sorts, I know that this piece does so for me.
So give a listen but be warned that this is a quiet and meditative piece performed with only a piano and cello. If you’re looking for a toe-tapper or a sing-along, you might be disappointed. But like sometimes looking at art, one’s openness and patience is rewarded.