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Archive for July 7th, 2017

Well, the work for my show, Self Determination, has been delivered to the West End Gallery where Jesse and Lin will hang the show within the next day or so for previews until next Friday’s opening reception.

It’s always a big relief in the day or so after getting the show out of the studio and into the gallery, just in getting the task done and out of the way. Earlier in my career that relief was short lived as I would be extremely nervous in the time between delivery and the actual show. I would always second guess my decisions and fret over things over which I had no control. Any confidence I had built up during the actual painting process would evaporate completely.

But time and experience have mellowed that feeling. I don’t think I am any more confident or certain about the work that I do than I was in those earlier days. But I know now that once the work is done, the die is cast so there’s little I can do about anything from that point on. It is beyond me so I must accept whatever comes.

And that makes the time before a show much easier to tolerate, allowing me to do other things and reexamine the work for the show.

Take for instance the painting at the top of the page, Ask the Night, which is part of the show.  It’s a piece that has a great meditative quality for myself. Maybe it is the calming effect of the blues and purples. Maybe it’s the cool placidity of moon and the gentle rays emanating from  it. Or maybe it is the way in which the waterway opens itself to the sky above.

The title comes from  the idea that we are surrounded each night by the sheer mystery and magnitude of the universe. It is a daunting thought, one that puts us in our place, exposing how little we really know beyond our limited reach. We like to think that the universe revolves around us but in the night we realize that it barely acknowledges us except for the veiled promise of answers to all our questions, if only we could somehow ask.

And in this painting I see that lone house on horizon holding an inhabitant who looks out on the sky with an existential desire to know, to have their questions answered. And in that sky, in that calming moon, they see the possibility of an answer.

So they summon their courage and they ask the night.

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