“All there is, is fragments, because a man, even the loneliest of the species, is divided among several persons, animals, worlds. To know a man more than slightly it would be necessary to gather him together from all those quarters, each last scrap of him, and this done after he is safely dead.”
― Coleman Dowell, Island People
It’s been hard finding footing lately in the studio. It’s been hard to just get started on most days. There are plenty of factors that play in to this, some external and some internal, some that I can control and some I cannot. But the end result is the same: I am left feeling fragmented, broken into shards that don’t want to reassemble easily in the form of my work.
I am not worried however. This is not the first time I’ve felt so fragmented nor will it be the last. I know that I come apart at times and have to bide my time, just continuing to try to put myself back together so that I may uncover what I know is waiting there for me.
It’s there. It may seem an awfully long way away but I can see it and I know that while it may take time and much effort, I shall be together with it again.
The painting above is a piece that has been with me for a while now. One of the orphans that come home to reside for a bit. I wrote about it last year when I thought I might change its name to Dimming of the Day but it still remains under its original title, Fragments, in my mind. And I suspect it will stay that way.
This painting is based very much on this feeling that I am experiencing at this moment and when this feeling emerges, I often think of this painting. There is darkness and distance here. The space between the Red Chair and the house has a certain weight that makes me feel as though there is something more than physical distance at play here. The sky, a confetti-like blend of thousands of little fragments of brushstrokes that gave the painting its title originally, represents, for me at least in this piece, the world falling out of harmony.
Dark, distant and coming apart.
Yet despite that I find this painting very comforting. I think that goes back to what I said above, that I know this place well from past experience . I know how to navigate it and know that the distance is not so great nor the darkness too deep. And I know that the parts are still in place to come together again in the future if I simply exercise patience and don’t give in.
It’s funny how that works. I walk by this painting several times a day in the studio and it’s often without a thought as my mind is preoccupied with something else. But every so often I stop before it and suddenly all of these feelings flood back on me when I look closer. I’m glad it works that way, actually.
Here’s a nice version of the Richard Thompson song whose title, Dimming of the Day, I was thinking about renaming this painting. It’s a strong yet tender version from Tom Jones. Have a good day…
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