Thursday, June 26, 2008

Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Ahhh, a breath of fresh air.

And here is some blue.

Yep, there's that rag.

I needed to make blue sky. And I needed to get so into it that I was practically finger painting. Remember finger painting? Seriously, remember how good that felt to pick up full-bodied color and smear it around on slick paper? It didn't matter what you ended up with , the doing of it was pure response and process.

That's what I wanted. Except I am not a kid, and I was after something specific. Well, not too specific, but I wanted floating clouds and sky. And I wanted smooth, so the rag of pure cotton worked really well.

How much did I want it? Well, I didn't have a rag, so I cut up one of my cotton tops. Since I don't have many clothes anymore, the very act of cutting the front out of one of the first purchases of clothing after the storm is not insignificant. But I needed the rag more than I needed the top which was stretched now from all the washing. Snip, snip.

How much did I want it? I stopped everything else to spread newspapers out on the table and mixed a solution to thin the paint for spreading consistency. I guessed. Oh, I put the right three things in it. I have been to school, but I have not studied with Frankenthaler. I have seen her paintings and prints up close at the National Gallery and at the home of a neighbor. So I guessed.

How much did I want it? I tuned everything out. Everything, well, except George Harrison singing "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea". And pulled up the photo from my friend. I have similar photos and have walked these edges of puddles and wet places lots and lots. So I am quite at home there. But this photo, her photo reminded me of something I loved and was missing.

But here is the difference for this oil painting. I want the medium, to work as freely in oil as in watercolor. I've been trying for awhile to deal with thick paint. I love the richness of it. But the flow. I missed the flow. Okay, I have a thing for viscosity. And one of my favorite painters in the world is Cy Twombly. Go to the Twombly Gallery at the De Menil Museum in Houston. The skies and light are let in a bit overhead so the paintings are experienced differently as the day progresses and the light changes. They breathe. I want that for this piece. I want every mark to be fluid. So the sharp marks and the shadows that are crisp will be like notes on sheet of music.

This piece is for me at this point. And I like that. I want this painting to feel like a clear running stream while I am working on it. It is a performance piece, but it is also faith and movement, just like finger painting. Sometimes art is hard. This is not an easy profession. Sometimes it feels like being trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea. Sometimes you have to just work through it and sometimes you just have to jump into that deep blue sea and swim.

I think a little Jack Johnson ...might be nice.

Yes, he's surfing through the waves and there's ukelele. Hm. I seem to like that at the moment.
Back to the blue for me....


ParisBreakfasts said...

Yummy Yummy
Looking very lush!
Can you reconstitute that blue rag back into a T-shirt?
I bet it would be gorg even if it gave off a strongish odor..ahem

Janice C. Cartier said...

Maybe a mini tee shirt. :)