"We are dancing humans."~Kurt Vonnegut
I am not painting this painting, it is painting me. Really. I think I am sitting down to do one thing and marks come out, a color calls. That's where I go. It is echoing the novel writing. And like scenes in the novel, or the draft of one, one mark leads to questions, and then more. I puzzle, but I don't worry about the answers....yet. I just keep putting the marks down. Pure color, a call and a response. These are the spaces in between.
Ever since I saw an interview with Kurt Vonnegut last week, one phrase he said has stayed with me: 'We are dancing humans." He was standing in front of his paintings in a gallery and offering an explanation of sorts. I smiled. This is a writer talking about his paintings in terms of dance. I liked that a lot. It feels like a dance sometimes. Painting has rhythms and movement and some of my work is even done to a specific musical "soundtrack" ( dwarfs not included). This week it is jazz.
Hm. Yep, I can see the rhythms in these. Pure color rhythms.
I was listening to another interview Sunday. This time with jazz great McCoy Tyner. He played with Ellington and Coltrane. Piano jazz. And we all know the thing about jazz is to set up a structure for improvisation. He talked about open chords, with space in between. I have always loved those. I took a few notes, an idea for a piece. Made a note to self to get more of his music. It does nice things to my work. So the rhythms and colors here make an abstract sense to me. Echoed by his words. I've set up a structure on this piece, but these spaces have a mind of their own. A music that seems to be playing, asking me to just go with it. Okay, I'm in.
Vonnegut and Tyner are with me this week, the colors and marks seem to call, and all I can do is the dance in between. I am just the one with the brush in my hand, responding. And the one with a pen, scratching my head. Not judging, but I do have questions. Like isn't it awfully flat? Where's the depth? Are we there yet? What the heck am I doing? Hm. Time to turn up the music and quiet that kind of talk. Just follow this song til it's over. Then we'll see what we have.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Posted by Janice C. Cartier at 7:21 AM