Friday, April 15, 2011
This is FLOAT of the Flora series. A tiny 6 x 8 painting packed with this story.
Something happens to us when we are in water. We're in a material that we're made mostly of. We become light and suddenly graceful. We swim. We float. We sink if we want to.
We change in water.
Years ago when I first began my training as a painter out in Cleveland Ohio, I started taking baths. It became a ritual for me. Time for myself to wind down, do nothing, feel weightless. And shit - you KNOW it was cold there. So soaking for a long time made sense.
Sometimes I'd light a candle and bring my boom box with me. Opera was what I loved listening to the most. All I had was Puccini. And that suited me just fine. Then I started bringing my sketchbook with me. So I'd sketch and journal.
Then one day I looked down. Wow - these shapes are beautiful. My legs, my torso, my chest, toes - everything seemed to peak out of the surface of the water. My knees became mountains, my navel a black hole, and the clever distortion of my body as it submitted to what water does best in the bathtub - provide a different lens to view yourself. Moving water making visual waves of how I was made fascinated me.
So I picked up the pencil and looked down and drew. And drew. And drew. That is how Flora really started. Way back in 1986 in blustery wet and dreary Cleveland Ohio. The shapes of my body became my entrance to the world of metaphor and abstraction.
I'll look through those sketchbooks and post some of those drawings soon. I love sharing this with you all.