When I think of choosing what to paint, I think of seeing an ordinary day through extraordinary glasses. Seeing things in a heightened mode, through an innocent eye. It's those days when you walk outside and see the same green trees that you've seen a thousand times before, but something makes you notice them in a different way. You feel as if you've never, ever seen anything so very green. And that day when the sky could not possibly ever have been quite so blue. Cultivating the idea of watching the world through enchanted eyes is not something that is very grown up nor always very acceptable in polite company. Maybe that's what being an eccentric artist is really all about? I don't know. But I do know, as I get older, the value of seeing the world through my own unique lens.
Cultivating enchantment and finding deeper mystery, beauty, meaning in each day, moment, breath. This is our job. No? So finding pathways to this stuff is part of it. Listening, watching and waiting for it. Lingering for that extra few moments in the parking lot of the grocery store when you feel the breeze pass by in just that particular way...Conjuring up a story from the shadows under a tree in your backyard. Letting yourself believe in fairy tales, if just for a few moments.
We have little magic and mystery in our daily lives, so we have to work on finding it, manufacturing it if you will. Sort of like going to the gym; our bodies need to move and we don't have to do it, so we need to manufacture activity for our bodies to stay fit. Likewise we have to cultivate enchantment to have our minds recognize it. Otherwise the pace of modern culture will whip past us and leave us drab and bored. We look to popular culture to entertain us, but really we could just look a little deeper and REALLY entertain ourselves. It's all there, we just have to remember to look!
Most of the art that I really admire is of a simple scene or gesture or idea. Take Degas, capturing a glance a shadow, a breath. Most great painters captured reminders of our humanity or consciousness. Small things made large and usual things made unusual. Artists like Dan McCaw, Wolf Kahn and Russell Chatam come to my mind. Even guys like Jeff Koons could fit here. Of course this dovetails into a greater discussion of what is art and what are our jobs as artists! So it goes!
Lastly, I'm starting a new blog that focuses on my figurative work and my collaboration process with my husband Mike. Should be an interesting and different kind of journey...More to come on that. I'll be continuing to post here of course!