Anyway, that’s what I see in this painting I’m working on. A work in progress; we’re not there yet. I have in mind some sort of circle or target, with a portal, a skylight, at the center that shows the same cerulean blue that we see at the edges. We end where we begin.
Lauren likes it. She always prefers the rough over the polished, the raw over the cooked. She helps me wean myself away from the lapidary, the overly wrought. As I say in “Outsider Art,” I need an art that is “deformed so it can breathe.” Is this deformed enough? Or just a wounded bagel?
That’s the thought for this pastel, anyway. I discovered Asian painting very early on, and I’ve loved it ever since. Especially the “broken ink” style of sumi-e that Sesshu practiced. I had a reproduction of his landscape below hanging in my room when I was a young existentialist in McKinney, Texas.
Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem keeps moving through my head. This painting is called “Fire Root.” I built up a thick landscape of acrylic molding paste, let it dry, and then followed the bumps and contours of the little ridges and valleys of paste. (The painting is just a bug, 8 inches square, but a bright bug, part of my series on fire and combustion. “Million-fuelèd, | nature’s bonfire burns on..”
I was aiming to finish this by the 50th day after Easter. Late as usual. I wanted to put Mary’s flames in the middle, but somehow that didn’t work out. Perhaps we all burn equally bright before a loving God.
I’m thinking that this painting might be included in “Opening Prayer,” a book of poetry I recently finished.
I’ll be posting examples of my drawings and paintings over the next few days, just to clear out the clutter. When I was growing up, I didn’t write very much, but I took art classes from second grade through high school. Then I went to college and switched to writing. Now I’ve circled back, why I don’t know. More to come. This drawing is called “Wood for Burning.” I like the way the log squeezes against the edge of the paper at each end. A lot of us are like that.