Sunday, November 29, 2009
No Sacred Cows ...in my Art
I decided to use this post to illustrate something I have learned... and now practise regularly in evaluating my own work. It has been difficult for me to know when a work is "finished"... and especially if the motivation to paint the subject has a personal feeling attached to it. Such is the case with this piece "Summer Reliquary"... a 30x24 inch canvas completed (I thought) in August of 2008.
The painting is composed of elements from our early family life at our beloved cottage on the St Lawrence River... each of which symbolically attaches itself to memories of our wonderful Mom.It is a picture that I wish to keep for my Self or my family.
She and that cottage were the core of our Universe... as we knew it in our early lives. Sadly... "She" has passed on from this life and the cottage has passed into other hands. I still have stewardship for four of the eight chairs that ringed our harvest table... the centre of so many happy celebrations of our rich summer family life. I have the beautiful vase as well... and keep up her ritual of replenishing it with wildflowers... as they changed throughout the seasons. Black-eyed Susans... or her "Brownies" were her favourites ..as were field daisies. They are my favourites as well.
Out through the window you can see a "pastiche" of the beautiful Thousand Islands landscape.On the floor is a braided rug which sat in our cottage kitchen.The whole composition of these elements is swaddled in the simple tablecloth... Mom was an exceptionally fine cook.It was painted on her birthday...August 16Th, 2008
The title is chosen to depict the reverence I continue to feel for my Mom and Dad. In Medieval or Renaissance time..a reliquary box was an elaborately bejewelled, sculpted, or gilded box that was donated by a family to their church (in the hopes that it put them in Divine favour). Aside from the obvious monetary value its contents provided... the box was often later used to hold the relics or holy vessels of the altar.
My "Reliquary" box... framed in a simple gilded frame contains my most precious treasures from my early youth and early adulthood... along with the remaining vestiges of my Mom's "Presence"... and what "She" stood for in shaping "Me" as a person.
For over a year I wrestled with making some changes which bothered me... each and every time I looked at it.Last week I broke the inner deadlock... and early in the quiet of my morning painting ritual... "I" took a leap of Faith.... and retouched a few areas...but more dramatically... I eliminated the braided rug totally. The red in it had always tended to draw my eye down and out of the composition.
So here is a picture of it in both conditions. "You" decide... and if you'd care to... drop me a line to let me know what you think.
Good Painting...to All!!
PS This painting is sent out to comfort my new blogger Friend April! Keep the Faith!
Good Painting!,...to ALL!!