Working in my studio sometimes feels confining to me. I like the outdoors, the feeling of air and space. It’s what attracts me to plein-air painting. As the weather starts to cool off I tend to go out less often; finding other ways to express myself through paint becomes important if not critical. I do have memories of meeting fellow artists in the bitter cold. Knees knocking, fingers having difficulty moving etc.. I’m not quite sure how I did that as I look back and it’s not something I relish now even with gloves and layers. Funny, winter is still one of my favorite seasons.
Another limitation right now in terms of going out has been saying good bye to my 20 year old car. It took me many places with very few problems, but like with most things there comes an end. It ended up needing to be salvaged even though you wouldn’t have guessed from looking at it. In the face of this rather unexpected event I’m living without a vehicle. This is an interesting experience but one that is growing me in ways I hadn’t expected. Being opened to deeper aspects of my vulnerability isn’t easy. It’s a feeling that’s been hard to embrace as I look back but so often felt. It’s one of the main reasons I bailed on myself after college in terms of pursuing painting.
All of this is serving a purpose as I’m trying new things and making different connections. I’m seeing the beauty in neighbors and friends as well as my own space. This piece is a bit about all of that and working with things in my studio that may or may not contribute to an interesting painting. The very sense of uncertainty is what inspired this arrangement and the vulnerability in not knowing what the outcome would be like.
As I reflect on it in completion it’s a very narrative piece. The draping cloth touches on a fluidity and softness that I’ve had forever. The vertical lines of the painted oak paneling, symbolic of a spiritual connection I can have trouble with. The hat I wear when out doors painting or gardening just hangs there waiting for the next time almost as a promise. The paintings remind me of what I am here to do, the antique piano stool calls up old friends and my love for wood, history and craftsmanship. The paint can is what’s left from the recent months I’ve spent painting my kitchen from top to bottom. Including all the cabinets inside and out. It marks the love I have for my house, which isn’t perfect by any stretch, but it’s here with me all the time supporting me in ways I never dreamed of. Perhaps most notably within this basement space that was here when I moved in over 25 years ago so well equipped to be an artists studio. That didn’t emerge until quite later and still is a work in progress not unlike myself.