Monday, March 26, 2007

Calendar Series: 62nd Month / Self-Portrait with Brothers of Mercy and Night Falling from the Sky (1990)

Sometime between 1987 and 1990, I went alone to Cannon Beach and stayed for a few days in a cottage on the far south end. In the evening, while I was sitting on the bluff watching the ocean, one of the owners of the cottage took my picture without my knowledge. A few weeks later, he sent a copy of the photo he had taken of me. That is what I used as a starting point for this painting. The second image shows how this painting may have looked if I hadn't decided to change the stormy sky to a night sky and then walked out of the room and returned to find that the Payne's Gray from the sky had dripped in a straight black line across part of the painting. At first I was distressed, but then I decided to "use" the accident and call it "night falling from the sky" after a haunting song by Bob Dylan. Paintings have a "life of their own." The painting I wanted to paint didn't happen, but another one took shape due to something beyond my control. Over the years when I have shown photo reproductions to people who say they would like to see what kind of art work I do, this painting is often chosen as a favorite. My mother liked it so much that she bought it, declining my offer to give it to her as a gift. She told me that when my Uncle Cyrus saw it he said, "Your daughter is a philosopher." After my mother died in 1994 and my father sold their retirement cottage overlooking the ocean in Gualala, California, my father chose to hang it in his retirement apartment in Bellingham, Washington. It now hangs near my front door and continues to draw attention.

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