Sunday, April 29, 2007

San Mateo County Coast Painted from Memory (2002)

The shape of the shoreline, vast ocean and sky is something else. There is an unnamable emotion that goes with it that, for me, is made of tears and laughter.

Last night I was painting until about midnight, working on something that was seeming to be a failed effort and which I had been working on for several days. Suddenly, I knew what to do, and the painting came to life.

The previous night I had been warping the inkle loom, only to discover after it was warped that I had made a mistake. The sinking feeling was awful, and I was too tired to remedy the mistake. Instead of trying to fix the mistake, I went to my painting table. Much later, I went to sleep feeling discouraged, with a feeling of failure in both weaving and painting.

Then, last night, I undid part of the warp and rewarped the loom. After weaving a few inches, I could see that there still was something wrong with the warping, but not wrong enough -- maybe even interesting, maybe a good lesson in letting go of expectations.

In the last few days, while I have been painting, I have been listening to an unabridged version of CHRONICLES VOLUME ONE, by Bob Dylan read by Nick Landrum, published in 2005, a version I picked up at the public library. I read the book when it was published in 2004 and have listened to the abridged version from 2004 read by Sean Penn.

Many, if not all, of my earlier paintings and drawings were done while listening to music, frequently Bob Dylan's music. Some time ago, I made a conscious decision to paint without listening to music. Recently, I've been listening to "spoken word" CDs and tapes. Painting while listening to someone speak is working for me now. Painting while listening to Bob Dylan's book evokes in me very different feelings and thoughts than his music does, and I'm glad for the continuing inspiration. He makes me laugh. He makes me ask questions. He helps me trust the creative process.

1 comment:

tony said...

I came across your blog by chance just now.
Very Fine Paintings!
Best Wishes