Painting Winter: “Have You Ever?”
I casually (vaguely?) mentioned this painting a couple-three months ago. And let it drop. The subject slumbered silently (probably forgotten (by everyone but me). I wasn’t feigning indifference. I wasn’t hoping my mysterious nonchalance might pique interest (truly; I’m always at a loss as to what to do when piqued interest actually materializes…). No, no. No, my enigmatic tone was a cover for sheer frustration; I’d neglected to take a good picture of the painting before I sent it off to my friend Elaine’s boutique. I had no actual proof of the painting to post on my blog.
I have decent pictures now, having remembered to take a good camera with me on my most recent visit to the boutique (I also took my dear friend Stephanie with me, but that story will have to wait for another post, and so will a better picture of Elaine, who eludes a good shot like a phantom myth…let’s just call her “Nessie”).
(Elaine, Holladay’s Loveliest Urban Legend)
Steph, Perusing with Amazing Hair
Let me tell you about the painting, dearly beloveds.
Have You Ever heard Brandi Carlisle’s “Have You Ever”? If I could make my painting sing it, I would. This song was on my mind as I painted, late last winter. Expressing in notes and lyrics my own experience, how euphoric and revelatory aloneness can be sometimes.
However. Though I love the song, the painting was at first a disappointment to me. Not euphoric at all. I liked the texture of the ground I was experimenting with (tissue paper wrinkled and glued onto board with gesso, painted over with oil)…but. Thinking back, I cannot quite articulate what I didn’t like about the painting… it probably had something to do with my fear that it wasn’t “real” art (I keep doing that). Unable to throw it out entirely, I turned it to the wall (this actually happens a lot). Eventually I primed the back of the painting and even sketched on it with charcoal, intending to conduct another experiment on the back. But I was thinking about the front painting again, feeling wistful, kind of liking it. I invited it to audition itself one last time, letting it sing silently (face outward) in my studio. Intrigued by the possibilities that a slightly altered composition promised, I cropped it, put it in a refurbished thrifted frame, and fell in love. I don’t know if that’s wise. A fellow artist once warned me about letting a painting become precious to me. I get that. I’ll work on being more detached with future paintings. I think.
PS: Radical subject change: I’m finally ready to share pictures of our home here, this week. We’ve taken many; I’ll pick through and find the best (of course). Maybe one or two of the worst (like Ezra’s chewing gum stuck to Meisha’s bed post?). At any rate, I’ll share. Soon. This week.