The Bear Pursued by Winter
2019. Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 in.
The season is coming on slowly this autumn. The temperatures are still warm, and the usual returning social celebrations that mark this season in the desert are muted in this covid year. But at this time last fall, almost three years into this malignant Administration, the weather was already decidedly cooler, the days crisp and shortening. The wildlife was noticeably changing their routine, and the vultures had already passed through on their annual migration to Baja. I’m not sure why but I felt the impending winter keenly, a foreboding of darkness and potential loss.
And that’s when these two paintings happened, the one above and the other at the bottom of this post. I showed them last winter in the Members Gallery at the 29 Palms Art Gallery. They occasioned an interesting discussion with a musician couple from out of state, one afternoon while I was docenting. The gentleman was particularly struck by their calligraphic character – a subject I can certainly hold forth on – and later he sent me images from a book about the evolutions connecting pictures, hieroglyphics, and alphabets.
But my interest goes beyond that, to the existence of line not as a sign, or in a literary, textual or narrative sense, but rather when line exists in a further dimension, as a manifestation in itself, of itself. (See for example here and here and here.) I’m most interested in what might be described as line’s abstract expressionist potential.
But then again, sometimes my line will indeed end up with that hieroglyphic or narrative quality, as might be seen in the images on this post. Sometimes that happens, and I’m content with it.
Anyway. Whatever my own thoughts or intentions with the work, in the end they bought the painting and I was glad they had it. 🙂
Death Creeps in to Winter
2019. Acrylic on canvas, 11 x 14 in.