Bell Poem No. 6 (Pursuit of the Deep)
2020. Acrylic on canvas, 10 x 20 in.
Sometimes a painting works for me in more than one orientation. Maybe I’m not supposed to admit that. And usually I note no such ambiguity – there’s one way, and it’s the right way. But sometimes, a work speaks one universe one way, and another universe another way, and I feel them both deeply. So then there’s nothing to decide for me, and a painting, like this one, might sit in the studio for months before I make up my mind, sign it, varnish it, and put it away. Or, like with this one, I may ultimately instead decide, fuck it, both orientations are meaningful to me, and I’m fine with the viewer deciding which they prefer. Truly. I’m fine with it.
So…done. I signed it with a small crescent mark I sometimes use that can survive any orientation, varnished it, and was able finally to put it away.
Same thing with this piece done around the same time:
Bell Poem No. 5
2020. Acrylic on canvas. 20 x 10 in.
This vertical orientation still has the strongest appeal for me, but I just haven’t been able to shake my intrigue with the sort of metaphysical tablet that appears when it’s oriented horizontally:
I’m not sure anyone else would share my fascination, but…so be it. Many things in life can be viewed from more than one direction, and still have meaning. I’m at peace with it.