Sunday, December 29, 2013

year-end reflections

As the year draws to a close, I still feel that something has changed as a result of my residency at the Centre d'Art i Natura last fall. I'm still not sure what that something is. The sensation of being in transition that I referred to in my last post continues, and not only at the easel. (Actually, I have spent very few hours in the studio since I last wrote: Painting just isn't on my daily agenda at the moment.) I am seeking and reaching new ground in playing cello and in studying Buddhism, both reflecting a deeper understanding of some basic principles: being in the moment, acting mindfully, treating myself and others with kindness, respect, and compassion.

My motives and my orientation seem to have shifted. The principal activities of my life, especially these three most personal ones, are becoming integrated as diverse expressions of a single, coherent perspective. My attention is turning outward rather than inward, toward the expression of beauty, gratitude, and joy through personal action whether at the easel or music stand, or in encounters with other people.

2013 is ending for me with a sense of completion. I am tired of being introspective about painting; it is time to glean what I can from this most recent period of reflection, and get on with things. I am comfortable with adopting the values of Abstract Expressionism, with being non-representational, spontaneous, and emotive in my art. The Colorado Plateau remains my motif and my muse: the landforms, the skies, the space. Other than that, it is time let the big questions lie, and see where my materials and my process take me.

The image above is a 12"x 12" piece started last summer and finished last month.