In junior high science class, I vaguely remember learning about the Golden Mean, those specific measurements that repeat themselves throughout the natural world. It’s not to be confused with the Golden Rule, which could be the moral equivalent to the Mean. I painted the shell and outer space together to compare and contrast the Golden Mean. One is small and finite and the other is large and infinite. And yet they both start at one point and spiral outwards. At least they do in my mind, where factual science, although interesting fodder for creativity, takes a back seat to my personal mythology and stories that begin with “Maybe” and “I think”. There is so much to learn, it all becomes blurry as time passes.
I lost interest in this painting while painting it, which happens sometimes. I wanted the shell to look crisp, and I couldn’t achieve the results I wanted. Eventually it was deposited in the reject pile to be painted over at a later date. Then we moved and my husband took it out of the pile and hung it up in our new abode. So maybe it is done, as far as the rest of the world is concerned. Nothing more will be added, but at least it won’t be painted over. Acrylic, 24 X 24.
They are much more impressive in the wild. I’ve killed every cactus I ever owned. I over water and pay too much attention to them. The one I have now is shriveled and sad-looking. The motto of a cactus is “Be compelling and repelling at the same time.” My approach to this painting is two-fold: Paint everything I see. If painting what I see isn’t possible, then paint a suggestion of it. Acrylic, 18 X 24″.
Drawn on an airplane on my way to an exotic place, I could not help but express how my head was literally and figuratively in the clouds. The view out of an airplane window is fantastic, yet forbidden. We are originally land animals, after all. Clouds are fun to paint and draw. They have so many shapes and textures— tibetan tanka swirls, whipped cream, vanilla pudding piles, cottony wisps and bones of deities.
I wish drawing in public were as commonplace as reading. People always want to see what I’m drawing, which is fine for them, but embarrassing for me. No one ever asks what one reads or writes, but drawing in public is a novelty for most. More art should be done on planes to take the eyeballs off me. Or, I should hone my public persona and be more friendly.
Pen and pencil on paper, 7 X 8
The one thing about abstract art that is the least understood is this— there is no right or wrong answer. Someone spills some paint and that’s art? Why? You want to scoff at Rothko’s bands of color because you expect a painting to show you what you should feel. Abstract art has no specific story to tell, yet it draws you in just the same. This painting can be hung in any way; upside down, right side up or sideways. It’s an allegory of modern life. Where have we been, where are we going?
Once some one asked Salvador Dali if he did a lot of drugs.
His response was, “I am a drug.”