A la prima

shell 3 25 17a

The shell began in morning light. The first marks were still morning thoughts. Interruption.  We needed to leave for our much longed for, much anticipated Saturday walk.  We’d waited all week for the chance.  But that walk took far longer than we had imagined.  We probably walked 46 city blocks.

The walk began at Jason’s where we get a light lunch — an egg and cheese bagel with coffee for me.  After the meal, my daughter and I walked to an art store across town over 20 blocks away past all manner of urban landscape. Coming back we were exhausted.  I had bought an armful of canvas panels.

Back at home returning to my seashell I found the light radically different.  But I hadn’t gotten very far along in the morning so I decided to keep working on the painting. While I painted I noticed that the muscles in my legs felt like they were vibrating.  Around 5pm the light changed.  It had become crystalline.  Waning light wrapped around each surface.

There is a beautiful, ineffable character to evening light. The clarity enchants.  Artists who paint twilight skies have little time to capture their effect.  And the same quick departure of the light influences the indoor still life too.  The table and its objects — the shells, the big fat black ginger jar decorated with a fruit motif, the pale blue table cloth — all coalesce in suspended time.  In dream light. Time, space, gravity, mass are all entangled in weird ways according to the physicists.  Well, you can sure believe it in late and waning day.

Finally I had to quit the painting. Mentally, though, thoughts linger inside that other light.



Dynamic Swimmers

advancing swimmersZig-zagging, radiating reflections announce the movement of the koi that swim in lazy formation toward the spectator. The calm quietude of the koi contrasts with the reflections created by their wake. They are dynamic in effect even when their actions are measured and smooth. The waves the koi make as they swim through the pond travel far from the fish ensemble. Their waves announce them to distant places and telegraph their presence to distant shores, saying, “The koi were here.”

Where the koi assemble, coming toward the spectator, passages of warm yellow, orange and red mix with pale luminescent silvery blue and mild violet tones in the level water. They swim in our direction and those jagged reflections begin to fall far behind them.

Dynamic Swimmers is drawn using Neocolors on Nideggen paper and measures 38 x 25.5 inches.