Paths, paths to everywhere

I found a quote by Yogi Berra saying, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”  My sentiments exactly.  Life presents us constantly with paths, so many that one must always be choosing something.  Does an hour go by without presenting possibilities?

A painting with a path depicted in it is as enigmatic as a Yogi Berra quote, since of course you cannot really take such a path very far — only as far as what you see.  A painting has no path in it at all.  It’s just a flat surface with colors.  And yet it tells you about a path you see in imagination.  And, of course, you’re free to take that one.

Path Leading

It is impossible to paint something like this without reference to Matisse.  Still I think one can evoke Matisse while being fully oneself, idiosyncratic and contemporary.  It’s also quite possible to find a little El Greco in one’s desire to make an image like this one.  I like conversing visually with old painters translating their notions into my era’s slangy modern idiom.

This landscape is a retrospective glance.  I first painted this motif many years ago, so many years ago I’ve lost track.  However, this latter day version is quite different while simultaneously being quite the same as its older counterpart.  It is as though one strolls through a landscape that one has known all one’s life.  But then isn’t painting always like that? 

Sometimes I think that I am just painting one picture.  It is merely the seasons that change.

A Path Leading Somewhere

Some people complain about the summer heat.  I’m not one of them.  I bask in summer heat like a turtle.  For me summer has always meant freedom.  It began, no doubt, with the childhood experience of being released from school.  But it culminated with the myriad experiences upon which a summer is actually composed.

In childhood I had my backyard to explore, but fittingly too I had at the beginning and end of every summer the experience of traveling to visit North Carolina relatives to the rural south, where I could explore wild nature.  Mostly I climbed a single chinaberry tree, which was universe enough for an eight year old girl.  To this day the branches of a tree seem like welcoming arms, and a tree is almost as good as a person for company.

And so a path through foliage or trees marks out for me life’s great events.  A path tempts you to take it.  Walk this direction, oh brave ones, if you will.  Who is the adventurer to take this road and see its great delights?

[Top of the post: Great Oak, by Aletha Kuschan, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 44 inches]