Thursday, February 26, 2009

For the fever you have at 3am.



Getting serious about the diptych.  It's part of the continuing series of building portraits and the streets below.  I paint a lot of these and I'm not sure why.  I haven't tired of them, so I see no reason to stop.  The concept is that with everything that happens within them and outside of they their soul (the soul of the building or place) gets stained.  They're and extension of us the humans who have build them, but even before that they were a place in nature that has long since been destroyed by their creation and the urban environment around them.  When humanity is gone they'll be returned to nature and maybe eons from the land will return to it's natural state.  But for now I will paint these portraits of buildings and the places they inhabit.  Oh, that's what Your Vanity can Wait painting is about in case any of you thought it was a bit out of character.  I plan to extend this since of place outside of the high rise environment a little.  I'm going to start painting old churches, libraries and maybe even barns if it suits me. 

It was trips to Bisbee, Jerome and scattered ghost towns throughout Arizona that instilled this idea of place and our footprint on nature within me. A little history. After college I went back to Community College for graphic design, a little photography, refresher life drawing courses, and cartooning. Well, my photography course was on slide photography with the intent to learn to use my camera well and shoot slides of my artwork.  It was an serious photography class, so it meant that you had to go out into the world and burn through lots of film. I chose to jump into the truck with Alicia on the weekends and search out ghost towns and make trips to historic towns throughout the state. I love the open road. My family moved around so much when I was a kid from state to state by car I grew to love the freedom of leaving one place to an uncertain future. There's still part of me that longs to just lift my roots up and just go.  Of course I have to remember the lesson I learned through all that. No matter where you go there you are.  All the things you think tie you down don't really, it's your mental projections on them that empower them to "tie you down". They're nothing more than illusions.  For example, your job. You think your secure, safe, and bound to the company you work for, but tomorrow you could be laid off and in search for a new job.  When that happens you have to ask were you really tied to that job, that place, and that building or were you free to go all this time? It's this transience and ephemeral reality that is at the root of my work or should I say the motivation behind it. Nothing is here to stay and everything is in a state of constant change or in flux.

Another facet of impermanence is our loved ones. Today is the anniversary of my Mother's death that happened when I was seventeen. I can't even begin to relate how that has influenced my life and my work and only recently have come to admit it to myself and others. Alicia wasn't feeling well tonight ( she might have what I'm just getting over), so we've postponed our going out for dinner to this weekend. Starting a few years ago I decided I was tired of crying over my mom's death and simply started taking Alicia out to eat or scheduling vacations big or small on the day. My mom told me in her last days to live my life fully for every moment without concern for money or anything other than my personal happiness, because life passes you by way too quickly. So in honor of that I'm putting aside the tears and smiling in remembrance of her.  Reap Ye Rosebuds While Thee May!  Hence my fever at 3am.