Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Nine Stones, progression 1
Nine Stones, progression 2
Nine Stones, progression 3
Oil on board, 9 panels, each panel 23" x 23"
Not for sale at this time
Click images to enlarge
So far on the blog I've only been posting my realist paintings, so this may not look like my work. But I have pursued other directions for many years, and this piece is just the latest incarnation. Though it is made up of separate panels, it should be thought of as a single work.
Nine Stones had a pretty prosaic beginning. It grew out of my becoming aware of boulders that had been placed around the edge of a small gravel parking lot out at Ladd Marsh. I've done a lot of work in the past that utilized multiple panels and multiple images, which were used in part to represent the passage of time and states of change.
I got to thinking about these common rocks, and how uncommon they really are. Native American and other indigenous peoples around the world think of the entire earth as a living organism, while the history of our modern culture has been one of separating humans from nature. It occurred to me that the only reason we think of a rock as inanimate is because its lifespan is unimaginably longer than our own. Suddenly I could sense the "life" in these stones, as a vital part of the living earth.
In the paintings, it seemed important to stay true to their individual shapes--after all, these are "portraits." It may seem silly, but it's even important to me that they are displayed in the order I've placed them, which is their actual relationship at the Marsh. But I've tried to paint them in a way that is less literal, in hopes of expressing the living energy I sense in them. My hope was to somehow ground them in observed reality, while at the same time implying a larger reality beyond our comprehension.