Sunday, April 17, 2011

Near the Creek


Near the Creek
Oil on board, 9" x 12"
$350 plus $10 shipping in U.S.

For check payment or other arrangements, email don@dailyartwest.com


I've always been fascinated and more than a little frightened by culverts. Many years ago the driveway to our home in the country crossed an irrigation ditch. We always cautioned our young children about playing near it. If one of them went missing, even for a few moments, my first panicked thoughts were of the ditch, with a nightmare vision of their being sucked into the culvert and somehow lodged inside. It was the scariest thing I could imagine.

Sorry for these cheerless thoughts, but I wanted to explain something of the power these things hold over my imagination. It's not all frightening, either. Culverts are pretty obvious metaphors for birth and renewal of all kinds. It's not too much of a stretch to see how they might represent our passage through life as we find courage to face the darkness in the world, the darkness in ourselves.

Crouch down and peer through a culvert--you'll literally see the light at the end of the tunnel.



Considering how dangerous everything is, nothing is really frightening.
~ Gertrude Stein




16 comments:

SamArtDog said...

What an interesting subject for a painting. It also makes for a good "introspective" post. The painting itself sucks me in (is there really such a thing as a good pun?), and I keep going back for another look.

Isn't that Gertrude Stein quote great? I wonder if she was ever truly afraid of anything?

Deborah Paris said...

Love this painting Don. The viewpoint is really captivating. Funny, my husband and I were just talking last night about our childhood memories of storm drains and culverts (playing in them- egads!)!

Jane Hunt said...

Beautiful piece!
I never gave them much thought - interesting how we all have such different attachments/emotions to various subjects. I may have to look through one now!

Sonya Johnson said...

This painting has a surreal feel to it, although I can't necessarily explain why. I really like everything about it, and it succeeds on many levels.

I think I've only ever seen one other artist (Bill Cone) turn something as ordinary as a drainage culvert into an intriguing and successful painting; just goes to show how art and beauty can be found in even the most unlikely places.

Don Gray said...

Thanks, Sam. If Gertrude was afraid of anything, we know it wasn't elliptical logic.

Don Gray said...

Hi Deborah, thanks for the note. Looks like we've all had our minds in the gutter lately! :^}

Don Gray said...

Thanks, Jane. Yes, we all have our particular little phobias and fascinations, don't we?

Don Gray said...

Hi Sonya--yeah, I think it does seem a bit surreal. Maybe it's the way the roadway blocks the view of the landscape.

Thanks for that very fine compliment. I'd love nothing more than to produce paintings that hint at how extraordinary the ordinary really is.

Dar Presto said...

This is striking, beautiful, and yes, a bit haunting. The paint application I find to be playful and engaging, and adds a wondrous movement to the piece. I love it.

rateyourart said...

Oh yes, interesting object with a nice composition. Wonderful brush work.
Sort of a Alice in the rabbit hole attraction.

Sarah said...

Love it. Especially the grasses.

Jason Waskey said...

Nice, Don.

As an aside, I've got three one inch scars just under my ribs cause of one of those things...

Don Gray said...

Dar, thanks for your response to the painting.

Don Gray said...

I like the "Alice in rabbit hole" comment, Rate--makes me think about it a little differently. Thanks for the visit and comments.

Don Gray said...

Thanks, Sarah--nice to hear from you. Your "Speckled Lily" painting is on the wall above my computer, where I enjoy it daily. Nice to see your new work.

Don Gray said...

Hi Jason--thanks. Sounds like a combination of a growing kid and a too-small culvert!