Friday, January 7, 2011

Landlocked Sycamores 2

This is probably not finished, but it's close, I think. I have to make some adjustments to the closer sycamore - too speckley. And I may change some of the other shapes after I live with it a bit.

But this captures some of the feeling of the memories and the imagined place, the excitment of passing between these two trees. In reality they were young and straight and without much character - but in my imagination at the time, and certainly in my memory, they grew. Striding through them was a symbol for me of passing beyond daily cares, beyond recall, as I was then too far away to hear a call or a bell from home, passing into a place without constraints other than the end of the light and the strength of our six legs. It was the door into a private world I shared with no one but the dog. And I brought home treasures... walnuts, fern fronds, seed pods, large pine cones, pearly everlasting, oak galls, stones polished orange by a half century's rusty rain water falling from old barn roofs.

And this piece is getting back to the way landscapes FEEL to me - the way trees and other things break the world into separate panes, like stained glass windows, but with nothing to restrain the light. I've painted this in other pieces - I've missed it, and I'm glad to come back.

There will be more. I have a number of these landscapes to pull out into the light; they do enable me to pursue my father, and they make me feel free. This one is my usual 19 x 19 inches - watercolor on Arches hot press.


Anonymous said...

Mostly the memory of something is more vibrant and more exciting than the event itself. Perhaps that's a blessing? or perhaps a curse? I guess it depends on the memory and the event :-)

Summer Skeeter said...

So, are we seeing from your perspective here, or are you the dog or the trees or the sun? Just wondering how this piece fits within the scope of your self portraiture?

Beautiful. I can definitely see the panes of light unrestricted through the trees here.

linda said...

so beautiful, the light is perfect and the dog reminds me of our belle, who passed a few months always, a keeper.

Lisa said...

Art in equal measures. The painting and the words.

It's beautiful. All of it.

susan said...

There are private places I've revisited in my paintings too. I wasn't always happy about growing up in the countryside but generally I was delighted to wander in magic lands. This painting speaks a lot about that sublime holiness of place.

Steve Emery said...

Gypsy - I agree that the memories are more vibrant than any photo, or even than visiting the place again could be. I'm glad it comes through in this painting - thanks for seeing it and commenting on it.

Summer Skeeter - There isn't any self portraiture in this one - it's that world through my eyes, which are right where yours are when you look at this. There will be a series of these. I'm just hitting my stride, having started a second one and finding a powerful tension between the reality and my remembered reality. I am going with the latter every time I can manage it.

Linda - I am sorry for your loss. Dogs have a special place in us, I think - very different than cats, or other beings who share our path. And your advice and example are a critical part of the path I am now on, which excites me. I'm finding my road inward at last. I can travel this road.

Lisa - Many thanks about the art and the words. I am so into the next one already... I get lost in it. It probably will not have that affect on viewers, but it's magic for me. We'll see what happens.

Susan - Thank you. I sense a lot of private place in your work, shining through the paintings - shown in the paintings. I am discovering a connection to that in these new landscapes. I am excited about where this may take me. I feel as if I have found the path inwards at last - which I have been seeking these last several years. You have shown some of the way. Linda has shown some of the way, as well (and given some important advice). And my family here has, without knowing it, probably shown me the most.

Pagan Sphinx said...

The running dog does give this such a feeling of freedom. I like the "feel" of that very much.

Sending best wishes,

susan said...

I just read your comments to Pagan Sphinx on her John Singer Sargent post and was compelled to come by and tell you how much I appreciate your eloquence. Your way of describing artwork you love makes me want to fly to wherever the pieces are and wait outside for the gallery to open.

linda said...

i was reading your words, wanting to thank you for what you said, always say about my so-called influence upon your is an honor as your work is an inspiration to me and of course, i see nothing of mine in yours :) but in thinking about your loss of your father, i think it is compelling you to that raw place of the heart, the deepest reddest parts, the bloodiest... 'cutting a vein' remembering maisel's words, this work you are currently doing, finding meaning in your father's being to you as a man, an artist, a human being, will compel you further and faster than perhaps anything else...

loss is powerful and can be a powerful is why i began to paint, to capture somehow the emotion of a time, a place and experience and get it down, out of me to where i could see you are doing as well. certainly the parameters are opposites almost but the process is much the same..

so i would agree, you are on your way to that very place you have been seeking. that is my perception based on your words and your work thus far. it is an exciting and deep journey and i do hope to see much more of what comes from this vein you are is deep and rich and sure to bear much for your inspiration, your heart. xo

Steve Emery said...

Pagan - the dog ever running ahead of me was part of the magic of the walks, and of the memories.

Susan - thank you for such kind words about my writing about art. I love it deeply, and I have been trying to get more honest as well as more colorful in my descriptions of what it does to me.

Linda - thank you very much for your comment. You might not see your art in mine, but I am aware of how it pushes me, and how your words have, as well. It's been important to me.