January 14, 2010

  • The Lady and the Chimera

    Click on this link to go to a slideshow of the stages of painting this image: The Lady and the Chimera

    The Lady and the Chimera
    , 12″ x 9″, 30.5x23cm, oil on canvas, 2010.

    fish live in a ribbon of river in the sky

    nor do I sprinkle specks of strands of saffron stars

    bouquets of red poppies bloom in paper ice

    the soul, a chimera, who gave moments

    never to erase

    lived words, acts

    seeing flying angels makes me laugh…

    or you can delete

    what’s in your heart

    we are gifts
    to give


    I am really wanting to move onto something else, so am going to consider this little painting done. I have painted it with a very small palette knife, really a dental instrument, and a sable brush with about 5 hairs. The paint is very thick – and I held it over the scanner for this image which I’ll replace in 6 months when it’s dry with a better one. The painting has taken far longer than I could have imagined.

    The chimera is half human and half lion, yes, but originally meant to
    be a cuddly stuffed animal chimera. His expression is a little more
    lusty though, isn’t it. And that hat!

    painted the canvas black first as an
    underlying nod to the void, emptiness, what all form arises out of.
    Rather than painting from a white canvas I thought to begin from
    Śūnyatā, from a blackness. To allow imaginal form to manifest from

    And I got a lusty little chimera! And a floating figure, a woman in outlines, who you can make of what you will…

    Oh, I hope it makes you smile as I do! The painting is whimsical, fairy-tale, yes, a little bit mythic, and my first attempt at Surreal, also from the imagination, no life models.

    I think of this as a jazz composition, a riff in paint.

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Comments (6)

  • Hail Brenda

    As the creator, your narrative on the creative process was outstanding.  I read a fascinating book called “Vermeer’s Hat”.  The book circled around the works of Vermeer and a few of his contemporaries in the field of art during the ascendant era of the dutch masters.  The book had an unusual thrust, however, that was wonderful.  The author used mostly Vermeer’s paintings to link the main images from each painting and then the tremendous amount of detail in the background of the paintings to capture a view of the world as it existed in the 1600s, a time before photography.

    Reading it gave me an entirely new appreciation for painting and you reinforced it by reminding me that each stroke has a meaning.  It may have one meaning to the artist and a different meaning to the viewer, which is not necessarily a problem, but when they connect,…well, nothing else is like it, really.

    Be well.

  • @Slag_Runner - Thank you, Jay. I haven’t read Vermeer’s Hat, though it does sound like a wonderful approach. Rather than relying mostly on the documentation we have, notes, diaries, public writing in gov, legal and newspapers etc., heresy and whatever else, here is a unique route for the historian into another age: through the vision of a great artist. Vermeer’s entire output was very small, something like three dozen paintings. Yet they are exquisite and have come to represent a certain still beauty in the world.

    Animating Vermeer has been a recent project, I guess. I saw the movie, ‘Girl with a Pearl Earing’ in which the Vermeer of the same name was used as “the image” (Scarlett Johansson quite perfectly fit) from which unravelled a story in a starry, pearly way as narrative was added. Narrative is something that a painting normally doesn’t have, existing in an eternal visual space, an icon to the moment in time in which it was painted.

    There are many ways to appreciate visual art. My favourite is standing before a work of art and letting it play with your sensual and intellectual perceptions until your vision and sensibility are transformed. The process of transformation before a work of art is of the ilk of the ecstatic, visionary experience of mystics.

    Fun. Reading works of art as visual documents embedded in the cultural concerns of their day, which is of course they are, is a lovely way to explore historical context. A lense through which the past may come alive.

  • Rowrr!  A cuddly chimera for my birthday!  There were two bears on the card I got from Barbara (a mama and papa bear).  I wonder if they’re feeling like your chimera, like wondering whether to join you in that river in the sky.  He seems to be wondering how cold the water is, hugging the shore while he decides.

    Of course the best present of all is to see another post from you, my favorite Xanga artist.  My favorite Xanga person.

  • i love it !  hope you are well   blessings beck

  • @mag_1 - Magical Magi… thank you, sweetie. I see you are the creative bounty you always were… ageless and fearless and fabulous. Are you on facebook? I seem best to keep in touch with people there… 

  • @twoberry - Love you! And Barbara! Happy belated birthday – !!!! Only a few months late! Or perhaps early for next year!!! big hugs to you two darlings… xoxo

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