September 4, 2010

Count Down Day Five

“Red House with a pointed Dormer” is another repainted scene from Blackville, South Carolina. It is second in a display of four tiny oil on panel landscape paintings for our upcoming exhibition. Yesterday I put up the last labels then went home and rested. After hanging a large exhibition of art work, it was good to relax and slow down for a few hours.

There is something very satisfying about seeing a cohesive body of work on the walls of an exhibition space. My husband’s architectural photography and my landscapes featuring mostly abandoned houses seemed to dovetail nicely. The entire impression of the show is one of taking a trip down back roads - something people do here for relaxation.

The fifth big cat of my thirty-three puma series made me recall what I initially read when the saving pipeline first reached the miners in Chile. Once it was established that this would be a prolonged rescue mission, a number of commentators offered ideas about what should go down or come up that pipeline. I suppose this series of paintings was started in response to a commentator who offered a suggestion that perhaps pictures could be sent down to the minors to cheer up their gloomy space. It wasn’t entirely a bad idea, I thought, but is there a place for art? The social scientists, psychologists and medical professionals assigned to the miner’s welfare emphasized the importance of establishing routines to pass the time. I hope that a routine does not become a monotony. Scientist know how to make every day the same and to be consistent.
And that is required in many respects for the survival of the body. But artists know how to make every day a little different. It is what makes a Decameron out of a long wait for a plague to pass, or the Canterbury Tales to pass the time of a rugged pilgrimage. It makes the tales of a Thousand and One Nights. Every day a little different. Something earned, something discovered. It is what makes a soul survive. I suppose that is why I am making a little painting every day to count the difficult and long journey to a rescue. So this can be the day an emerald cat sniffed the ground to discover that someone or something has passed this way.

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