Contemplating a new piece. Mena is a year old now and I am just getting to a place where I can sit quietly and think about new work. I would be curious to see if there is a ‘pre’ and ‘post’ marriage and baby style or thematic change in what I am drawn to doing.
Of course what I really want to be doing is baby artwork, which I have already started, so maybe that’s what it’ll have to be until I get it out of my system.
When I started making ketubahs it was as gifts for and celebrations of the marriages of family and friends. I was always interested in exploring marriage’s place in the context of the larger community. Even though it is the most intimate promise you make in your life, it places you in a continuum of tradition and society. Your own marriage is intensely private, but the fact of the marriage is incredibly public. So there are these two opposing forces working together to create this public/private space that you promise to live in. So I started drawing houses, clusters and individual. The image of a house instantly telegraphs belonging. One of my most popular pieces, Seaside, shows an isolated house on an island on the sea under the stars. I think people respond to it because it communicates a sense of intimacy. Funny that the next most popular one shows many houses clustered together. So I guess what you respond to depends on the ideal you have of your marriage.
Starting to paint again after a year away has proven very daunting. I made a few false starts and it seems I need to retrain my eye and hand. But I have to say that once I have gotten involved, it’s the same magic it’s always been and I of course ask myself why have I stayed away so long? (oh yeah, hi baby!) I love the absorption and focus when everything falls away and it’s just my hand, the brush, the paper, over and over. I love the way the paint holds the edge of the stroke and sort of pools there just slightly. I love the way a drop of clear water will move all the color around and create this vibrant little energy field. It’s almost like the process is the end, not the means. But getting to that place is quite the challenge. Maybe a cup of coffee and a nice cookie will get me going…