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Van Gogh's Eye
Acrylic on canvas panel
When I made the above painting, my goal was to express as much emotion as I could in one simple element. What better subject could I use than the tumultuous life of Vincent Van Gogh? There was no need to paint the whole figure when I could tell the whole story just by painting the eye. I attempted to capture the pain, the sadness, the fear and the insanity...and I think I succeeded.
Compression. Simplifying. Reducing waste. These are all areas that have been holding my focus for awhile in areas of my emotional life ....which, of course, is directly connected to my art life. It is hard to have this attitude when one is a mixed media artist who views the entire world as one big treasure chest of offerings. It is so hard to pass by that coil of wire or to not pick up that rusty piece of metal that I know will go so well in a future assemblage. The downstairs portion of my loft is brimming with containers full of buttons and glass, images and fibers, papers and paints and so many found objects that I dare not try to count them all.
However, the kind of simplifying I want to talk about is more a state of mind, than a tangible item. It is the ability to simplify thoughts that will not allow the negativity of others to interfere with the creative process.
Clearing the garbage of a third party's negative input out of one's heart and mind frees the spirit to create art that has more ...umph...to compress the elements that are most important into a more powerful work. Couple this with the very real and intense love that I feel for my beloved husband, John, and I think I could accomplish just about anything.
Compression. Try to say as much as possible with as few strokes of the pen, the brush, the collaged images, the mosaic tile, the design, the words ...as you can. Sometimes, less is more.
Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response:
For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.
See how powerful that is?
Read the title of this blog post. Six words by Joyce Carol Oates. Powerful and potent. Simple.
I got them from this video:
In other news...
"If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, you mustn't seek to show that no crows are; it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white."
Over the last two weeks, I have had horrible, crushing headaches that require me to lie down until they are gone. During these times, I have dozed off and have had the same dream each time in which I was visited by a white crow. I finally decided to paint what I saw. Mind you, crows don't have beaks that are curved this much and this guy looks more like a sea gull than a crow... but then again...they don't usually fly over red clouds either. Anyway...this is a painting from my reoccurring dream....
30" x 24"
acrylic on canvas
My friend, Jette, wrote from Scotland to say: "
Birds are usually a good omen in dreams, especially brightly coloured ones. Crows, OTOH, are often birds of ill omen, foretelling sadness to come (but not necessarily grief) - but then again, crows aren't usually white.
Looking at the colours of your picture - deep red means unexpected good news and white is "certain promise of success!.
So perhaps your white crow is an omen of good fortune and joy, perhaps from a situation you're expected sorrow?"
My friend, Kim, wrote:
"...crows are omens of good magic. They are omens of change and the master of shape-shifting. This is a quote from my Animal Medicine book:
"...Crow Medicine teaches you to let your personal integrity be your guide...to stand in your truth....walk your talk and speak your truth and know your life's mission...knowing a higher order of right and wrong....speaking in a powerful voice about issues you know to be out of harmony and balance and unjust..."