Monday, September 8, 2014

Seeing is a necessary antecedent of writing (apologies to Jorge Luis Borges)

(The Bluebird, a new work in oil)

       My mother was a good painter and I took it up as an adult to get over writer's block, when I was editor of Preservation magazine and dealing as much with nonprofit politics as an endless flow of articles.  The writer's block passed, but not the passion inherent in the act and aftermath of painting. It inevitably opens the mind to new possibility, including writing, though the dance is delicate and the partners jealous.                                                

                The painting above (Seep, oil on canvas) was done from a photograph from an airplane window over Kansas. It was bought by somebody living in London and so I've seen the real thing for the last time. My interest in painting has endured, and the knowledge that there's an alternative to laptop, book, movie, and sleep, all ritualistic antidotes to ennui and the elbows of strangers.      Landscapes seen from upwards of 35,000 feet have a beauty and coherence all their own, and thanks to digital photography much of this can now be captured easily and in detail.  Landscapes, even wrecked ones, can reflect our deepest desires and aspirations, and in some cases our collective capacity for regeneration. 
         More on this later, for now we're  off to Sicily.

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