Self Portrait

“SEED”, 48″ x 48″, 2004,m/m

Most of my art tends toward self portraiture in the sense that I do my best work when I don’t know what I’m doing.

Rather, instead of DECIDING exactly what I think the piece should be I ALLOW it to emerge and in that way I always learn something about myself by letting the work teach me.

Sometimes this happens immediately as I am completing a piece or it could creep up on me years, even decades later.

Certainly, there are themes that have arisen over the years in varying colors and forms.

This is one such theme; that of striated layers with a seed-like form in various states of gestation.

So much of my work has included layering and a sort of hierarchy evident in the obvious ‘below and above’ the horizontal orientation.

What I have learned over these many years intimately entangled in a tempestuous relationship with a chronic illness is that it is all relative.

The climb and the energy output in trying to reach the summit always held such a gleam.

The physical test and the sweat outpour involved in putting one foot still higher on the ladder when the air was too damn thin.

Now, I can’t lift my leg high enough to clear just one measly rung on the thing.

But, funny enough, I am so much stronger.

Not the physical kind at the moment but the sort of strength inherent in the seed; the force that makes us burn through the rocks and weight of earth and keep doing it until we can’t.

And take a rest to gather ourselves gaining strength from the most mundane of things; reviving ourselves with the slow sensuality of water seeping through the dry ground and the impossibly rich smell of ready earth.

And we press on..

These things are my church. This is where I pray.

The small and weak and silent and threadbare..

How loud they have become to my ears.

And how very satisfying their song.

And I press on…


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