I’ve just finished a silly little painting and from the looks of it I have been listening to Kurt Weill to often.
I started this painting several years ago, then I moved, it was stashed away unfinished only to be rediscovered a few weeks ago. I decided to give it a second chance. Initially I was inspired to dash off a quick painting to depict the frank annoyance I had felt at an opening I had attended. If there ever was an Emperor-hasn’t- any-clothes moment , that opening was it. Sycophants galore gushing over ridiculousness- a filthy mattress suspended from the ceiling strewn with red lights. Subtle as a train wreck but not as engaging. This painting was my response to such nincompoopery and as nincompoopery is alive and well still fun to paint .
oil on canvas board 20 by 24 inches
I submitted a few pieces to a juried exhibition devoted to work on paper, my Jumping Tlaloc from the last posting and this oil painting which I have titled Mirth.
Mirth…or just keeping your head above water
oil on cardboard;reclaimed frame with painted decoration
35 by 22 inches
The theme of the exhibition ( I hate themes frankly) is Celebration. Although I have a lot to be happy about my work doesn’t always reflect that fact; it is often dark and moody, certainly bizarre at times. I scrambled to come up with something suitably celebratory. My Tlaloc I find amusing, he jumps to attention and makes me laugh-that seems a reason to celebrate.
But Mirth is more personal, in fact I dedicate it as a psychological portrait of my first partner Douglas who couldn’t keep his own head above water. I see Douglas in this clown’s eyes and I’m saddened.
As someone who has wrestled with depression and self-doubt my entire life, my attraction to Douglas and his dark ways makes a great deal of sense. But when Douglas finally succumbed by his own hand, I became more determined not to give in. As anyone who works through these issues knows,it is difficult. Douglas’s choice has a romantic appeal at times, but then its final. Really final.
There are days I am just stunned Douglas is no longer here, although the romantic love for one another faded, there are days I would love to share a passage from a book I might be reading or a particularly delightful treasure I find in the trash . One such treasure is the rickety frame “his” portrait is framed in. I was delighted to find it on the street soon after moving back to LA-I took it as a good sign. To further enhance its awful teal ridiculousness I painted a little smiling clown-demon.
Douglas would have loved it.
My life now, even with dark days is amazing. David , my spouse (I cannot yet say husband-too much baggage I suppose) is incredible. We have our rows and differences, but his tender empathy and good cheer stuns the hell out of me consistently. So often I feel engulfed and he floats by graceful as a buoy and reminds me of another brighter perspective.
For that I celebrate.
Take care, be well,