The river is high and running, soft brown water edging closer to the top of the bank. I can hear the soft murmuring of sticks and leaves as they swirl and toss on the surface, glints of summer flashing on every ripple. The hot humid days of summer have begun, the time of over growth and excess reign on all of nature, followed by the need of constant pruning and preening to keep it in check. The studio is cool and comfortable and sometimes deafeningly silent with nothing more than the sounds of a busy mind and busy hands working in unison. My focus is on my two shows for the Fall season this year and the possibility of one new venue for next year. I am filled with excitement and apprehension in equal amounts. With all of the time constraints I still find I need to take the time to explore in depth the thoughts I have for new work. I will share a few of the explorations that have come to fruition in the studio. My work is always very personal and these are no exception . These four paintings are working within my ongoing series, the LongBoats and Weight of Balance.
The first one above is , LongBoat: Loss, it is ink and watercolor on Yupo paper. The spontaneity of the Yupo seems to fit the chaotic manner of the piece. I had been wrestling with the loss of Rocko for four long months at this point, and still I am seeking to find a peace in my life without him. This little painting is a great metaphor of how he is gone and how incredibly lost I feel without him, yet I know he is not really gone from me in spirit. This painting while mostly done in inks and liquid acrylics has a movement to it that seems to truly intrigue me.
The one below, Concentric, was painted one month after the painting above. This one feels less active but is still not passive. This piece is a Weight of Balance, I am working with concentric circles as a balance narrative in this painting. This one is in acrylic inks, powdered pigment, and watercolor on paper. I really think these paintings are great for discovering how to take something that is sad, and trying to work with it until it becomes something of beauty. I am going to try to keep working on creating out of loss and see where it leads me in the coming years. I think loss is a universally felt emotion and is easily relative to almost everyone. There is beauty in our pain, we just have to find it, and often it will surface in our work.
The third one here below was painted two months later and with inks and watercolor. The movement and liquidity of the paint once again have the controlled chaotic movement, that seems to take the moments from memory and place them squarely in the now, and make them feel relevant to my work today. I am constantly seeking ways of giving my work a “past to present” linkage, in order to meld who I am into my work.
I took this idea to another level and painted a large acrylic on board. My thoughts have gone from the loss, to a more palatable emotion of anticipation. When Rocko passed over, my vet sent me the lovely and comforting Rainbow Bridge poem. When I got it, the wound was too fresh for me to even contemplate the comfort in it, but since that time I have read and reread it, and my mind and work reflected it. This is a painting is about the poignant time of passing and reuniting at the bridge…it is aptly titled Bridged. I find bridges so interesting to think about and I can feel a new series emerging here.
I have several more paintings that are facets of this vein of thought. These are personal yet at the same time open to interpretation from others, so I feel they have a relevance in the world that transcends my original muse.
I don’t see blank canvases anymore when I work, I like to see these canvases as clouded mirrors that need to be polished and refined into art, they will always reflect parts of my life; but, it is my hope they will refract the original thoughts just enough to resonate with others.
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*All artwork and text included in this blog is copyright protected by Cathy Hegman and should not be reproduced in any form or fashion or used without the written permission of Cathy Hegman. All text and artwork included in this blog are solely the thoughts and original art of the artist, Cathy Hegman, unless otherwise noted, and are meant only to be guidelines and thoughts for others to read.
Oracle and the River