Sunday, May 5, 2013

creative seeds

A young man walks along the pebble strewn shoreline talking to Canada geese searching for edibles. Decaying kelp scents the air but it is not overpowering. Bay breezes blow the scent past before it becomes lodged deep in the nostrils. Like the scent of kelp, the young man’s talk travels through the air but becomes ripples of sound and incoherent. The geese listen to his mutterings as he lifts shells from the shore, examines them and then drops them softly again where he found them. Two more geese make a gliding descent to join the others near his side. The young man has become an outsider among a goose party, but none seem to mind; least of all the young man standing mere feet from wild geese on a cloudy day in a bay with waves gently spilling goods from the sea.

The young man happens to be my son. We took a few moments, about twenty minutes, to meander along the shore of Departure Bay before going on to pick up the week’s groceries. He searched shells and talked to geese while I picked up pebbles. I found a few I liked but one especially since it looked like a sunflower seed. It made me think of Ai Weiwei’s sunflower seed project at the Tate museum but also again how in nature we see repeat patterns. A stone can look like a seed or a seed a stone. I plan to use it in a future mandala.

It was a quieter excursion to the shore that afternoon than the one he experienced the day before with his older brother. They came across this clump of magnificent blubber while on a road trip to Comox:

I finished the painting of my son I started last week. I must say I am pleased with both the process and the end result. In fact I am pleased with the end result simply because of the process. I strayed away from my inspiration of August Macke's The Turkish Jeweller. (You can see it a bit there on the desk in the background.) I found it too hard to adhere to his style but I took more risks than I had done in the past. For this I am pleased.

Both artworks retain in common that no features appear in the faces. I started to put them in and painted them out.I did this twice. Adding features just didn't look right. It gave the painting the wrong attitude. My son told me later he often feels like he doesn't have a face so he is pleased with having no features. Without planning by me I captured a rather accurate portrait of his self image. 

Waiting For Paninis

I named the work Waiting for Paninis because that's what we were doing when I took the snap shot. Waiting for a food order one does become rather faceless and nondescript; I didn't think of this until I named the painting, but who we are doesn't matter when it comes to waiting in line. We are just bodies awaiting a service. I wonder if that was Macke's thought when painting the jeweller?

I'll try another painting soon I think, but first another mandala drawing. The creative seed I brought home from the beach is beginning to sprout before I've given it soil.

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