Quiet your mind and observe. You will see there is life everywhere, and nothing is static. Even a rock is changing, slowly. What we see reflects who we are in that moment.
Right now I am sitting on a dilapidated stuffed chair on my filthy back porch, surrounded by a pile of yellowing newspapers, some huge disgusting sneakers, a bathroom plunger, part of a skateboard, and two upturned scooters. The porch overlooks an uneven expanse of uncut weeds, grandly called “the grass.” The yard hosts a deserted wooden playscape slowly being devoured by vines, a creaky trampoline adorned with browned leaves, a sagging clothesline dangling pitiful wardrobe selections, and a basketball hoop leaning over a cracked concrete patio.
Originally my paintings were about this type of domestic chaos. But then something happened, and I just could not stand to paint that stuff anymore. I did not know what to do. Then one night I was in my backyard stretched out on the playscape looking out into the yard.
The sun had almost set, and the September air was still. Yet everything was pensively alive. Blue purple sky fading to pink enveloped grey-green trees that reached out to catch the fading light. Trees: graceful, poised, majestic. Leaves spun lacy patterns against blueberry velvet. A potent palpable presence hung in the air.
It was so serenely beautiful. I can’t describe it. But you know if you have been there.
So I painted landscapes…. including paths, maybe a metaphorical comment on where I was going. Or maybe just because there was always a path there. These paintings were contemplative and still.
Creative work goes in cycles. Soon I found myself in a yard that had it all: Maureen Beall’s garden. Her yard has all this funky Southern stuff in it that would look like absolute trash in mine, but in hers, its art. Suddenly the paintings had a different energy, and I am off into a new direction. Your guess is as good as mine where it will go.
It’s really all about energy. Painting is about energy. A good painting gives you energy, feeds you spiritually. It tells you things—something new every time you experience it. Not in words, but on a deeper level. But you have to quiet your mind and observe.