Thursday, 15 September 2016

15 09 2016

Think she'll do... surprising, how many images of the Magdalene exist and how haunting they are. Most of the decisions that made this pic are references, either accepting or denying - in future I'm sticking to the unlauded or at any rate unpainted.

Another three saints are plodding on. I'm not too focused; things looming. Bobs return, London trip, talk at Leeds. Shudder.


  1. I wanted to see more of your art which doesn't often appear on the Esperaza blog and did find you here...hope you don't mind.
    I lived in San Francisco in the 60s and knew artists (mot beat artists weren't worth knowing, tho') and since my reaction to art is similar to hearing the right voice sing the right song and something shifts within.
    LACMA (LA county museum) had a Kadinsky exhibit and as a member I got to go early so there were few people. There was one large work which made me laugh...out loud (which I almost never do) and I wanted to swing my arms around and it just filled mw with such delirious joy that I felt possessed. The museum guards looked at me worriedly and I told them that the painting just filled me with such joy I could only laugh. I didn't look strange so they didn't ask me to leave.
    At the Japanese Pavillion there was an exhibit of large folding screens...very large individual panels, calligraphy on gold. But something it it had the same effect. I didn't laugh but I sat there just entranced by what the piece did to me.
    When you wrote about your current work I thought about all the religious paintings I've seen and perhaps admired but few have engaged me much.
    A Norwegian artist, living in LA at the time, gave a lecture at the Gnostic Society. I forget the actual title but what I remembered was how he spoke of diagonals and the next time at LACMA I saw the El Greco of St Andrew and there was the diagonal or whatever he had been talking this case, the cross but it was how I could experience what Jan had been talking about. Even as a print online it affects me.
    There is an Italian altarpiece which was thought lost in WWII then discovered in a barn covered in old wrappings and dirt. Purchased by LACMA and restored it is, for me, the physical counterpart to Faure's Requiem. what others seem to care about (how busy they all are!) are nothing to the main character. Most other paintings tell stories. If there is a story here for me, it's not to be so busy, but that's not why it opens me up the way it does.

    Having read Evelyn Underhill's Mysticism (and other works) I take a dim view of most peoples' conception of saints.
    And since few artists have personal experiences of saints and most works done in the past were expressions of piety (or for the actual or faux pious), we're stuck with them.
    The Bernini Ecstasy of Saint Teresa is the best example. Nice work, beautiful work but seeing an image of it, my only interaction with it would be a passing thought about how long it took and ask myself if I were in the same city would I go see it? (
    Various religious robes can denote the person's status in a hierarchical society and some of what the styles were at the time of the painting but they say nothing about the inner experience.
    So reading your comments about choosing to show only the face (even with its difficulties) told me I needed to follow the series because there would probably be things hidden (unintentional) which would be like a small short circuit which makes me connect with what I see/know.
    This particular painting has me seeing something and asking myself 'but why does it matter (to me)?
    Faces: I've seen the faces of several Tibetan rinpoches; I've known a couple of Native American tribal medicine men (oh their beauty!) and yet a photo of the face of any of them would show ordinary men.
    You do have quite a self-set challenge ahead of you but while I pay attention to my reactions I don't think I'm alone in my perceptions of other works, so I think (and do hope) this series impacts others in whatever way that they need.

    I didn't set out to write all this but I hope I haven't wasted your time.

  2. I feel now that I have trespassed in your private life. I will delete the link and not look at this site again. My apologies if I did trespass.

  3. Gabrielle !!!! I LOVE your comments! I just didnt know they were there... been away and dont touch the blog when Im not in Esperaza or my studio. PLEASE dont give up on me I value your views, always -

  4. -and would especially love to know if the Tibetan rinpoches have a quality that sets them apart or is it something one just senses and can you tell me anymore?
    Im trying not to concern myself too much with appearances but with what used to be called inspiration and that sense of being swept up and used - all of which isnt easy to talk about -