A while back I was exploring the USA and found myself in an underground cave, probably Carlsbad Caverns. This painting is from a photo taken there. Later it reminded me of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
Here's the story:
Orpheus was a cool musician. When he played his instrument even the gods were charmed. After his lover, Eurydice (You-rid-a-chee), died and went to The Underworld he begged the gods to allow him to rescue her and bring her back to Earth. They relented and he went to Hades to get her. On the return trip he was warned not to turn around or look back until he reached the surface of Life. Eurydice was following him but at the last minute Orpheus worried that she was not still behind him and looked back. Immediately she was swept back to Hades. (See her fiery figure with her arms in the air? ayieeeee!)
The moral of this story: Don't depend on any man to lead you out of Hell. Put your foot on the ladder, keep climbing, and don't look back! (and men, quit your worryin' - we're right ahead of you.)
Of course to the old Greeks Hades wasn't "hell" as we know it today, but that ruins Everything!
I spent the weekend at Jill Berry's Painted Pages & All The Elements Book Arts Workshop. Jill is a warm, funny (witty) artist who has decided she is related to Wendell Berry, a wonderful poet of the environment and the soul. He comes from farming stock in Kentucky and so does Jill's husband. She loves his poetry and so do I. Jill, the teacher, graciously did the sewing part of the binding for me as a demonstration to the class. My hands are not quite up to knots - more like up IN knots when challenged by fine work. Thanks, Jill!
For the workshop we made a little book which among other things involved our choice of symbols. For no particular reason I chose African symbols. I have not yet visited Africa and its mysticism intrigues me. The book also required text but there wasn't time, so I brought home a product I had labored in learning but was not quite sure what to do with. I looked online for African poetry and discovered a poem "Who Will Cry", but didn't really like it. Reading further about the plight of African children I began to design the remaining features of the book, using my own words and more applications of character. I'm proud of the result, but most importantly I felt guided by the unseen hands of many children. With their help the rest was easy!
Yes, another mermaid...fleeing the fisherman's net.
Framing always eludes me. First I was taught that the frame is supposed to match the painting owner's decor. Okay, but do you want your painting in the wrong home? Then, it was 'what the heck, forget the frame - they're too expensive anyway'. But what about work on paper, cardboard, and the backs of old utility bills? (Well, it happens!) Retail framing costs lots. Hunting for frames secondhand takes time and they're never the right size or fit for your current work. I'm not even sure my judgment is any good regarding framing. It would be fun to take a class in it though.
This was my first collage. Long ago I half-painted, half-pasted stuff on canvas and thought I was quite clever. The collage work being done today by a lot of folks is amazing. But I still like my little "ships that pass in the day" because the fogged-in sun has a special romantic meaning for me. :)
Funny how hiding paintings away for a few years makes them better somehow. Here are two from my trip to China in... I forget! (Anyone who saves my Christmas cards can look it up!) Anyway, I didn't like them then. I do now.
Spent a lovely afternoon sketching at the Self Realization Fellowship gardens in Encinitas. Here's one of the koi pond.
This is Pioneer Park in Mission Hills where a serene park covers an old cemetery ground. The gravestones dating back to the 1800's were moved to a strip on the sidelines, not far from the children's playground. I think the pioneers are happy about that. The inscriptions are fascinating to read!