The painting “Flight to Heaven” has taken some compositional turns in the process of clarifying my intention. The gull has been started, criss-cross marks added, and the ratio of sand-to-water has shifted. The attached photo may look less confident than the previous one but I accept these color, line and shape explorations because I want the piece to read on several levels.
The white gull ascends through a ghostly veil of counter slashes seeking it’s altitude, while the water and sand continue their gravitational movements. This could be the painter leaning toward a new artistic direction, or the remembered journey of a life passing away as its soul rises.
The slashes are applied in counter-cross movements and suggest a permeable barrier between the present and future or between earth and heaven. Like the defensive “hedgehogs” used on the beaches of Normandy during WW2, they add something raw.
The Surrealists practised automatism: the process of accessing visual material from the subconscious through the recording of dreams, automatic writing or drawing, or, the development of a composition from building random lines and colors that suggest shapes, symbols or ideas. I love the evolution of thought involved in this kind of work, often experienced as mistakenly-placed marks that suggest elements of my story. Perhaps I am Surrealist!
The next step in creation
Ultimately, bolder decisions about color shapes will unify the piece. The end result will be a cumulation of re-directed lines, re-valued shapes, re-laid color, and refined textures. I want to remain open to possibility, even at this stage of development in the work.
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