The woman is huddled in sorrow and loss. Though kicked out, she does not yet know the joy of her salvation. Her estrangement from the garden is the stomping ground of God’s inexplicable love. See the bright light behind? It won’t be long until she sees it too. She is wise to sit and wait. Blessed is she who waits on the Lord. Blessed is she who is brave enough to grieve her losses.
Here I have taken four pieces of birch, carved
away the negative space to reveal the images
signifying a Season of Rain, a Season of Moon,
a Season of Promise and a Season of Bloom. After
rolling the carvings with ink and stamping them
onto a paper called kozo, I embellished the
printed designs with hand applied ink and watercolor.
The bees are the result of myriad stampings of
one small carving of a bee. The paper was then
married to several layers of toile and sealed with
three pounds of beeswax.
In the Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift,
wherein an argument ensues between the spider and the
bee, Swift describes the bees as follows:
“These bees have chosen to fill their hive with honey
and wax thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest
of things, sweetness and light.”
In terms of dedication, pursuit, protection,
trust, desire and longing, we are all married to
something or someone. Unless the bee is married
to the flower it’s wealth of honey is never realized.
And yet, it takes two million bees to make a
pound of honey. Rather than enlist assistance by
by making heroic statements the honeybee does a
dance. Her language essentially hangs on the
alphabet of dance. Dancer or not, wouldn’t it
be lovely to use our bodies to bear such a
message of goodness and light as to evoke healing
music to be orchestrated in others?
Notice how she has ripped her dress
to shreds in order to lasso the bloom
and drag it to where she has the notion might be
safe. Which clearly it isn’t.
All this is happening in the dark rain
of promise (rainbow sky in the background
behind the black leaves). AND she
is not glibly whistling along as if there is
no battle. There is. AND she KNOWS she is
on holy ground, thus the absence of shoes.
(This is cropped from the center of a much larger painting)
In a season of acute uncertainty, the woman came first to my mind.
I saw her on tiptoe. I saw her shoes thrown over her shoulder.
I did not know where she was standing. The table I was working
on was just inside a window facing west. When I finished painting
the woman who was, at that point, floating on the white space
of the paper, the sun was low in the sky and a shadow from
the paned window and the Japanese maple leaves from the tree outside
surrounded her. I painted the shadows. Instantly, she stood before
an immense glass wall in dappled shade. Now the sun was even
lower in the sky and it was casting rainbows through the
beveled glass in my front door on the floor. I put the paper on
the floor and painted the tiny rainbows and then made the
rainbows into wings. Taking a break, I got the mail.
In my mailbox was a postcard from a friend in
Paris. She told me she had been praying Psalms 91 for me every day.
I did not take the time to read the Psalm, nor did I have it memorized
to know its comfort.
The picture on the postcard was an aerial view of the La Defense sector
of Paris, which is exceedingly modern and, in terms of romantic aesthetics,
not something I would ordinarily think of painting. However, in the
center of the postcard was what is referred to as La Grande Arche de la Defense
which was built in 1982. If one stands in the center of the Arche looking west,
one can see Napolean’s original Arch D’ Triumph. La Grande Arche de la
Defense is so immense that the entirety of the Cathedral of Notre Dame can
fit within its cube. Suddenly, I knew where the woman was meant to stand.
After giving her the solid foundation of La Grande Arche de la Defense,
I surrounded her with tiny buildings and narrow streets. Floating in the
surrounding air are motifs of my experiences in Paris. After the painting
was completed, I thought to look up Psalm 91 and read it with open mouth.
…..“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the
shadow of the Almighty…..He will cover you with his feathers, and under
his wings you will find refuge…”
(Unframed Original 22×36 $500.00)
War of the Seasons
“Now you will have noticed
that nothing throws him into a
passion so easily as to find a
tract of time which he reckoned
on having at his own disposal
unexpectedly taken away from him.”
( The voice of Screwtape in C.S. Lewis’
Notice how fiercely,
Winter in her icy garb fights to remain,
while Spring in the background patiently
lobs snowballs hoping to driver her away.
Sometimes Winter has stayed so long
she has taken on an air of entitlement.
But Spring will persist. The warmth is
driving Winter to the northern regions
to wait her turn at command. The
geese will soon have their wings free of
ice. (This painting is on rice paper.
It is approx 25×35. It is one of 4 but
can be purchased on its own.) The
framed original is 1200.00. Because
of the intricate detail this condensed
version makes it difficult to see. I
would be happy to schedule a viewing.