As I said earlier I am collaborating with two other artists on a new series of work for a traveling exhibition we are calling Vietnam: A Journey.
My current painting, see sketch above, for Vietnam War I, of ten paintings I am to create anew, is coming along well, but it is intense creating it, puzzlelike and mysterious as it is, and deep psychological work as as well, inside me, going on. At the same time.
I kind of have to decompress each time I stop painting because it is so intense, and that is really hard.
I did just this afternoon the restorative upper back, well, full spine, pose for some fifteen minutes. It helped so much, even, as I said the last time I did it, clearing my sinus and chest … er, passages. But more than that, there is no hiding from the world in that position. Nor why, should there be, but there you are.
So here is the painting as of today.
I apologize for not stopping and blogging each or every other day on my progress as it is obviously many many days’ of painting there. Many. So. It’s because I’m trying to get her in gear for a gallery submission due soon for 2016! believe it or not. You actually see the piece above as it will be submitted, because I am out of time, but I feel it is well enough on its way to express to the judges where I am headed. You can see that it is explosive and and angry. Violent and chaotic among the beautiful exotic drapey Nature. But there are also two symbols for the death of both sides two horrible cutting triangles not unlike the Vietnam Memorial. There is a mushroom cloud from a bomb in the center and there is insanity and blood, more death symbolized by black, throughout.
It came out of nowhere. I am puzzling the color code out as I go. I am reading it. I stare at it and study it for some good time while I am painting, trying to suss it out, as it were, to figure it out. Talk to me, painting. What are you trying to say to me?
I have two palettes open now working from the Rainforest II mixes and a new set just for the Vietnam War Series. How sad to even say it. It ripples in me. You have no idea. Oh well. That’s I suppose in part why I’m doing this, to get some of that stuff out of me, that imagery, those colors, that pain, loss and grief — out.
For, we intend to do exactly that, we three artists, to consider the five stages of loss and grief, this time according to PsychCentral online as of 12/15/14 … 1) Denial and Isolation, 2) Anger, 3) Bargaining (if only this or that had or hadn’t happened in this or that way, trying to reframe the truth), 4) Depression, 5) Acceptance.
AND … we also intend to transform this stuff, this pain and depression, etcetera
into hope, for as long as there is hope there is life, and life, there is hope …
and some sort of literal transcendence from that very pain through the creative process that will be visible in the artists themselves and in the artwork as well
we will be reaching out into the community for Vietnam Veterans, Vietnamese residents, and the public at-large, to invite them to share their memories and experiences with us as they visit the exhibition, in an attempt to have a cathartic cleansing and release — and to reflect together on the effects of war across time —