Sunday, May 18, 2014

Just a bowl of cherries

"Like Life"   sold
Two years ago, I was on a sabbatical leave from my position as a parish priest. My goal during that leave was to devote more time to creative pursuits. 

I came across this entry from a blog that I kept during my sabbatical, and thought it would be of interest if I posted it here, since it shows the way one of my paintings took shape.  

"First Week of June, 2011"
My painting is going well... the bright, sunny days definitely make a difference for me, as I can see light and shadows in ways that  translate to the process of putting paint on paper. Yesterday I resumed work on a painting I'd sketched out more than a year ago. It's from a photo I took in 2009, when Robin and I vacationed at Maryland's Eastern Shore, in a cottage on the Chesapeake Bay.

Work-in-progress:  "Like Life"
Many images that appeal to me are of places, people, or objects I've photographed some time ago. It seems that memory gives these images an appeal and resonance lacking in more immediate views -- almost as if the pictures need to sit in my mind, where they become familiar entities with fond attachments to something/someone in the past. Yesterday evening, I was re-reading "Beauty: The Invisible Embrace," by the late John O'Donohue. He writes: "Memory is the place where our vanished days secretly gather." 

This may be what's working in me as I latch onto an idea of what to paint next. In the case of the bowl of cherries, my cherished recollection is of a leisurely summer afternoon, fresh fruit, sun-light bouncing off the water -- truly a memory to savor. 

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