Two new characters have found their way onto my easel since March of 2020: a masked child and a kneeling man. And with them came fireflies and golden lanterns.
Most artists have a cast of recurring characters and imagery. In my case this has included Mary Magdalene, Ophelia, my daughters, birds, diaphanous veils, boats, roses, peacock feathers and the moon. Water is a constant. The pandemic has unexpectedly enhanced this list.
“Life is Wide Water” was a commissioned dreamscape from the summer of 2020. The kneeling man appeared first – along with his faceless ghost – and then the bioluminescence of the fireflies infused the painting with life. A dear friend and fellow artist wrote to me that it reminded her of something that her son had once said about a piece of music, ‘In the dawn and dusk when the light is bent, it’s the opening for spirits who have left their bodies to leave this realm”.
“Zeitgeist” began to emerge all on its own during the spring of 2021, featuring a masked girl seated high up in a tree, with long veils flowing downward from her slender pre-adolescent frame. And this time it was the ascending lanterns that imbued the painting with the light of hope. Teaching art to 600+ children throughout this pandemic, both over zoom and in person, I have been amazed by their resilience- they are so much closer to nature than we are as adults.
I do not usually become attached to my own paintings and feel elated when they find their way out into the world. With these two, however, I immediately felt the absence of their light. From my easel each of these paintings seemed to cast a magical glow at night.
I am forever grateful to the masterful work of the colorist at Marco Fine Arts who works tirelessly with me to create exquisite giclee prints of select paintings. A framed print of “Life is Wide Water” currently hangs on my bedside wall, offering great solace as I sit propped up with an injured foot. I have also begun the process of making a limited-edition set of prints from “Zeitgeist”, which can be pre-ordered and will be available by the end of the month. I hope one day soon to have a show of this slowly growing collection of prints.
Zeitgeist: The defining spirit or mood of a particular period in history.