Friday, September 23, 2011

About the Challenges

I think I have raised the red painting from its grave. Red is hard for me. Every time I set out with red as my goal, as the predominant color in a painting, it’s as if I have never done it before. This one started well (they all do) and then I turned it to mud (not unusual). Then I worked and re-worked it and it went from okay to not okay and back again. Very frustrating. The panel must weigh twenty pounds now with all the layers of paint on it.

This morning I was determined to breathe life back into it but really didn’t know where to start. I dawdled and imagined the different routes I could take, looked carefully at some successful reds in a couple of older pieces and then advanced, brush in hand. And voila! I did it! But it is not finished. It has gotten its lights back and now I need to heighten the red. I plan to move ahead this afternoon with great caution. But first I took a photo. Here ’tis: 

It is still not ready. I intensified the red too much. Now I have to backtrack a bit and up the lights again. I am hoping to have it finished next week. It is still a challenge but I’m no longer flummoxed by it. This is its current incarnation: 

The other three members of this group are close to finished. They are far less a battle than the red.

I was more aware then ever last week as I turned the pages of Time magazine of the hardship and trouble all over the world. Page after page about the economy, more memories of 9/11, a hideous fire that took lives in Kenya, a malaria epidemic, and so much more that is awful and sad. A small section of the magazine at the end is given to “Culture”. There we have books, movies, music, the visual arts and more. This issue had an admiring review of an autobiography by film critic Roger Ebert. Ebert lost his jaw to cancer and with it his ability to eat, drink, and speak. He does, however, continue to write, very well it seems. He states his mission:”We must try to contribute joy to the world”.

Time magazine might begin by devoting more pages to it. I hope there is enough human creative energy to keep pace with the blights and maybe provide some kind of equilibrium in our world.

From writer Lois McMaster Bujold: Its important that someone celebrate our existence… People are the only mirror we have to see ourselves in.

Please note that I very much appreciate the comments I get about this blog and I always respond them. 


  1. It's so wonderful to see your work in progress-and it's encouraging to hear that the work is not all as easy as the finished pieces would suggest.
    And thanks for the reminder to focus on the joy and whatever small bits of good we can do.

  2. Do they really look easy? Wow! I'm such a fraud!