Poems have been variously described as soul-making, life-cherishing and life-saving. They have been referred to as gifts, surprises, prayers and challenges.They have been seen as providing intimacy, comfort, pleasure, discovery, rebirth, arousal, magic, music and connection.
Each painting in this show has been inspired by a poem. Whatever the communication has been, I have received it in my own way, taken it in, tasted and ingested it. I have read each poem time and again, both silently and aloud, heard its melodious sounds, felt its powerful rhythms. I have gone back to certain phrases and read them yet again. From this, an image has formed, perhaps consciously, more likely not. It may be just a color, perhaps a shape, or even a texture.
I live with the poem for awhile and let it work on my unconscious. I meditate on it. I make it my own. Once I commit a mark to the surface, the painting/poem has a life of its own. I go back and forth to the poem yet it remains well in the background as this continued creation is driven by its own forces, its own need for meaning and expression.
The completed piece has some relationship to the original poem which sparked it, yet it has its own integrity. Then I offer it to you, my audience, to take the act of creation a step further, to see what you see, to let what’s implicit in you take form, to let your own meanings arise and develop. These paintings and the poems that preceded them are co-creations. Each of us-- the author, the painter, the audience-- with every moment of engagement, is giving birth to some part of ourselves over and over.
The paintings, then, represent a conversation or dialogue with the poet and her or his poem, with the canvas and the color, the texture and the form, and with you, the viewer. We all share in creating meaning and value and, ultimately, authorship in an activity which is both deeply solitary and profoundly communal.