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Week 15: Day - To - Day Painting The Fruit of Discipline

The most demanding part of living a lifetime as an artist is the strict discipline of forcing oneself to work steadfastly along the nerve of one's own most intimate sensitivity. Anne Truitt

From time to time we all must find a way to self nurture. Last summer, I looked to Sybil Archibald (Instagram: @artofthesybil) for inspiration. Sybil herself has scleroderma, a rare autoimmune disease. She creates a monoprint a day. Sybil states that she is a small "a" artist, and she works under the direction of the "Artist". She explains that the Artist is the same generative force that causes the grass, and every other living thing to grow. She trusts implicitly in the work and the product, knowing that even if an individual print does not seem acceptable to her, it will speak to someone. She trusts in the transformative nature of art for both the artist and the viewer. **Sybil is currently displaying her work at Clerestory Gallery in Montclair (for more information on this fabulous exhibit click here).** As I do the daily work, I depart from what I know and understand, and follow what sparks my interest. At times I feel unsure, even fearful, but as I continue and stay true to the commitment, I learn something not known before. I understand myself more fully and become more fully connected to others and to life itself. ​​ The five works presented here remind me of archeological remnants, they each seem to be a fragment of an all over pattern. This "archeological remnant" has appeared as a motif frequently in the work these past months. I am not certain there is any significance to the uneven edges and the insinuation that there is more to the story, which is not available to us right now, But then again....

Always ... when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is the ancient fear of the unknown,...You are undertaking the first experience, not of the place, but of yourself in that place. It is an experience of our essential loneliness, for nobody can discover the world for anybody else. It is only after we have discovered it for ourselves that it becomes a common ground and a common bond, and we cease to be alone. Wendell Berry, The Unforeseen Wilderness: Kentucky’s Red River Gorge

I completed this first piece on the last day of September, which was the first full day of Rosh Hashanah. It seemed significant to me that our Jewish brothers and sisters were celebrating the beginning of a new year; I felt that I was sharing in a new energy that was plentiful in the atmosphere. Every day is an opportunity for new beginnings, on this day I sensed that opportunity. ​ The familiar ring forms, once again represented, are loosely painted and seem to be floating, in an undefined field. There is a sense that we are seeing an incomplete fragment. We are witness to some shorthand, given a vague indication of some thing or place that exists.

The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective. G.K. Chesterton

In this piece completed on 10/1/19 the milieu that the forms float in seems more expansive, it reminds one of stones in a stream or leaves floating in water. To me there is a calmer feeling.

What art offers is space – a certain breathing room for the spirit. John Updike

You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It's just a matter of paying attention to this miracle. Paulo Coelho

In the images above and below, the forms and their environment are of one piece; the ring forms are less defined, they emerge from the milieu and then fall back in. Both fragments seem to tilt up, there is no indication of movement toward a horizon. In the piece below, we see a further shift; the edges of the remnant are smoothed out and made into a larger circular form comprised of marks forming the rings. The autumn colors, present in all of these pieces this week, predominate.

There is something beautiful about a blank canvas, the nothingness of the beginning that is so simple and breathtakingly pure. It’s the paint that changes its meaning and the hand that creates the story. Every piece begins the same, but in the end they are all uniquely different. Piper Payne​

There is a microcosm in the final image for today. It seems to incorporate many aspects of the four preceding images. The forms feel vegetative to me. The fragment tilts up but the forms within seem to sit back, to sink into the environment.

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