Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Day We All Looked Up (post two)

I delivered the big painting to Visit Bend this morning.

It has been interesting painting again.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy it- the scale, the movement, the mess.  I'm pleased.

I wanted to jot down a few little bits and pieces and secret messages I put into this piece. Usually, I like people to discover them for themselves, but this time, I feel like I want to pay tribute to The Village People (Not, like, YMCA or anything... see the previous post).  I feel like you don't have to know who these figures are, but I like giving them a shout out.  Our little village, my little posse. They are all of us, and we are part of them. Our patterns bleed into each other lives. We all overlap. 

So, Spoiler Alert.

In order of appearance, left to right. 

Sarah McMurray:  Sarah is one of my dear friends from PoetHouse days, and she is endlessly joyous, creative, and feminine.  She leads writing workshops that allow women to tell their stories.  She gives amazing hugs.  She has the most beautiful peacock feather tattoo on her left shoulder.  So, obviously, the peacock pattern fits perfectly for her.

Renee T. :  Renee is a co-worker at Lone Pine, and also a dear friend.  She has beautifully raucous laughter that bubbles up as easily as fizzy water, hence the purple effervescence of her silhouette. Also, a special thanks to Renee for not minding making herself shorter for the composition.  

The lovely Cyr I described already as a golden ocean, but the wave pattern also has eyes.  I adore the way Cyr sees the world, both through her camera and through her philosophies.  Also, the girl paints everything gold, literally (chair backs, picture frames, corkboards, Halloween Skeletons that then become photo essay subjects...) 

Pinchflat Ben is one of the Workhouse workers.  He is all about the bikes.  He makes messenger bags,  and rad dapper vests, and other random bike related fashion/function.  I met Ben back in early days at Lone Pine, but I never thought he really remembered meeting me.  Now, I see him every other day or so.  I tried to make him a honeycomb/beehive at first, but the gears in his head made so much more sense, especially because I am only starting to get to know Ben, and I really don't know yet what goes on in that noggin.

Sophie: Sophie knows how to make yarn from the rabbits she raises.  She knows how to tan a coyote hide, and she knows how to skin a beaver. She is so smart, and tough, and kind, and lovely. I decided to make her silhouette into lace, a pattern I sorta made up that is both delicate but feels strong- with hidden compasses and clouds.  

Little E: the younger of the two lads in this piece, I wanted E to be bright, explosive like a firework, and also a tiny bit Ninja.  If it had been a red and white palate, you all would be subconsciously thinking "wax on, wax off..."  right?  Right?

Alicia Renner:  I mentioned in the previous post that this is based on Alicia's favorite Pendleton pattern. The colors are so delicious, and remind me of Eastern Oregon. I find it fitting that the name of the pattern is Chief Joseph (one of the figures from the history of this West that I admire very much).  And even though she complains about her posture in this silhouette, I love how Alicia really captures the body language of the title of the piece. 

Esme is another person I remember meeting for the first time in Tin Pan Alley.  She has been on some journeys, this woman. And she is a mother, an idea maker, and a storyteller. When she looks at you- you feel her blue eyes, they are young but there is history there. Anna suggested an antique wallpaper for Esme and so that was the inspiration for her, though I changed the colors quite a bit.  (A side bit of info, one of the flowers is an abstracted Lavender, the name of Esme's daughter).  

James Ryan: I am endlessly thankful this man lets me sing along with him sometimes.  The rural demons have a song that Jimmy Rye wrote called Cold Blanket of Night.  It's a sad song, but sweet in it's sadness.  The chorus says "I can feel the cold blanket of night closing in, and I want you to come home and tuck me in."  (I love the harmonies I get to sing on this song, by the way). I decided I wanted to make James a quilt, a quilt with compass shapes, so he would always be warm and always know he was right where he needed to be.  

Shanan, aka Shanny Pants.  Guess where I met Shanan? Lone Pine, of course, and the alley.  Shan and I have endless conversations about the village times.  And the beauty and magic of Central Oregon, and how she falls in love with the Moon every time she goes outside at night.  I made Shanan's silhouette into constellation maps, with Orion in her head and Leo in her heart.  She is a lion-heart, that one. 

Isaac, the older lad, had to be made of bluebirds flying into a blue-green sky.  Eleven, because eleven is a wonderful number.  Bluebirds- because they bring happiness, and Isaac is happy and has bright blue eyes. Isaac helps me with collages sometimes, in a very matter-of-fact manner, which keeps me on my toes. Therefore, this explanation is very matter-of-fact. (My other option for Isaac was something Lego related, but that is kinda hard to translate to two-D.  Hope he isn't too disappointed.)

Anna.  Anna is bright yellow and bright blue. She is also the Giving Tree (the first few pages, not the sad pages at the end).  Anna is graceful, and speaks without speaking, and is so nurturing.  Today, I got a Bon Voyage cup of kombucha jello! What?!? Magical. 

Last, Lil Joel. I've written a lot about Lil Joel.  I collaged him earlier this spring.  This time I made him a map.  He is always telling me about his bike trips to the ocean, so I decided to draw him one, hopefully he will be inspired to get on and go for a ride.  

An aside: many of my village did not make it into this painting.  Or, in the case of two of them, they made it but then disapeared, for aesthetic reasons. Doesn't mean I don't love them all, I just need a bigger space to paint on. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lovely! So fun to get to know your friends! Proud of you, darlin'! Big hugs from Tennessee!
Mrs M