Producing work at Haslla Art World gave me the opportunity to have a dialogue with myself stripped of the usual context and internal conversations engendered by one’s daily routines. What would I wish to create in a new place? I had brought with me transcribed conversations I’d had with Kindergarten children about their houses of imagination. I felt if I really got stuck, their simple ideas would be of assistance.
I began with 4 paintings about the East Sea. Haslla has a gorgeous, commanding view of the Sea. I never got tired of seeing it, sitting to watch the sunrise in the morning, watching its moods change across the time of day. Over a long period of time, since I was a student in the 1970’s, I’ve paid attention to the edges of things. When one uses the tools of science, edges become philosophical things. Where does one distinct material thing stop and another begin? It gets greyer the more closely one looks. At the atomic level, edges expand, and sometimes cease to exist. And so it is often with the edge between the sea and the sky. These 4 paintings are straight forward meditations on that edge: depictions of the energy it possesses and conveys. Set in an abstract, gilded space, they take on a suggestion of the “meta”-physical. When one thinks about this edge outside of a purely physical context, suddenly there is an opening to the potential of thought, the traveling of thought, the diminution of borders that curtail union.
The large painting that I gilded on site and which remains at Haslla, is called “Haslla Sun”. I wanted to create a piece that would honor the tradition that Haslla is: an ancient pilgrimage site to witness the rising sun. The sun I painted is surrounded by white light/energy. This is the divine energy of the Universe. It contains as well as amplifies the energy of the sun. The painting is 48″ diameter, oil with 23k gold.
I created several moon and sun paintings, flower paintings and a few paintings that play with some of the children’s observations about what’s inside of their imagination houses. These were all lighthearted works. Often this kind of play sets the stage for other things, as well as more play. I also went out into the landscape and created a small body of on-site watercolors. Working outside is a pastime I’ve been engaged with for many years. These little paintings serve many purposes. They capture the energy within the land. They keep my hand and eye connected, in practice. They sometimes serve as starting points for larger works. Mostly, they keep me in touch with the land. I don’t want to forget how beautiful it is, that it endures, changes, remains the same, is wild, is tamed, retains the touch of humankind with abiding grace, and always speaks to us, no matter how tiny that voice is.
The most exciting thing I created at Haslla was a small, tondo, gilded painting on a panel. I found a 15″ panel in the wood studio where I was working and asked if I might have it. At half an inch thick, it was very rough with a heavy grain on the surface. I repaired a hole at the top, and decided to push my gilding process. I sanded the surface just enough to make the tooth of the surface somewhat smooth, and then sealed it, very casually. With the second coat of sealer, I let it dry just to tack and then gilded into that tack. After it sat overnight, I cleaned the surface very casually and then sealed the gold leaf. As I’d hoped, the gilding “read” the grain of the wood with clarity. I pushed the painting process as much as I did the gilding process, and was very pleased with a second “Haslla Sun”, this one ascendant. This experiment has given me the idea to greatly expand my gilding processes, and to risk a casualness in favor of more of a sensitivity to surface.
A PLUG for an exceptional musician, Rashu Aten, (also known as Carl Davis.)
Carl will be performing on Sept. 11 from 3 – 8pm at Studio J LIC,
11-11 44th Road, Suite 404, Long Island City, info@StudioJlic.com
Carl E. Davis, Medium and Healer offers audiences an opportunity to participate in the healing properties of Chinese Gong Music. Mr. Davis notes that every cell in the body responds to vibration through different frequencies. With an instrument like the Chinese Gong, the vibrations created expand consciousness, relaxing and maximizing the flow of energy through the body.
Studio J established in 2012, is a contemporary studio/gallery in the heart of Long island City, one of the fastest growing, vibrant neighborhoods in New York. The Studio/Gallery is dedicated to the promotion and exposure of established, emerging, and mid-?career artists, who want to be a part of the dynamic energy in this neighborhood. It’s an interactive space that explores the
innate creative energy between art and community. With exciting exhibits, cultural events, we seek to expose, explore and nurture the talent within our community.