I seem to be traveling in my paintings. In recent pieces I have met a Geisha, a Cossack, a Frenchman, an Englishman, a Roman, a Greek, an Arab and of course, many Americans. Time traveling, too, since the Frenchman looks suspiciously similar to Napoleon.
In between searching for bugs in my potted plants and meeting up with the characters in my paintings, I come across quite a few exciting adventures.
Search, play and caring for others create the most positive vibes in our human bodies. (Animals, too? Dog? Cat? Ant?) Lucky am I to be able to achieve these three happy brain producers/juicers through my daily activities.
Outside my home the lay gardener, waiting for his daily job to begin, searches for our morning meeting, waving with a playful twinkle in his eye because even though he knows he and we are not friends, our morning ritual wave is a way of showing that he cares that we care that we both wave friendly hellos in the morning. That Search, play, care thing can be found anywhere! Which is the premise I take at the beginning of every piece of art I do: I will search for human meaning in the paint because it is fun and because I really do care about keeping up the smiling front, and maybe finding the smile goes fathoms deep as well. It is either to have this attitude or toss up ones moth eaten boots in despair, because truthfully, life can be rather hellish, yes? Now then, off I go to chase down baby caterpillars feasting on the baby buds of geraniums. Nature in all its brutality, right there in a flower pot.
One can create movement in many ways. A rendering of a splash is one method. Another is incorporating historical figures in a contemporary scene. A third is to have those figures appear to be thinking.
LBT, 87 years old and paralyzed from the chest down, was dying in my bedroom for 7.5 months. She had a marvelously upbeat attitude most of the time, even as dementia distorted her sense of reality near the end. I was her night attendant, coming whenever she called.
This is one of the paintings from that period. It began as a lark to lighten another of LBT's boring days in bed... I taped a large piece of paper on the wall at the end of her bed when she wasn't looking. A few minutes later I bounced into the room dressed in underwear and stood up against the paper in the above pose, noisily convincing FT to trace an outline of my body with pencil. Ooo-la-la! It was rudimentary technique, but LBT was completely surprised and charmed by the whole clumsy and theatrically unfolding event between her son and me.
There were quite a few women in those days (2009) who could see themselves as the character in the painting.
Experiment: How much content can one put in a tiny space?
Content above: Two nude men bathing, one woman clothed washing more clothes in a mountain stream in a fast moving pool at the top of a waterfall. Rocky cliffs, evergreens and the sky are in the distance. Symbols of love and sorrow and movement go in and out of the frame.
Every now and then I come across novel authors who have so much art in their souls they come across as more poet than story teller. Annie Dillard is a well known writer of this style.
Here is another who colors with such insight I feel I'm reading paintings, or is it music, or is it history, or is it philosophy as I'm turning her pages: Whitney Otto
These kinds of writers sneak into our souls, feed us substance, nourish our vocabulary, encourage us to say what we know deep down inside because she/he knows it as well. Kind of like a dog kiss that says "You may doubt yourself, but I speak your language and love what you say."
From this goofy drawing I will be listening in on many delightful thoughts or conversations. I already snuck in on 6 just looking at the top inch of activity. They will be showing up on my cartoon blog.
I am a visual person who draws and paints about life, viewing the world from a variety of perspectives. Since I have one foot in civilization and one foot in nature, and my head isn't afraid of deep caverns or dizzying heights, I end up in some pretty interesting places. ~ ~ ~
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I have two blogs. Toldileigh.blogspot.com muses about the world through the lens of my art mind. The second blog, Maybeperhapsifyouwill.blogspot.com, is a bunch of nonsense I create by harvesting characters from my artwork and giving them dialogues.
All art/writings in blogs copyright Leigh Toldi unless otherwise specified.