Sunday, June 9, 2019


Early morning-45ยบ and sunny-Peacham, Vermont 
Dearest Readers,


Final painting of Winged Dervish in the studio_36"x82" full size_acrylic on canvas
My wrestling with a painting is done! With the help of my artist friends, Annette Lorraine and Sharon Biddle, I have a finished work of art! This winter I shared on this blog my struggle to pull beauty and personal meaning out of a two-part painting of wings. 
Early stage_right side of wings-horizontal

Early stage_left side of wings-horizontal
I avoided the studio, without a clue how to move the piece along. I hated to look at it. I robotically puttered, painted and scraped away until one day I angrily slathered the outline of a horizontal maple tree across the wingspan. I stuck with it.
Addition of maple tree shape across wingspan in the studio
Something clicked. The tree is me of course, an old metaphorical friend-self. Suddenly the green background became water, the wingspan dropped away to a mere framing device, the circles turned into bubbles and the shapes surrounding her began to whirl and float–still not right, but on the path.
Left to Right-AnnetteLorraine, me, Sharon Biddle
I had shared the painting in progress in my studio with Annette and Sharon who saw through my painterly confusion. This was not advice-giving, but a kind expression of how the work felt to them, what they were excited by, and what maybe didn’t work. They also brought over their own artworks in progress to share and get feedback for–beautiful watercolor landscapes and some project ideas for the future. It was a glorious day of artistic insight!

I am grateful for their comments. They loosened my mind without telling me what to do. Later, alone in the studio, in the spirit of bravery, I swung the maple-me around to the vertical, and hoisted the two stretched canvases one on top of the other like a tree should be, sacrificing the concept of wings, but not of flight. 
The wingspan now is just a hint of an arched line. The feather tips instantly became striped turquoise cocoons, and the deep greens of living water now whirl beneath me. The branches mimic outstretched arms. Light and shade feel hot and cool. This is the magic of reorientation! 
What a joyful relief!