Yesterday I finished Critical Mass, the menage a’ trois set inside a parlor room of sorts on a dreary dull day, the large window opening onto what may or may not be a gallery. On the table before our threesome, a teapot and only two teacups.
I called it Hm, a hm of many thoughts, meditations, reflections, decisions, mostly murky. All interpretations welcome, and not for me to explain – unless asked.
As I always do on completion, I forward the picture of the painting to my oldest and dearest friend, an established artist based in LA, wait for feedback, and start fidgeting about what I am to do next.
It was already late afternoon. I had not gone out of the house in two days, except for a loaf of bread and to retrieve some cash at the nearby post office, so a walk to piazza was in order, a two km hike to Vasto’s centro storico I relish.
I paused. I had several cut-out from a weekly news magazine I subscribe to on the table and I started to shuffle images, mixing and amalgamating a narrative.
I hauled a wood panel from the garage into my studio. I had previously primed the panel with a sponge for I’d been planning to paint a snow storm, but instead of braving the white maelstrom, my two actors were cozily tucked inside a glass-walled room looking onto a snow-blasted building.
As you can see, a man is typing on a tablet, and a woman is bringing a cup of tea. There is very little color, and imperfections I might have daubed over. More color might also have been added; to her dress, a red or blue color, or a wild floral pattern would have been appropriate especially against the white background; he wears a whitish T-shirt, and the best thing to have done would have been to cast him into the trademark black T-shirt, but white is as plain and expected as can be.
To the windows opposite their room, for a brief moment, I thought curtains, each a different hue, texture, and pattern, but I as quickly settled for no. It was fine as it is.
Sometimes painting, or writing a novel, a poem, a song, is about subtraction.
And so from a big, bright and colorful world of fiery neon lights and splashy tones, and tunes, I withdrew, closed the paint jars, washed my brushes, and sat for tea before this unexpectedly complete painting.
And then, pain, my gut wrung twisted and taut, and an explosion – my heart ached with expansion, and I felt simple and pure elation – and, oh so, rare.
I called it Bliss, or lover let me down I’m so high. And that’s all there is to be said.