When I returned to my father and came up behind him, he was leaning over an art book on his lap … He turned the page and studied the next picture. It was a book of Joan Mitchell's pastels, wild scribbles of exciting energy. I had seen them before at the Whitney Museum in New York.
I put my hand on my father's shoulder. He looked up. "Nat, is this painter here?"
"You mean in the gallery? I don't think so. She lives in France."
My father was disappointed. "Oh, I wanted to talk to her."
"I'd like to ask her what she thinks these pictures are. I mean, a horse? A tree? I can't find anything in them." (p. 142)
Natalie's father could be my husband! Or some of my friends! Or myself not so long ago!
But now? If there's a horse in one of my paintings, it's an interloper; I sure didn't paint it.
Today, a sketch by Carol Eden—who is venturing into abstract for the first time herself—informs my time in my studio as follows:
• I cut Day 2 in half from its 10x16" size,
• take the bottom 8x10" half and sketch in a bunch of perpendicular and diagonal lines with a #2 mechanical pencil,
• add to my "scribbles of exciting energy" with an ink applicator bottle, superimposing ink on graphite,
• add a few blobs of India ink, and let them drip a bit.
Again, I am happy in my not knowing where this piece is going.
I like the lines—with their fine thinness, their angularity, and their imprecision. I like the blobs of black. I like the hint of a summer day, its warm air and outdoor vistas finding their way through the suggestion of a window screen.
|January 2017 30in30 Challenge, Day 3|
8x10"; acrylic, pencil, and ink on canvas paper
work in progress