I like remembering moments from my past. Like a slide on a screen, briefly staying in focus, evoking an event, a scene, or maybe a tribal member at a set table, then come distant mountains made of light. A flash and you are onto another and another. It’s the same with a memoir. A flash and a whole world opens into a story. That’s what these pictures are, pages in a visual story book. So then, why?
I want to share stores, stories that come from a part of the mind that has been telling stories like these since at least from the old stone age, and most likely even back further. Way further, say, like, “…a Chimp walked into a bar…” But then this story is about how I make a picture? A story?
How do you access those stories? Now that’s an old story in itself. We’ll take a recent picture. It’s called The Young King Carlos Was of Two Minds. “To be or not to be?” It’s the old story of conflicted ambition. You know, high-minded enough to want to save the world as a wise monarch. coupled with youthful distraction makes for a Hamlet. I discover the title well after completion (I’m always working toward an idea of looking for stuff I like to look at). Its like liking the layered flavored of expertly made creps Suzzetts. Like I like how watercolor sits on the paper, the larger granules of pigment settling out of the water at different speeds, so that different tones in a shape look like they were not only looking like a different shape but a different substance altogether. and then the yellow in the marble is the same yellow, not just the same color but the same texture. I find this something attractive to look at. I also found a vintage necktie with the pattern of jaunty hats tied with ribbons. I also had some colored marbles around, the kind that comes with Chinese Checkers sets. I scattered the marbles on the tie and, in a glancing light, made some photos, then made a watercolor painting from the photo. You see, not only did I like the look of the silk tie and the glass marbles, I thoroughly enjoyed painting a picture of it, having it come “out right.” “Right” meaning, I ended up liking how it looked, painting quickly, as watercolor demands. Lots of “happy accidents
The binding energy of the picture is another “rightness”. The rightness of one picture looking good next to another, never knowing, never having a plan for a finished work. Finishing only happening after the story begins to unfold. All the elements in this picture; the hawk, the watercolor triangles, the background clouds, the yellow rose were made at different times and the work in the studio is to take the elements having been sifted around the tables in the studio set up for this purpose—kind of like a mis en place for a chef, there comes a somatic sense that “this looks good together.” Once things are in place they are put up on a piece of sheet metal, fixed with magnets.
Now the story begins to take shape.