Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sketches from the Open Road

Last weekend I drove with friends from Chicago to Minneapolis for a wedding.  It's a pleasant drive north to Madison, passing through the Wisconsin Dells before arriving in Minnesota.  On the long drive to Minneapolis, fortified by dinner at a restaurant, which boasted that they deliver your meal by train (it was a model train that ran by our table alternately delivering beverages and ferrying stuffed animals around the restaurant), I decided to do something which I had never done before…make a watercolor painting in a moving vehicle.  The experiment was fairly successful, the sketches are not particularly nice paintings, but it was a delight to try to capture something about the passing landscape as it rushed by at highway speed.  I was particularly taken by the ribbon of sunlight that ran down the middle of the highway, the contrast of the dark hills beyond with the lightness of the sunset sky, and the perfectly round glowing orb of sunlight.  Soon the light slipped away and it became too difficult to paint, but there is such delight in making a painting even when it isn't particularly beautiful or representational.
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I was recently inspired, by a friend's blog post on generosity. Considering the nature of generosity made me curious about how I would go about representing the idea of generosity visually.  There is something that can feel a bit counterintuitive about giving, perhaps there is a moment that feels as though something is being taken away from us, a void where what we have given away once was.  Perhaps it is as though generosity responds to the same properties as govern the principle of mass conservation, which implies that mass can neither be created nor destroyed, although it may be rearranged in space.  When we give there is a rearrangement that happens, something is taken away from us, but there is also a space that is opened inside of us.  We are made open and able to receive in new ways.  We are changed in some way, we are renewed and remade by the process of letting something go and letting in something new.  
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