June 10, 2007

Excavating... Bricks And Relationships

2004 - Excavation - 36x36

The only thing in common with the above painting and this past weekend is the title. I cleared, dug and discovered a long ago effort to improve the landscape. Oh, the thrill of deja vue ... shame that the feature had been so totally neglected over the past 20 years. But that's the way it goes. During our absence nothing has been touched outside and not much in the way of improvements inside either. But thanks to my early efforts, and the lack of intervening interference, my plans can continue as I once dreamed them.

I'm a gardener at heart... it's a long held passion right up there with art. Composing the landscape and composing a painting is much the same. Inspiration, composition, problem solving... trying out, taking out, finding out what works and what doesn't... very satisfying. I come from farm stock... diggers of dirt. And not just edible crops, one grandmother's garden supplied the once popular giant spider mums for college homecoming games. She was a regular source for the local florist, flowers weren't flown in from Brazil back then.

Anyway... back to my 'excavation'. During our first residency at the lake house, I made a brick lined trough for water to drain away from a potential mud puddle on the sloping driveway and it worked very well. When we moved back in 25 years later, there was little to be seen of it as leaves and dirt had accumulated and the situation was back to square one. So I've been digging, cleaning and bricking this morning... who need aerobic classes? Add several of reps of hill climbing and I'm content to kick back for a few days.

And there was another excavation of sorts... I've made mention of a previous relationship with a local gallery owned by a long time good friend. I haven't been active with this gallery or in touch with my friend for a number of years as I was focusing on pushing my career to a higher level and there's just so much energy and inventory to spread around. The relationship break just happened, no discussion, I just didn't pick up the last painting which kind of signified that we weren't really finished. Well, fences have been mended (not that they were broken, just neglected, like my lake house landscaping) and it is agreed that I will begin building an inventory with them again. We'll see how it goes. The small town neighborhood is a charming and well publicized historical district, often featured in popular style magazines like Southern Living and Southern Accents. So there's a nice traffic pattern of tourists visiting the area. Being right across the river from a sizable University with a competitive sports program is a plus... football weekends fill the shops! Stay tuned, no telling what I've uncovered this time.


Jacie said...

Interesting, hey? The idea of excavation! Years ago, I used the digger on the front of a backhoe (can't remember what they are called)in a drawing,it was excavating a orange like yurt structure, cartoon style of course and I called it Excavating Orange Blob. Anywho, I like excavating, and I love this painting Karen, something about the cream and the red that always attracts me!

You write interesting posts! I come from ocean stock, we dig clams and harvest seaweed!

KJ said...

Clams and seaweed, huh? That would explain some of the, um, characters in your work ;-)

Lisa said...

I can really relate to your comment about coming from farm stock. Every spring I have a very real need to go dig in the dirt. My grandmothers farm was just sold so no more active farmers in my family but the connection is certainly still there.

Good luck with your newly excavated gallery association.

KJ said...

Ah, another dirt digger! Often said that I get nutrients from the dirt stored under my fingernails. When mixed with paint, a special energy boost! If I quilted, hate to think of the hand washing involved! KJ