The YLC has had nothing new added since last week due to a freakish spring SNOWSTORM in the Denver area and the mountains, making a commute into the city for Monday art class a crazy idea even for me. It was freezing cold; the snow kept coming down, and what began as a slushy rain on Saturday turned more syrupy and thick and then serious by Sunday. On Monday morning it had snowed all night, gotten much colder and morphed into black ice on the highways and a total accumulation of about 7 inches south of Denver where I live and 24-36 inches in the foothills and higher country. The skiers are nuts with joy; the highways up to ski altitudes are clogged with people ditching work and Arapahoe Basin will stay open until June, they have announced. Here where I live, today is better with just cloudy skies, temps in the 50;s and snow nicely melting off all roads. By the weekend we’ll be into the low 80’s.
Oh I know, I could have worked on the YLC at home, but I like to “do her” during class because the energy is so palpable and positive you could cut it with a knife in that classroom. But I also, yes I do, I really really do, like her so well the way she is that I used the “snow day” excuse to give her a reprieve until next week’s class. That’s legal and I made an executive decision to let her rest. I need to think and carefully calculate what will happen to her next.
I actually spent the snow day re-working an old 18×24 inch canvas that I had stored in a closet, and I am pleased with what happened. Often the best work I do is giving life-support to old compositions that I became so disgusted with at some point that I shoved them away into a closet, letting them rest and slip into an intentionally induced art coma. Not as punishment but to give us both a time out, allowing frustrations to settle down. Taking them out, months later, breathing oxygen into them and seeing them with new eyes is usually worth the effort. So yesterday I did that and the attached photo is the finished composition.
This painting surprised me. The places that are re-worked and covered up with new ideas amount to about 3/4 of the finished image. Only the orange area is original and untouched. The decision was what to cover up and what to enhance, as is usually the case. If you zoom in you will see that there are some shapes delineated with black ink, almost like boulders and stones falling. The orange area has a definite sun, and a sunset type of glow. You might choose to interpret this as a literal landscape with some kind of rockslide and a sun setting above a horizon but that would be the easy way out.
I prefer to think of it as a slide, a break, a tumble of some “LIFE” issues happening in a chaotic rush of action placed in contrast with the permanence of the sun rising and falling every 24 hours in a constant and reassuring event that tells us all that some things never change. The sun will come and go, regularly alerting us that life goes on. Thus the title – WHEN IT ALL COMES DOWN, life continues and hope endures. That’s my story on this one.