Sunday, March 15, 2015

Canals of Coexistence

"Canals of Coexistence", 10x8", oil on Gessobord

"You probably have to have redundant levee systems with canals in between them, like the Dutch have, to make sure that incoming water is channeled off to areas where you deal with it rather than have it drown you."
  Billy Tauzin

This piece was painted from a lovely photograph graciously sent to me by my friends, Yolanda and Bill, taken on their trip to Amsterdam. 

I never imagined the picturesque land covered by seas of tulips and windmills was in fact like another Venice? Evidently, the Netherlands lies below sea level, so Amsterdam survives with the aid of more than 150 canals and 1250 bridges. These channels of water have been central to city life there for the last four centuries.

I would love to visit this city someday and paint these picturesque canals in plein air. I'd
walk the dappled paths of canals along winding streets lulled by graceful arching pathways of bending branches, and breathe in the salty sea air. 

I would guess this was snapped early morning as motionless boats and canal barges rooted to bulkhead, doze in the quiet first break of light. Sleepy-eyed-locals inside the rows of houses along the avenue are most likely sipping hot chocolate or dark coffee from Delft porcelain, while mulling over morning news before heading out into the tangled maze of tributaries weaving through the city. 

I can see this Dutch system of survival as a metaphor for maneuvering through life. The world comes at us in tidal waves of noise, with constant demands, obligations and distraction that tug us in all directions at once. There is an overwhelming sense of being swept away and swallowed by the raging waters. Mind and soul come to the rescue creating canals that divide the chaos into clear bite-size pathways of organization enabling us to float with ease across the choppy surface toward the light of new day. Oh, life is a daring adventure!

Thanks for channeling in today. 

To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Saturday, March 7, 2015


"Resurrection", 20x16", oil on stretched canvas
"No heirloom of humankind captures the past as do art and language." — Theodore Bikel
Early morning light, resurrecting from night's dark tomb, quietly creeps in through sleepy wooden blinds shrouded in draped wrappings of flowing gauze.  

Suspended from a wire hanger center stage, a ghostly back lit form dangles enveloped in the distinct scent of mothballs. Filtered light sweeps into the room painting shimmery reflections along oak polished floors, while the scene beckons like the moan of a fog horn in search of a traveler missing at sea.

This is heirloom lingerie worn by my maternal grand, or possibly even great, grandmother? I had only recently discovered the ruffled petticoat carefully tucked away in tissue in the attic, when to my total surprise, the camisole arrived in the mail unexpectedly from a sister who thought I should paint it. Who knows, perhaps these two pieces were once a matching set? I rejoiced at the thought of this family reunion.

Hmm, I wonder what our clothing would say if it could talk? What tales and adventures would it reveal? My very proper grandmother is probably rolling over in her grave now that her undies have been immortalized for all the world to see. 

Thanks for taking a peek in today.

To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America