My kids sometimes call me Dora the explorer. Why? Because I often seem to go off in tangents, forgetting what the heck I was doing. I really think it’s that my mind works in flashes. The more insistent the flash, the more brilliant and beckoning it seems. So off I go. Then comes the fall back to earth. I experienced this when we held a paintout weekend in Hillsboro NM last week.
I painted, very patiently and logically the light on three old building remnants. One was a shed, one was a crumbling jail wall, and the last was the arch of the old courthouse wall, the only indication of what is reputed to have been a gorgeous building in Hillsboro, when it was the county seat. All are working their way to being vague memories. Relics is the title I gave this small but intricate light study. It is pictured below. An 8x10, it is small, but full of information.
Finishing the piece I started to pack up my gear. Then Dora’s head popped up! Behind me, aglow with light were absolutely glorious wildflowers! Their passing would definitely not leave relics of their time in this world. They demanded to be recorded. So back out came the paints. What resulted is a small 8x10 painting that I call Morning Glory. It definitely was. Not only that, painting it served to loosen me up after so very carefully painting the crumbling walls and the arch of the courthouse.
This fall back to organization and reality can be tiring in its emotional intensity, or on that rare occasion, insightful and insistent to the point that it MUST BE obeyed.
I used to be organized, logical, methodical, and I think, totally boring. Not so anymore. I wear purple far more. My white hair makes people a little more forgiving than they were when I was the same age and dyed it. I think my lifelong admiration of the greeting card character Maxine has caught up with me. (Watch out world). So, creatively, I think flashes are good. Liberating, routine smashing, creative, and even desirable.