A Good Place to Start From, Barcelona, 2017

Feb 9, 2017

This is my first painting of 2017 and the the first in a new body of work. Through the forthcoming paintings, drawings and woodcuts, I intend to chronicle some of the people, places and things which I encounter along the way during this year in and around Barcelona, and as near or as far as life takes me. I want to celebrate the people, places and things which hold special meaning for me.

The Bedroom, Barcelona

The bedroom is a place of repose. Womb-like and protective, we may rejuvenate there and gather our energies before returning to the outside world.  It’s also a place where we are most naked, literally and figuratively. When we dream, we are presented with our deepest, innermost-selves. Past, present and future collide as we voyage through a nocturnal dreamscape which  is sometimes nightmarish, sometimes ecstatic, and often seemingly without sense. The bedroom, and the bed specifically, is the starting point and  portal to this other world. Likewise, in the morning we commence our diurnal voyage through the day in this same “sacred space”. For these reasons, the bedroom seemed like a fine subject to begin with. “Let’s start from here and continue on through these twelve months. We’ll conclude at the end of December and see what happens along the way, how far we expand outward from this point of departure, it’s a good place to start from.” This is the thought I had which inspired the action.

 “How Little We Know”, Hoagy Carmichael

We think we know what a day will bring, at least we suppose and have an idea or vision for it. But how much do we know, really? How much control do we have, really? Who knows which person or people, new thing or place, may appear anew in our lives, or indeed depart from us, on any given day? How exhilarating the prospect on the one hand, how ominous on the other. How to cope? Making things (pictures, whatever) is a way of distancing oneself from the ebb and flow of life-matter through observing and naming it pictorially and orienting oneself in relation to it on one’s own terms, thereby preserving one’s sense of control, one’s sanity, one’s heart. It is also a way of holding onto people and things we love and  can’t bear to lose, or at least think we can’t.  And finally, It is a way to offer praise to those very same people, things and places, and perhaps that’s one of the best reason for doing it.

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” Joseph Campbell

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