Friday, June 10, 2016

Red Sky

Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky at morning, sailor's warning.

I haven't sailed for years yet I have an obsession and deep love for all things nautical. It's part of my genetic makeup being raised on an island, always around sail boats, marinas, water life of all kind. I read a lot of books about creativity and writing and I've noticed similarities to the "write what you know" adage. Same goes in painting. Paint what stirs your heart strings. Water. Sailing. West coast. Yacht Clubs and Sailing Flags. Why? Because they do and that's enough. It's enough that the muse pokes her head in the door, I don't dare ask her what is the reason for her visit!

What inspires me, and all of us, I believe, is inexplicable and unrepeatable. We are all unique. And the same. I am part of a paining group and frequently we paint the same subject yet half a dozen completely different paintings emerge from the class, all of us beaming with the unmistakable personality we have all infused in our piece. Hundreds of thousands of millions of paintings of boats and oceans and rowboats and cups of coffee and cafes and croissants are out in this world, but I believe we need all of them.

Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky at morning, sailor's warning.

Saying that out loud, repeating it, is enough to make me happy with this painting. It's an ancient boating phrase, one I learned from my dad. The memory, the image of a big ship. moody sky and sailing flags, all part of me, all part of the patchwork creative quilt that makes up our language as an artist.

Love. That is the secret ingredient in this painting. I love that I learned that phrase from my dad before I really understood what it meant and I love that boats come through me inexplicably if I allow myself to show up and paint them. I love that a phrase as simple and time worn as this, can trigger such warm and tender emotions. I love that painting what you know, expressing what you love, is the artist's talisman for navigating our way. xoxoxo

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