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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Big Field, Little House

The Red Barn. Oil on stretched canvas, 8x24, $65.
I was joking about my painting M.O. the other day, when Shawn Dell Joyce stepped in and took me on a serious turn.

I've realized that my preferred painting might be termed "Big Field, Little House." Honestly, this seems to be the landscape that I see, and it surely is the landscape that I most typically paint. Sometimes I leave the house out, but even when I do, it's often there, on the ground or in my head.

Shawn overheard me joking and came in with a serious comment, that this depiction is a way of showing man's place in the natural world - we are here, at the edge of the field. We've built our buildings, we've left our mark, but it's tangential. The house is tiny. The field is big. The sky is bigger. The painting, the landscape, the world, they include us, but they are not about us.

I've known for a while that this is what's behind these paintings - and that this tension and beauty, honestly, is what intrigues me. But I've been wary of owning up to this. I do tend to joke, especially when I'm feeling insignificant or uncertain. I thank Shawn for recognizing the truth behind my laughter, and bringing me to its beauty.

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