I am starting two paintings about good and evil, but they have gravitated to images of what good might look like as it is envisioned in a world where women make the rules. My ideas so far have included women healing one another; animals bringing love into the world; women as active heroines, like Joan of Arc. Basically, I want to populate my paintings with the opposite of what I have been looking at since I was a child: that is, images of men pursuing women, men waging war, naked women running scared, or looking sexy for a male viewer.
This pig Buddha is nurturing of all sentient beings. The style of the painting adheres to what I recently read in the book Titian: nymph and shepherd by Katya Berger Andreadakis and John Berger, copyright 1996. The words are from a letter by Andreadakis to her father, the artist and writer, John Berger:
I believe the success of a painting depends far less on any closeness to its model, to what it aims at and represents, than on its closeness to a self, to the self’s memory and gaze and truth. A painter painting is like a canvas which radiates, a page which invites, a woman who glows: [she’s] faithful to [herself]: [she] filters nothing, [she] must stick to [her] own perception and imagination and [her] own five senses. If [she] dams up nothing, [her] secret will open on the surface of the canvas, and it’s this, in all its nakedness, which will entice. If an artist is true to what lies deepest in [her], like the coal at the bottom of a mine, [her] work invites. –- p. 84-85.
I hope this swine Buddha is inviting goodness into the world.
I have taken to the images of pigs I have seen in The Inner World of Farm Animals by Amy Hatkoff, 2009. They seem so warm and loving. This is my first sketch of a pig-faced Buddha, and I have also begun a small painting of one. The painting will have a hen with her chicks in the background. I see the pig as a maternal figure, and that appeals to me, for reasons that are becoming more apparent as I examine my past, and present relationships.
Not satisfied yet, but getting where I want to be; that is, closer to something that is honest and real, which equals beauty. The title for the painting, Sacred vulture, came from p. 280 of Roosevelt’s African Trip by F. W. Unger, 1909, another PUL gem. The image, and the words beneath it, reminded me of paintings of flayed and bound figures of the Baroque period. Jusepe de Ribera’s images of Apollo and Marsyas, and St. Bartholomew being my favorites, but images of Prometheus also come to mind. It is interesting that I am looking at a book about Roosevelt’s big game hunting while I am reading another book: Gender, Humiliation and Global Security by Evelin Lindner, 2010. Lindner is advocating a move towards love to save ourselves and our planet. The Roosevelt book, filled with images of animals being slaughtered, powerfully illustrates why Lindner is right.
My nephew, Alex came over yesterday to get some help completing his senior project. He didn’t need much, as he is a natural. This is his portrait of Lil Wayne. Alex’s Auntie had not heard of this rap star, but is very happy that her nephew made the trip out to see her, and was delighted to be of some help.
Family: My biological family, my lover, my friends, people I work with, pass on the street, read, and dream about. Animals, pictures of them, and people I never knew, enter my mind, and sometimes, cause my heart to ache; collectively, they create a gentle buffer to protect me in this world.