Monday, January 27, 2014


I did this painting last summer, while we were in Michigan. It came together quickly, I think because I allowed myself to throw whatever I liked into it without wondering too much What It All Means.

That's a good way to kill a piece, over-thinking.

"Shibboleth," 18 x 30", oil on canvas

I had started another piece with the same Delft pattern in it, and loved it so much that I wanted to put it everywhere. Delft is a city in The Netherlands that produced hand-painted earthenware in the 17th century, with its tulip and windmill and animal motifs, all done in that distinctive shade of blue.. cobalt, cerulean, pthalocyanine... my palette can't quite capture it. I can remember seeing plates and saucers and salt & pepper shakers in Delft Blue in my grandparents' buffet growing up, so it has nostalgic value, too.

There's something about painting patterns that is so satisfying for me, despite it also being repetitive and sort of laborious. I love working on tiny details and then stepping back to see how they decorate the whole.

I like how it's all loosely patched together, an arbitrary collage of information. Like a dream, where things are on the periphery, on the tip of your tongue, undefinable but completely understood.


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