Friday, May 9, 2014


It didn't take much to finish this piece... A quick swipe of yellow, a little extra white washed over the blue like a veil.

It's one of those pieces that, at the end, I wish I'd taken pictures throughout the process to remind myself how it evolved, but when I'm in the midst of it I can't be bothered. Who wants to format and sort and arrange a dozen images, each just incrementally different than the last? I should hire someone, maybe. 


In this case it would have been appropriate to document its accumulation of layers, though, because it's ABOUT layers. I guess all of my abstract work lately is about layers, but the title for this one came in a little flash and seemed so fitting: "The Irritation Creates the Pearl."

When shelled mollusks are threatened by injury or parasites or other foreign intrusion, they secrete calcium carbonate to coat and neutralize the irritant. It's the same distinctive irridescent substance that lines the shells themselves, called nacre. In the inner mantle, the soft tissue of the mollusk, around the irritation, the concentric layers of nacre build a pearl. I read that the mollusk will continue adding these layers for the rest of its life.

I wonder if we are capable of this, too... building beautiful concretions around our wounds and irritations. Scar tissue isn't merely defensive, after all, it has a certain luster. 

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense to have just the one image. The finished piece. It contains all its layers, some of which are secret. Just like yours and mine.


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