Rambunctious kid: when I was in junior high school my horse back riding coach nicknamed me Crash because I fell off so many times. I was kind of a speed freak at that age, stupidly fearless ( not to be confused with courageous). I got banged up a lot but I had been on horses since I was a toddler and I knew how to fall. Once though-I remember vividly now the color of the slate grey sky- I was 14 and at a horse show in a Junior Equitation class. The fences were 3′ high . I came confidently crashing around a corner and my horse suddenly, inexplicably refused an oxer out of no where and I went flying over his head right onto the fence. I saw the sky above my feet , wrong wrong wrong. Then all kinds of pain, even a chipped a tooth. I don’t remember what hurt now, I don’t remember the exact nature of the pain, but I can recall the color of the sky against my black boots clearly. It was that ominous pre-storm fall steely blue, clouds moving fast across the Northeastern Ohio sky.
On April 10th and 11th, this year, the Texas sky was at it’s big bright sky finest. On each of those two days I looked up into the brilliant sun and saw my newly dead father’s beaming face, dimples and all, smiling down at me every single time I looked up. His ruddy face was in vivid contrast to the pure blue sky. The sky was that perfect, deep, delicious blue.
A million other blues. A million skies, a million seas, a million flowers, a million sapphires. It’s our best loved color, and yet it’s synonymous for melancholy. It’s deeply resonate I think because so it’s so prevalent in the natural world. That is precisely why I think it’s so difficult to work with. I find it’s inherent beauty and natural associations almost crippling in their perfection.
I started three new paintings this week, all beginning with blue. I’m trying to find a ways of making this color personal and not cliche. Nothing is done enough that I want to show you yet, but I’ll have something for next week.