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Lately I’ve been leaning toward the abstract in my painting, but it’s hard to resist that representational pull. Especially when trying to capture a feeling grounded in memory, like a swirl of fish, or flowing leaves.

I came closer to the abstract with the flowing leaves. Here I was trying to capture what I felt when watching the wind streaming through the birch trees during my morning meditation. It was mesmerizing, the way the wind played with those strands of leaves. Like fingers gently parting,  lifting, letting go. All that light filtering through. I couldn’t get enough of it. I’ve caught something of that here, I think, but not enough.

This was done with oil pastel and watercolor, with a touch of gold acrylic to add sparkle.

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For the swirling fish, I was looking for a mosaic effect.  Like what I saw on the walls and floors of ancient ruins when sailing through the Med in Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, and Malta. Like what I saw beneath the surface of the sea when I was snorkeling, swirls of color fractured by light.


The oil pastel-watercolor combo lends itself to that effect, although I didn’t quite accomplish what I had set out to do. Still I like it well enough.


I’m at the place now where I think I need to work in series, painting one after another of the same theme or subject, playing, practicing, seeing how close I can get to what I hold, not so much in my mind’s eye, but in some deeper more inarticulate place. That scattering of light through leaves. That swirl of sea and fish, broken into tiny bits of brilliant color.

More feeling than memory drives the urge to capture what I experienced then. What I experience still when I close my eyes and allow that felt-sense to rise up deep within.