The Mermaid’s Hands

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The Mermaid’s Hands 24″x36″ Acrylic

I haven’t been working on much for the last few weeks.  I don’t know why I go through these feast or famine phases, just seems to be how I work.  I began this painting a couple of years ago – and then I painted over it with black gesso and used a wet paper towel to remove some of the gesso and began painting it again.  I keep going back to it trying to get it right – but I reach a point and then I quit because I know it isn’t there yet and I don’t know what to do next.  When it began there was a full figure, but it looked clumsy so gessoed it out.  The hands keep coming back, so I think I am supposed to keep them.  This is not the final version, just an updated one, even if it were the final version there is a lot of clean up to finish with the background and all the edges, the hands are definitely not finished.  I have three paintings in this same state and I really wish I could fix them and be finished!  Sometimes I just don’t know where to go with it next, I spend a lot of time staring and waiting for the answers or the inspiration.

Summer is going by so quickly!  I notice there is a different slant of light now (doesn’t Emily Dickinson mention something in a poem about “the slant of light”)?  Summer isn’t over yet, but definitely moving away from us.  Our nights have been much cooler. I wonder if  the sweet peas will bloom.  I may have planted them too late!  (My favorite summer flower).  They are waist-high, but no where ready to burst forth.  Our growing season is very short here.

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3 responses »

  1. Emily Dickinson, poem number 258:

    There’s a certain slant of light,
    On winter afternoons,
    That oppresses, like the weight
    Of cathedral tunes.

    Heavenly hurt it gives us ;
    We can find no scar,
    But internal difference
    Where the meanings are.

    None may teach it anything,
    ‘T is the seal, despair, —
    An imperial affliction
    Sent us of the air.

    When it comes, the landscape listens,
    Shadows hold their breath ;
    When it goes, ‘t is like the distance
    On the look of death.

    And maybe that slant is what we’re waiting for, during our unproductive days. At any rate, I think you’d be hard pressed to find many creative people who don’t work by such ‘feast and famine’ cycles.

  2. Thank you! I have been looking for my big Emily Dickinson book all day, and I think now someone must have borrowed it! I suppose you are correct, all of us must go through these cycles – still difficult though!

  3. maybe the hands are your own, reaching out for ideas on how to finish your painting projects. ha ha. I love your ethereal use of color, it seems to run through many of your works, you are so good at this.
    Love that poem too, so many poems, so little time.

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