Two days ago, a small, black-covered book arrived in the mail. It is a book by artist Sophie Jodoin. It's a catalogue, of sorts, about a show she had of her work in 2004 called, 'Drawing Shadows: portraits of my mother'. As the title suggests, it is all portraits/drawings of her then sixty-five year old mother. All are black and white mixed media of acrylic, pastel, and charcoal on black Stonehenge paper. The images slip out of the dark. Intimate. Haunting. Poetic.
So, for two days, at odd times, I have found myself returning to this small book trying to unlock its secrets. It does what all great art does. It grabs you somewhere deep and lets you know you're hungry for something you didn't even know was missing. All of Jodoin's work is that way. I am in awe, in the truest sense of the word.
This is the first week back after a week at the beach. Re-entry was hard. The beach was at Cape May, New Jersey, to be specific. It's a part of the East coast I had never visited before. The ocean was beautiful and memorable. The weather was hot and humid, with an emphasis on the HUMID.
The contrast of the ocean environment to the desert is obvious, but what struck me was their similarities. They share an austere beauty. Both have the immense skies, with a sense of the infinite. Oddly, with all the expanse, in both cases, I often find myself pulled to the smallest details: the delicate color of a broken seashell washed up on the sand or a shard of bone on the desert floor. And both have the relentless winds that hint at the ever changing but constant moment. Different but the same.
I looked up at the sky last night. It was clear and star-filled, with the Milky Way so prominent and I thought how the word 'home' has a much broader meaning for me these days.
Pat Greenwell is an artist. A painter and sometimes poet, he has been searching the New Mexico desert for a couple of years now, looking for lost possibilities and probable intentions.
"...mostly stream-of-consciousness stuff, you know...