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.
A recent painting of mine was accepted in a national juried exhibition by The Art Students League of Denver. The show is in April in Denver. The painting is framed and ready to be shipped. There is a definite sense of "going home" with this piece and under these circumstances. Denver was my home for many years. To be included in this show is an honor, to be sure, but it also has a sense of coming out of the wilderness for me. I'm being invited back from the desert to show what I've learned. What has the desert taught me?
So, I will relish this success, but soon turn back to the easel. There is more to say. The conversation has just begun and, of course, the desert has much more to reveal.
I finished a painting yesterday. I photographed it and sent off the "jpg" to apply to a national juried show. There is such a feeling of accomplishment when you go through this process and come out the other side. It is a chance at recognition and at validation for this thing which you do.
Much of the time as an artist you are alone. And there comes a point where you need and even crave a response, any response, to what you are doing. Is what you are doing, worth doing? Occasionally, you know the answer to that, even if it is only valid until the next time you put brush to canvas.
Pat Greenwell is an artist. A painter and sometimes poet, he has been searching the New Mexico desert for several years now, looking for lost possibilities and probable intentions.
"...mostly stream-of-consciousness stuff, you know...