Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Push and Pull of Life

Fenner Farm, 30 x 40" oil on canvas by christine sullivan

There are too many things we take for granted and typically they are what we cherish the most. And isn’t it the case that we have to learn this the hard way. Like when you hear the news that an old college friend has died at a much-too-young age. One you haven’t spoken to in years yet you know you both would immediately pick up where you left off. And while the memories flash before you as you laugh and cry thinking about the good old days the reality sinks in and you are left with this tugging feeling and wonder how you’ve allowed time and miles to let these relationships wane. And yet if we had a portable slide show of all of our friends we could witness our life’s quilt and clearly see how visibly we are all tethered together.  

And it’s funny how in making new relationships we find ourselves sharing our thoughts and memories from childhood, college life and the bridges we have crossed together and are continuing to cross - as if to acknowledge that they are now in the links of our life. And you in theirs.  It is in this continuance, this push and pull of life that in large part shows up in my paintings. Not so much the sentimentality of the past, more a feeling of yearning as well as acceptance. We never seem to realize that within the very moment we are laughing together with our family and friends this is where the paintings begin. The light, sounds, warmth, safety and love we share. These landscapes of moments. As in the painting above I did of Fenner Farm in Cazenovia, NY - the past (old decaying barns) overlapping the present (new wind turbines) - with neither taking center stage but they acknowledge each others presence as the years of hard work and innocence whisper by. Similar to our relationships with others as well as our local geography. Both seem to act as sentries over our lives - having an abiding interest in our welfare. And we in theirs.  

But the images, the images are meaningless unless we have someone to share them with. As Max says in The Legend of 1900, “You're never really done for, as long as you've got a good story and someone to tell it to.” Brush on!

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