The Greeks had two words for life, Zoe and Bios. Zoe refers to life forces in general as seen from a distance, life without end, infinite life; whereas bios is the study of a specific life, zooming in to see the details, as in a biography. When I read this in Twyla Tharp’s, “The Creative Habit” (she was quoting Carl Kerenyi’s book "Dionysos") I suddenly realized what had been driving my vision for the last few years. I have become obsessed with the forces of water flowing over rocks, not a specific place, no buildings, no people, no horizon line, and no story. Funny how just being able to put a word on something seemed to validate what I was doing. Zoe, the Zoe series of paintings, studying life forces. Thanks Twyla.
Your revelation to yourself and us of your self-understanding is in itself a revelation. Finding what is driving us and being able to naturally channel a desire through painting is like finding and then riding a thermal, I imagine. Please keep doing these river paintings; they show a marked technical advancement which has come about because you are doing something which doesn’t have to answer to anybody but yourself; you’re loving it and also understand it, and it shows. You can smell and feel the water.
Thanks Martin. I just returned from Cincinnati where I popped into the museum and happened to accidentally find myself in the middle of a Monet exhibit, water lilies, Japanese bridge and two fantastic wisteria paintings that were very loose and abstract. Wow, talk about being blown away. I had not been thinking of Monet at all while working on these water paintings, but now I realize how much he had been part of my subconsciousness all along. I like what you said about not answering to anyone about what makes us feel passionate. It takes a long time to have the confidence shut out those voices, doesn’t it?