Abstracts

What we expect to see when we look at a paint­ing is fas­ci­nat­ing to me. Do we need to rec­og­nize images there? Is this always nec­es­sary, or just some­times? Is this an expec­ta­tion shared with par­tic­u­lar per­sons, our cul­ture as a whole, or some­times both? If land­scapes, por­traits, and still lifes top the pop­u­lar­ity list for paint­ings, what does this tell us? Appar­ently, that most of us want to look into a framed space and see our­selves: our homes, what and whom we love, where our hearts yearn to go. But can we see these things in shapes and tex­tures and col­ors not explic­itly iden­ti­fi­able? Even if they are, what one per­son sees in that real­is­tic image will not nec­es­sar­ily be the image seen by another. I bought a tiny sculp­ture of a man­a­tee because it looked just like my bas­set hound. Likely, nobody else saw a bas­set hound in this fig­ure, and I’m pos­i­tive the sculp­tor did not have my dog in mind when he or she carved it. Nev­er­the­less, I think of her again every time my eye rests upon it, and I’m glad I bought it. I have not painted chil­dren and pets and west­ern hori­zons. But again, yes, I have. I hope I have painted our pas­sions, our yearn­ings, our drift­ing, our fears, our sense of the numi­nous. You must fill in the blanks. It is in the blank spaces that we find ourselves.