16 April 2024

Grace in all forms

Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads 10 April 2024, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

I confess that I have an angel whom I call 'Grace' who comes to me at all hours. She's 24/7, like the Police dept, and she's available for a chat or interrogation at any moment of the day. She also comes to me in various disguises, sometimes she's a cat, or a furry dog, a magpie or even a mosquito. She's omniscient, but not an omnivore so there's no problem there. But she's definitely not shy about just showing up whenever I least expect it.

The other evening at the beach she showed up as a magpie, but the day before, as a young bush turkey who hung around me for almost the entire session at the beach. 

But believe me, I'm not the superstitious type, not paranoid nor narcissist (or conspiracist), I'm just a painter who has faith in what the Greek poets used to call the Muses. 

Grace has the voice of Wilma Flintstone, too. When she's judging me with her slightly hoarse voice she's still calm but firm and she can be a little exasperated when I don't pay attention to her messaging. But I trust her, importantly. 

Whatever my mood she will appraise me with an ironic air like I'm six years old and have spilled jam all over my best shirt. She is joyful and full of mirth too, happy but with the mouth from a union guy of the Bronx when needed. But she has a wicked sense of humour too, because I couldn't abide by an angel all stony and cold like in the churches of my youth. Mais non!! But I haven't quite figured all this out yet,,I'm just going with what I understand at the moment.

Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads 10 April 2024, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

These two pictures are from a few nights ago. Though I don't generally spend a lot of time on these things, these took about twenty minutes each which is a lot for me. There are a little more developed than usual because I'm piling on pigment in layers and trying new things. 

It was a magnificent 'Bloom' yesterday but it didn't last long. There are nights when it can go on till dark but this week they're not there. It could be the small half moon watching benevolently from high overhead that disturbs the light.  

But to be out again and painting at the beach is a great pleasure and privilege, so Grace reminds after each session. 

"Be Grateful, be graceful" 

She says to me every occasion. These are not admonishments, more like gentle mantras in my ear.

Having this motif so close at hand, one that despite its obvious finite boundaries, is still opening up new avenues for the painter in me. And with Grace so close at hand in my life, I'm able to cruise more easily as a person and painter.

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