Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm Peachy....You're Peachy

Pail of Peaches   watercolor   17 x 12.5
A hot book 40 years ago (?) was I'm OK....You're OK by Thomas Harris, M.D. I read it myself, and judging by its popularity, so did many others who, like me, were trying to feel good about themselves. We live in a culture that rewards sameness. Communities are becoming more and more homogenous with their outdoor malls and chain stores. Individual and eccentric behavior is regarded with suspicion. Our parents of the 50's simply couldn't imagine why we didn't want to be just like them. We were often punished for wavering from "the path", their path. I love all things peachy...especially peach ice cream. My mother ridiculed me for this as she simply could not understand why anyone would like something that "had no flavor". Well, well, well. Many years hence, I am truly understanding how my own preferences define me. I happen to love the understated peachy flavor and can smell these luscious fruits when I enter the store. "Pail of Peaches" was a breakthrough painting for me in that I could finally appreciate my own preference for vignette formats. My painting style was evolving into a more expressive one, making use of rhythmic and gestural strokes. That is my thrill. When I painted in this way, there was always space left-over. When I "filled in the background", I felt as if I were killing the liveliness of the painting. I might as well be painting the living room wall. So, thanks to Dr. Harris, I can finally say.....I love peaches......and.....I love vignettes....and that is O.K.

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