Dreaming My Dissolution (Detail)

Acrylic, Japanese paper, gold leaf on canvas (2020)

Size: w 28 x h 40 x d 1.75 inches

This piece is also known as Sea Change (Fall Rich and Strange) — June 2020 for the full image. That title still holds, but when I looked at the painting this morning the words came to me. The new title is dark, but perhaps letting out the dark allows the light to come in.

Setting

Acrylic and graphite on paper mounted on cradled birch panel (2020)

Size: w 13″ x h 18″ x d 1.5″

Last night I was thinking about the poet Louise Bogan (subject of my PhD thesis a while back). She and her husband renovated an old farmhouse in New York state in 1929. She loved that house. A year and a half later they were driving home from visiting his mother and could see over the horizon that their house was burning. She lost all her manuscripts.

The painting above is about the sun setting. The poem below is about climate change — not about Bogan’s experience — but the image in my head of her house burning, seen through her eyes, was the spark for it.

Bereft

____

When I left, the world was green

There was birdsong

There was life.

____

Left/Nothing

____

I came home to find my house on fire

I was not gone long

I had not gone far.

____

I dream of scorched earth

Lost Spirit

Coloured gesso, acrylic, graphite, ink on canvas (2022)

Size: w 14″ x h 20″ x d 1.5″

“Przewalski’s horse” is the only truly wild horse in existence. Other horses thought of as wild are in fact feral, according to The Smithsonian. For many years it was extinct in the wild, surviving only in zoos and field stations; its population was at long last successfully reintroduced in the 1990s to its native Mongolia where it is regarded as holy and known as the takhi (meaning spirit, worthy of worship). I picture the takhi roaming from room to room in Palladio’s Villa Poiana, lost between heaven and earth. The image arose from the confluence of two dreams I had 15 years apart, the most recent just a few weeks ago.

Nereids and the Ruby Sea Dragon

Acrylic and Japanese paper on canvas (2021)

Size: w 22″ x h 28″ x d 2″

Another detail from a piece I started a while back (see https://npaulartworks.com/2021/03/28/leafy-sea-dragon-detail/). Still in progress.

Undaunted

Acrylic, ink, water soluble crayon on tiles mounted on cradled birch panel (2021)

Size: w 16″ x h 12″ x d 2″

Just finished this piece for inclusion in a show of the same name, the annual OKWA (Organization of Kingston Women Artists) exhibit at the Window Gallery in Kingston, Canada for the month of October.

For a year and a half a herd of elephants has been migrating across southwest China, covering hundreds of miles – sometimes wandering through neighbourhoods or crossing city thoroughfares cleared of traffic by police monitoring their progress.  No-one knows why they left the Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve in March 2020, but diminishing habitat would have been a factor.  Perhaps then they got lost and just kept going.  Only now are they almost home again.

The mystery of the venture combined with the roaming herd’s determination and stamina has fascinated people around the world these many long pandemic months.  We have been captivated by the soulful, at times playful, creatures and taken inspiration from their quest.  In the words of a young man hired to deliver corn and pineapples to the always hungry elephants, “it almost felt as if there was a holy aura around them.”

Holding My Broken Heart Aloft

Graphite, conte, water soluble crayon on paper (1990)

Size: w 13″ x h 25″

I continue to expand and update my main website, where the range of my work can be seen under the Galleries tab : https://npaulvisualart.com