Friday, February 23, 2018

Unsettled - My painting metaphor

Breaking by Marian Dioguardi c2018 (Top oil painting. Bottom my reference photo)

Who among us doesn't feel unsettled in a world where Up is Down and Down is Up? In a year of upheaval one would think the logical thing would be to sit tight and stay the course. That's not what I do: I investigate, I observe, I learn, I feel, I change. 

"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance"-Alan Watts

In December of 2017 I changed studios in Boston, joining Studio 306, 450 Harrison Ave, with two talented women; the jeweler, Deborah McFail and the weaver, Mary Mandarino. I needed to get away from the group think of painters and take a long deep breath of fresh air. I also needed to take a journey.

I traveled to Sicily. Sicily, home to the most active volcano in the world, Mount Etna, constantly birthing earth and gifting this crib of ancient culture with fertility.  I found the moment to moment changes of the unsettled skies a beautiful counterpoint to this ancient earth both ever changing but at very different rates. The changes reached my soul. 

One one day through the Alcantara Valley there were five different rainbows, at different times.

For 2018 I am working on a series of paintings exploring the unsettled skies over Sicily. Not comfortable or fluent in landscape painting, I am struggling and learning as I move along. I'm not sure where this series of paintings will take me but I know that I am going.

Here, I am using photo references, a practice to which I am not accustomed because I prefer to paint from life. However along with learning to handle greens, blues and neutrals, I am also learning to take the moment of feeling and awe and reinsert it back into the painting. The painting  will not be a recording of what I saw but it's a reflection on how I felt in that moment of time and space; free, a little wild and very unsettled.

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