A Blue Day in August

by | Oct 12, 2018

I aimed to leave for Maine on the 8th of August. The car packed and the studio clean. I had a long road ahead of me. The day came, and I wandered over to the beach with my coffee and sat in the sand to steep in the sunrise.

Intent on trying to decipher the blueish shadow color of the waves my visual memory ran through every blue I have known. Associations emerged from the ocean of my imagination.

In my mind as summer unwound, I’ve been musing on ideas for new paintings. And my thinking is nonlinear. It ropes through a constellation of images exploding through time. A swirling concoction of experiences tumble like seaweed through saltwater memories.

This is how paintings are born…. This is how inspiration unfolds…

“Do you want to live by the sea?” A voice rises from the blue bringing forgotten words discarded like broken seashells along the shore. One by one I pick them up and study them in memories light. Now I understand.

Ideas for paintings come like shooting stars. The best ones do. You got to net them when they pass. So I slip on my Bose, Mazzy Star on repeat, slide up the volume, and ride Fade Into You to abstraction.

Like a hammerhead shark chasing a tarpon, I’m gonna trail this arousing scent and see what comes from my unconscious.

Dreamlike images emerge. Liquid blue surrounds her in an island sea, painting her body against a blue mountain haze. Daylight fades. She burns her candles and closes her eyes and begins to sway to a rhythm only she feels. And evening becomes magic.

“I just want to be alone.” She says. “I have had a good life,” and gives me a white feather stolen from the shore. “I found this for you.”

Blue rides a roan horse on a plantation trail, turns and smiles in the jungle sunshine, bathes in a valley stream, and curls in white cashmere beside a wood fire. Blue swirls and hangs in memory like smoke suspended in icy winter air.

I’m standing on the lawn of a dead man’s mansion in the oldest mountains. A full moon rises above a famous bluesman’s head. The music is hot, the air smoking blue. We walk home through a forest of flowers, lanterns like fireflies guide our way.

Have I forgotten all I know about painting? Why do the rivers of my native home no longer hold their allure as subjects in themselves? Now I seek truth among celestial veils of secret places.

I hear the humming of a deeper music. No adjective or noun can define land or seascape. A body of unnamed colors marry a tribe of emotions. I see beyond coasts and clouds, forms resound from a distant consciousness, seductive like a Sirens call. I’ve got my ear to the wind, trying to decipher an ancient code.

Sandoval you sing, “I want to take a breath that’s true”. Please tell me, Hope. How do you paint the memory of blue?

Memories color the walls in the corridors of dreams, “colors your eyes with what’s not there.”

Each morning and evening I return to the sea.

Somewhere in the shadows of those waves,

I’ll find and paint a blue that’s true.


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