March 3, 2010

"The Long View"
12" x 16"
oil/linen panel

The Long View

The house we're leaving in the Atlanta area was robbed in a major way this weekend. A car, lawn tractor, our computers, papers, a cherished heirloom cuckoo clock, even the realtor's lock box -- all gone. There's a sense of violation, for sure; no one wants other people to take their stuff without permission. Yet, I have a strong sense that what's no longer in our possession is just that -- stuff. What matters most to me -- my loved ones and my artwork -- were essentially untouched.

When the reports of what was stolen started heading my way, I was most relieved to hear that the thieves were not art appreciators. For once I'm happy my paintings didn't fly off the walls. But, you know, even if they had, I would still retain the benefit of having painted them. Art is not stuff, it's a process and a way of life. There's always more art to be created, a new way to see familiar things.

This winter I've loved painting at Red Beach out on the old Navy base here in Vieques. They closed the road there in the middle of January, much to my dismay. I so wanted to bring my new painting students to this lovely and comfortable spot. Last week the paving project was completed and the road reopened; I was there in a flash, painting "The Long View." Elsewhere, professionals were plotting their plunder of our home. But while they might have gotten some good loot, I've no doubt the payoff for my work is a great deal more satisfying.

I've composed many of this winter's Red Beach to show the strip of the land on the western side of the crescent that forms the beach. It's a fair distance from the shore; you could swim to it but then you'd be too close to appreciate it properly. In my opinion, it's a vista best viewed from a distance. Kind of like life. Close up there are many snags and crags; in the long view, however, you see that there's much light in unexpected places.

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