Friday, February 6, 2009
"The Games of Canine and Lepus"
"The Games of Canine and Lepus"
40" x 30" oil on canvas
by Sarah Hessinger
(Detail of "The Games of Canine and Lepus")
This painting has been on quite the journey. It started out as one of my sheet series, and was leaning towards light and warm sunshine, and mundane backyard ambiance.. It was not working. I conferred with trusted colleagues, and felt it was to stiff, posed and it was not speaking to me. I am regrettably missing the photo of this painting during those beginning stages, and I fancy what X rays will find on it some years down the line...Below is my quick Photoshopped attempt to show you where it started at, for the sake of the journey and fun blogging!
........ I am most interested in our personal paths in life. I was out hiking and was feeling very lost in life. My husband and I were scrambling up this rather large steep rocky hill side heaving and puffing on a warm Phoenix winter day. When I turned around, the Phoenix valley lay stretched out before me for miles and miles. I could see the freeways, hear the raceway, the dim bustle of traffic and life, closer voices of fellow hikers down below me. In front of the freeways, were more residential roads and countless homes, leading in to golf courses and finally up in to the hills that I was on at that moment.
Trying to catch my breath, with my head hanging down, I noticed the little path I was on. It was a small rabbit trail, just off the main path. I looked up for a min, holding my breath with kind of a illuminated light-bulb moment going off in my head and I started to laugh between my labored breathing. Most people are on the "highway" in their lives. Bright and busy with fellow travelers, crowded, and well mapped out with road signs telling you when your next payment is due, and your 401K coming up in the next 25 miles, and how much longer you can expect till your next promotion, so pay attention. A very well mapped out road that has been proven true. It is a safe smart path in predictable ways. ( In the below picture, you can see I decided to paint over her head and face. She had to hot of a gaze, or to direct, and would not let the viewer look away- not what I wanted.)
I realized that I was not even traveling on a residential side street, in my life. The kind of life where if you look closely between the unkempt bushes you can just read the address of the houses as you cruise slowly by still in your car. No, I was not even on a hikers path, such as the one down below me now at the bottom of the path with serious joggers and even more serious bikers.
I was traveling thru life on my own personal rabbit path, just big enough for my two feet with little room to spare. I like my rabbit path, for it was a chosen. But at the moment I realized that I had lost my rabbit trail so to speak. I resolved to become a better tracker of rabbit. ( Below, you can see where I started to incorporate transparencies throughout the sheets, and the canine figure started to be more resolved)
As I looked out over that huge expanse of humanity, surrounded in my semi quiet wild spot on earth, I became so very aware of myself in the "between " places of life, as my good friend Julie would say. I see myself as living the existence equal to that of the coyote or crow. Mind, you some of you might see that as not a very positive thing, being that they are both scavengers and not thought of in a very positive light in our society.. I chuckle at that still. They are both animals with a unique sense of humor, adept in the wild spaces, and thrive, despite their nature, living closely near our homes, cities, streets. That is the truest sense of what I am. "The Games of Canine and Lepus".