|Mixed media on birch panel, 48" x 36"|
The couple that bought it were into plants, growing and identifying them by their names, an increasingly rare skill I'd say as we become more physically detached from territory and our knowledge base flattens out.
The painting is another one for my "Walls" series, where I look at the idea of the human-made and natural worlds colliding at hard lines and birthing new realities.
The highfalutin title is from Dante's first line of the Divine Comedy, completed in 1320: "Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, ché la diritta via era smarrita" - "Midway through life's journey, I found myself in a dark forest, having lost the straightforward path" (my translation). If you know anything about the poem, the dark forest is the worst of all worlds (Hell) and the path from which Dante has deviated represents the old philosophical quest to live, in the midst of challenges, in the best possible way. It's a beautiful setup.
Anyway, I've been working on a novel about life in Florence at the end of the Renaissance and so all this old way of writing and thinking (actually, though, it's as fresh as anything we struggle with today, eerily so) has been swimming around in my head.
Now, where was that path?