Here's a mini I did in the fall on a trip to San Francisco, and just now got framed up.
It's a row of small eucalyptus trees I found between a road and a park, having gotten lost on a walk.
For some reason the shadow cast by a railing and the amputated branch, in that light, spoke to my mood after a hot long day in the sun. But the scene doesn't depict precisely how I was.
That's the freaky thing about painting, about spending time with something and really taking it in. Agonizing a bit.
The important thing is that now, months later, the finished work serves as a touchstone, irrelevant in many ways of what it was meant to depict. Seeing it again transports me back, like a teleporter of the emotional memories.
I look upon this small piece and the way the light was, the noise of cars and an airplane overhead, the slight tinge of citrus in the air, how hungry I was starting to get, and the sweat that couldn't decide what to do on my brow in the mix of sun and breeze and it all comes flooding back.
A photo, especially a digital photo, never works the same. It's too easy. Not enough of the senses are engaged and so the memory paths aren't formed. But a painting...
Call me bananas but want to forget, take a photo; if you want to remember, sketch, or write, or sing.
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