|"Where Spirits Dwell" -my friends Dr. Mary Carver, Dr. Christy Vincent. Blessed|
"Art is about emotion; if art needs to be explained it is no longer art."
Titles for paintings are sometime difficult to come by, and at other times they'are inherent.
So it was when I was commissioned to paint a retirement gift for great friend and spiritual leader Dr. Christy Vincent, retiring from my dear former University of Central Oklahoma Department of Mass Communication this spring.
Honored and intimidated by the request from my dear friend Dr. Mary Carver, chair of the department, it took time to find an appropriate subject. Christy and her husband Dr. Don Drew have been generous with my art in the past, and I didn't want to duplicate anything I'd done, especially with our love of New Mexico.
But Ghost Ranch and Georgia O'Keefe was on our mutual agenda as I approached it. Thinking of my friend and her spirituality, of our love for New Mexico and art, of the Department and students and colleagues, and of Ghost Ranch, the title was in my head before I began. "Where Spirits Dwell."
That was the east part.
Research, my photos, and others, history, multiple angles and lighting and moods and emotions gelled. Compositions came and went. Formats changed. Two failures consumed paint and canvas. Then spirits spoke, in human voices, about "having fun," and "paint what you feel."
Thus it was, picking colors, choosing a frame ahead of time, that emotion came together, along with editing--tweaking, revising, whatever--that the gift of emotion came together.
I've been doing this long enough to know the every painting has at least one story, multiple versions, and the outcome is often more than planned or expected.
That's more than one of the stories of this painting.