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The subconscious kiss...

My first painting as a full time artistic the new studio. It's two by two feet, 4 inches deep and framed in a custom frame with a black ebony frame.  I think this took the better part of two months plus all the thinking that goes into beginning something.When I make a painting: the day I first come up with the idea, the day I sketch it out; he day I get the supplies, the day I begin, the day I fail and give up; the day I start again... Then begins the painting and all the layers and corrections. It's almost become like sculpting to me in a way... Well, all that stuff is not important I guess. But people do seem to forget how much goes into artwork. I'm proud of this one and I suppose it will end up in a good home someway or the other.

Sometimes I think it's the content that's important about a painting. My research and my thoughts. And the ideas. But you know I don't think that's why people decide they need a painting. Which is more important? The idea behind a painting or how it looks?

This design is based on a vintage Japanese stamp I found. I changed the stamp quite a bit and gave it my own imagery...This is one of four paintings that are all alike in size etc. I called them my Love Stamp Series, but they were all about First Loves. There are four of these large ones: First Kiss, First Date (Rotary Love), First Letter, and First Love. This one has the most symbolism I think. The center of the target is a forget-me-not. The fireflies and honeysuckle are things I've loved about summer. Summer is the time for new love, I always thought. And of course, it takes two people to have a first kiss so there is the 2 cents but also you ask someone for their 2 cents when you want to listen to them.  Some of this stuff seems self-explanatory --- do you think people get the symbolism?  As in "here is my two cents about love or painting or aiming for some crazy goal like being an artist." Not sure. I work so much with symbols I don't know how other people notice them. There was a sun and a moon on the original Japanese stamp and I took them out at first. My friend Dianna told me she liked my first sketch best so I put them back in. And the thing about the sun and moon or the full moon/ crescent moon is that they tell the passing of time. I like to measure time by moons, look outside and see where we really are heading to thick or thin, full or empty. And how many times do people say, " I think about that person night and day." I guess falling in love is like that. And painting is like that. You think about it night and day if you are a painter. I guess our creative passions are like that.

You know why I made this series? They say that people are often traumatized by the anniversary of something terrible that has happened.  There is a kind of meditation where you embrace the anti-anniversary (like the death of a loved one, a fire, etc etc) commemorate it somehow and then turn around and look forward so that there aren't any anniversaries anymore, all the days are new and open again. That's what I've been doing with my stamps. Finding moments of love and joy and embracing those moments, making new anniversaries. While doing that, I found that it worked in a different way than I thought it would. Finding first loves was really inspiring-- even if it didn't show through as vibrantly in the art yet as I hope.

When I was painting this painting, right at the end of it, I remembered my first kiss. I was in kindergarten and this little guy and I was dared to kiss by the older kids. So it was just a sweet little peck among five year olds. I did remember that he was Japanese. So funny the way the subconscious mind works. When I come to the end of a painting, sometimes I notice that my subconscious was working to lead me to a memory or a story or an idea all along. I like that about creating. It's kind of like dreaming while you are awake. Your mind keeps letting you in on secrets you were keeping from yourself.I am always surprised at how deeply these simple images seem to go and where they take me.  Soon I hope to make a piece that truly speaks to other people not just to me. I'll keep trying, this was the first one from way back in October. So hoping for a breakthrough this next summer. It will be the anniversary of when I became an artist again. Ahah a good anniversary. Making friends with the calendar and with commemorating, remembering. That is an important part of art and creativity.


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