This painting has a history. I starting working on a concept involving a flamenco skirt that just wasn’t working the way I’d envisioned it. I set it aside for a while and came back to it a couple months later with a new idea, one involving large color blocks in primary colors, which I began to paint over the original image. I stopped about a third of the way through, realizing that this idea just didn’t feel authentic. So I let the canvas go on vacation again.
Meanwhile I continued to paint other works until one day the idea of layers of spirals came to me, and I knew that was it! I think of spirals as a symbol of life and breath; they appear in a number of my pieces.
What is really fun about Crossings is that the history of the piece is crucial to the final painting. When it was almost done, I sanded away parts of the surface to randomly reveal what had gone on before. I think that’s a good metaphor for most humans. We have history, sometimes we reinvent ourselves, but there are always parts of our past that reappear in unexpected ways. That can be positive or negative, but in the case of this painting, it turned out to be a big positive. I’m happy with it. You can see details here.
Thinking about the story behind Crossings, I’m remind not to give up on a canvas, and give it time to tell me what it wants to be.
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