Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Memories in light and shadow

Not soon, as late as the approach
of my ninetieth year,
I felt a door opening in me
and I entered
the clarity of early morning.
One after another my former
lives were departing,
like ships, together with
their sorrow.
And the countries, cities, gardens,
the bays of seas
assigned to my brush came closer,
ready now to be described better
than they were before.
--- Czeslaw Milosz,
Nobel-prizewinning Polish poet,
from his 2001 poem Late Ripeness

My memories are like driving through a fog that has bits of clearing or clarity. Some of my memories are fragile traces, fragments or remembered moments from my past, especially my
childhood memories. Some of my memories are in the shadow, full of gaps. Other memories are vivid, clear and "in the light". I build up and remove layers of paint on my canvas, that
represent the layers of life experiences that accumulate in my mind as memories. I scrape, rub, scratch back into the layers of paint to reveal the meaning of my painting, much like the way we look back through layers of our memories when searching to understand ourselves.


Leslie Avon Miller said...

I too have saved these poetic words to revisit from time to time. I just love the promise of these words of Milosz's - that we might have increased clarity in later stages of living a creative life.
I also see the parallel of your memories and your paintings process. Great painting - love the colors and the marks.

india flint said...

this is making a lot of sense...
and loving the images, too

Ruth Armitage said...

beautiful.... thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

This is beautiful, as everything I see all of your work posted here is. I especially love the words you have chosen to describe what is being felt on your canvas.

Jeane Myers said...

Hi Donna - very nice blog - welcome to blogland :)

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Beautiful post...I agree, the layers of a painting and the layers of memory are finely connected.

jo horswill said...

Hi Donna,

This is a beautiful post, thankyou...
Great to see you have joined the blogging community too.

Seth said...

Wonderful piece. And the idea that the layers of your artwork represent the layers of your memories is something that totally resonates with me!

Kelly M. said...

Donna -- Wonderful connection of the poem with your thoughts and images. I often think that remembering is truly an act of re-membering all the disparate parts of our lives, the bits and pieces that drift to the margins. I also want to follow up on your book recommendation (I'm also a librarian!) --

John M. Mora said...



Nancy Natale said...

Since I've been working on the topic of my mother's loss of memory, I just seem to find the subject of memory everywhere I look. It is so insubstantial and yet what else are we but our memories?

I was thinking last night of a friend who died young, unexpectedly, and while we were estranged from each other. Who else remembers her and brings her to life again after all these years? And what brought her to life for me so vividly out of nowhere?

Thank you for a beautiful post and a lovely work.

Kerin said...

Hi Donna!

I'm so glad I found you and that you've joined the Mixed Media Art ning group. Thanks for linking to my blog and I just linked back here. You're off to a great start for a new blog. I'm sure it will be visited by many.

I'd love to chat sometime about art stuff and maybe we could even teach a class together some day! Your Personal Expression workshop looks awesome!!!

BT said...

What a wonderfully expressive post. This all feels a little 'over my head' yet I do understand it too. I love the picture and how you talk about the layers. My life is a muddle.

2 said...

Lovely feel to this.