Sunday, August 01, 2010

Mapping



This composite oil painting (2000 x 1005MM) is about as close as I get these days to marking days, weeks or months on a calendar. Titled Encounters with Waterfalls it's a visual logbook of a voyage through Western Fiordland on board the conservation yacht, Breaksea Girl. I started and completed this painting in 2008. It tells of hours and days at sea during which time I experienced dazzle and squall and everything in between (life in a nutshell/a pea-green boat?).

I'm posting this painting here today because it's the first day of August and I want to remind myself of my intentions for the coming month. See, August is my birthday month. I've spent too little uninterrupted time in my studio this past year. In twenty one days time I'll be fifty years old, which is quite a thought; a big, daunting, joyful, empowering thought. I'd like to paint my way into my fifty-first year and to celebrate this point of arrival in the company of friends, family and a forest of candles.

There's a fair bit of unchartered ground to cross between now and then, though. The old familiar landscape is shuddering again, arching its back and remonstrating. . . Ah yes, more change is afoot. It seems to me there are times in our lives when a thorough dismantling has to take place in order for some new order to grow up in its place. I know it's going to be helpful for me to create some kind of a map as I re-orientate myself and navigate my way into an entirely new landscape. I don't know who or what will be there when I eventually step into the clearing. I think painting every day is going to be an essential part of this process. As will standing on my head! And walking.

Tomorrow I'm getting up early to gesso boards and prepare a stash of paper for paintings. (I love the sound of that. . .)

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Thank you for continuing to visit my blog even when I'm away from it, sometimes for days at a time. I've been slack this past while, not answering comments or saying an awful lot... I returned home from my week in Wellington this evening and will catch up with things soon. I also have some quirky photos to show you. For now, I just want to say Hello and to name this pact I'm making with myself; I am going to paint every day this month (or as close as damn-it).


Here's to an august August.
Here's to you.
Here's to me.
Here's to us all.


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august |ôˈgəst|adjectiverespected and impressive : she was in august company.DERIVATIVESaugustly |ɔˈgəstli| adverbORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from French auguste or Latin augustus ‘consecrated, venerable.’August |ˈôgəst| |ˈɔgəst| |ˈɔːgəst|nounthe eighth month of the year, in the northern hemisphere usually considered the last month of summer : the sultry haze of late August | [as adj. ] an August cold snap.ORIGIN Old English , from Latin augustus ‘consecrated, venerable’ ; named after Augustus Caesar, the first Roman emperor.

21 comments:

  1. I love your use of the grid to map, time, and place. I have done the same, although differently. I think that will work.

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  2. Hello back dear Claire.
    love,
    Rebecca

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  3. Birthday!
    Birthday!
    Birthday!

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  4. Here's to all that, Claire. I love that painting, and the intensity and intrigue in its colours and shapes when it's the size of a small hand on my small screen. Welcome home.

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  5. Happy August to you as well. And thank you for posting the painting.

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  6. I always thought of birthdays as milestones, in the old sense of the word: incised or stained rocks along a common road.
    But a map takes it up a notch!
    Happy birthday and happy journey.

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  7. Claire

    Happy painting and good birthday.
    Harvey

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  8. Yoga, walking, a fistfull (or two) of brushes and pastels - what a great way to walk into 50. Oh - and the forest of candles. (And us!!) pxx

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  9. ps. Happy Birthday Month. 50 is the best year ever.
    xox

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  10. Happy 50th when it comes, Claire, mine isn't til next year but I've already started planning... Love the grid and the every day pledge. I might do something like that with writing....

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  11. Hi Annell - we are indeed working with similar ideas, differently expressed. Your grid paintings are beautiful and potent. I see you also have a link to Agnes Martin on your site. She is one my favourite painters... and as for Taos and the place you live and work in...? I have long wished to visit your desert and to work there. A fey friend told me some years ago that New Mexico was in my future somewhere along the line... I will reply to your e-message soon and look forward to a conversation with you. Take care - and thank you for coming here and for engaging as you have.

    August 3, 2010 12:55 AM

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  12. Hello dear Rebecca -- and thank you for inspiring me to embrace not just my birthday, but the entire month around it. I'm excited about turning 50, I must admit. My nearest and dearests tend to be several years - even a decade or two - older than me so the ground's already been broken in! All I have to do is skip across the threshold. It's nice to know you thought 50 was a fantastic age. You seem to be just as happy being a few years older now, too. You're a fine role model! Thanks. Love, Claire x

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  13. Hi T. You enjoy them, too? Every opportunity we have for celebration has got to be good. ; ) L, C

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  14. It's good to be back home, Pen, and on a fresh new page. It's been good to revisit the energy of this painting. A lot happened during the months it took to complete it. These days, everything seems to be happening at a greater depth and faster speed. Funny that. L, C

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  15. What an uncommon theme for your grid, and what an adventure that journey must have been. Happy beginnings of birthday month. I believe your painting intention will be supported in all they ways you need.

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  16. Beloved Snail, I love the 'rainbow graffiti' you posted a day or two ago. Thanks for your Happy August wishes --- I wish you happiness, too.

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  17. Dinahmow - what a great image you've created around birthdays. Thank you... I, too, think they're important and are worth marking (as in, being attentive to) in some way. Ritual and celebration are essential parts of the forward journey ; ). Lovely to see you've been here.

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  18. Harvey, what a treat to find you here. Thank you for visiting and for your good wishes. I wish you the very best, too. Claire

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  19. PamMM dear, yes, yes, yes. To fists full of brushes, to you and to a forest of candles x

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  20. Hi Mary... so far, so good! (Have been painting each day and loving it. This used to be HOW I LIVED - how I HAD to live - but somehow I've allowed myself to become distracted. How important it is to stay close to the wellspring... no wonder we find ourselves thirsty when we stray away?). Do write your way into 50! Love, Claire x

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  21. Dear Marylinn - thank you for endorsing my intentions with your blessings. L, C

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