“Painting is my way of exploring the mysteries of daily life, the uncertainty of what it is to be human, and to scratch at the layers of one’s existence” – C.W. Slade
Last month, I wrote about ‘moments in time.’ I was pondering what it was that made our lives memorable. With that question still in mind, I continue to work with these ideas that involve me in my studio. These are some of the things I have been contemplating while painting this series called, ‘Artifacts’.
The Anazazi people lived between 500- 1300 CE in the Chaco Canyon areas in the four corners region of the United States. They built a perfectly round city that was mathematically laid out to reflect time and the cosmos. They left petro glyphs high up on canyon walls leaving us their story. We can only guess who the Anazazi were by these pictographs and by the ruins they left behind. Like so many ancient cultures, we are left with artifacts carefully placed in graves, in ruins that leave us guessing, and sometimes on frescoes that tell their story…again, a story we can only imagine to be true.
I am intrigued and fascinated by ancient cultures. I love studying the myths that are embedded in the culture of the time. For example, Greek myths reflect the beliefs of the culture as well as pottery and frescoes that tell us who and what the people valued.
This pot reflects a sea loving people who lived at the edge of the Mediterranean ocean. In many cultures the art reflects a war faring culture depicted on the frescoes or pottery.
What is it that is so fascinating about these ancient peoples? Why do we have museums, and archaeologists who fill these museums with their finds? I once walked through The Louvre in France. I remember musing about who the people were that created the art, statues, and handmade jewels. While studying art history in college, I loved knowing that the art, whether on pottery or on walls, was a statement of the culture of that time.
On another occasion, I roamed through the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru and in the sacred sites near Cuzco. I listened to our tour guide, a local shaman, who shared the history of these ancient places and of mammoth granite stone cities and walls. At Stonehenge, I walked inside the henge in awe of these advanced peoples who placed these stones in a perfect circle, each stone weighing several tons and wondered why and how these ancients built such places. I visited the pyramids and temples in Egypt and gazed in awe at the hieroglyphs that hold the mystery of those times, leaving more questions than answers.
I really don’t know why we as a culture are fascinated by ancient civilizations. Perhaps these civilizations of past times have shaped our lives in present time. Perhaps we find out about ourselves when we dig into the ancient myths, legends, art and ruins. It may be that it gives us a fulcrum point from which to explore our own motives, myths, and nature. Could it be that ancient treasures may help us rewrite our history, and re- think our future?
We just completed the 8 session class: Painting From the Inside Out. Not only am I inspired by my student’s work but am completely “wowed” by it as well. I thought I would share some of their art with you here:
We are going to continue in the fall once per month for 3 hours of pure pleasure. I have a couple spaces still open. If you are interested be sure to let me know and I will include you on the list.
I have been juried in at the “Bag Lady” in downtown Folsom. My art will be for sale there beginning June 2. The Bag Lady is a shabby chic sort of boutique that houses many artists from the area on their walls. The owner has great ‘stuff’ for great prices. Please check it out and look for my wall!
If you are in Tahoe City during the month of July, be sure to stop by No. Tahoe Arts to see my exhibit: Now and Then in the Cortison Loft upstairs in the gallery. I will have 9 pieces from this series; Artifacts, showing there.
Until next time,