Travel – in real time, is fantastic!
There can be difficulties, and unpleasantness to deal with. How about being annoyed by bugs, overwhelmed by heat…eating sand, fatigued from driving on incessant washboard roads…getting lost, feeling ill from something I ate, breathing someone’s exhaust? ! All of those are true.
But so is lifting my head at the end of a long day and looking until I can’t look anymore…at the haze-infused, melon colored light that blurs the lines between ocean, dunes and road. It is hard to focus on this kind of scene, but that is part of the overwhelming magic that I feel when I’m in it…I felt it when I was there and I couldn’t let it go, even after being home from Namibia for months.
“Vaguely Astonishing” is the title of this painting (title, courtesy of my husband), …the north-south coastal highway on the central stretch of the Namibian coast…the conveyor of anyone moving between Luderitz, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. It is one of the strangest roads I have ever traveled…a tiny ribbon barely visible at times, with the sand blowing across it while being electrified by the sunlight. Visibility at times?…almost none, as we groped for our sunglasses, hoping for aid from their polarizing effect, while simultaneously flipping down the car’s sun visors over the windshield.
“Where are we?” …we asked of each other as we traveled in our rented 4×4…sometimes laughing, sometimes truly confounded about our geographic point in the universe.
This place…and the images I made of it on our trip have haunted me. I wanted to paint it…some of it…something of it.
Hopes and promises to myself…to keep working and pushing forward. Hope that you might look at one of my paintings, and know that sensation of glancing out of a car window…perhaps being startled into curiosity or delight…and wanting more.
“Vaguely Astonishing” is a new, larger painting that is part of a 4 month installation in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, WA. It is on view through November 8th, 2016. The vitrine (window) is at the corner of John St and Boren Ave N. and is lit 24 hours a day. Link: 1026 John St There are at least eight of these beautiful vitrines, sprinkled throughout South Lake Union…filled by other artists with an amazing variety of ideas, handiwork and beauty. The schedule for this cycle of installations; July 23 – November 8, 2016.
The image below gives you an idea of how my husband, who is a photographer, John Wiley Photography , sets up my pieces to record. We use various props; ladders and easels and boxes on which to set the art work. I hold a big, white diffusing cloth between the sunlight and the art before he makes the photograph. We can set up studio lights and do it inside, but I’ve found this outdoor set up to be the be best, accurate light.