Travel as narrative and metaphor

le Pont Neuf evening on the Seine – Paris”   painting in progress and sketch in my studio   9″x 12″    2017

I have to let myself go…sitting in my studio, some good, twangy Alison Krauss + Union Station. Pencil and notebook in front of me. Thinking leads to feeling. The narrative of my life is travel…in some form. It may be through breathing in yoga, where I can let go of tension or blocked energy. Maybe it’s a long walk through my neighborhood, just letting my feet take me without a plan.  The best?…a big adventure, planned and packed, for the road or plane, to far away cultures.  I listen to others tell their stories, through music or paintings or writing and I’m awakened and pushed.

We live in a country full of wealth and riches but we seem to lack soul and true spiritual connection to our place and fellow humans. We can’t all be right all of the time. We must pull out our curiosity and give that freely. It just may draw a story out of someone else who might not usually share or connect. There is something to being idealistic…but realistic.

Come travel with me – to Paris.    Another painting drawn from my life moments spent there.

“le Pont Neuf – evening on the Seine – Paris”     acrylic on canvas        9″x 12″      2017

Sometimes travel can be transport through a memory, conversation, or a work of art…not necessarily getting on a plane to somewhere. I always hunger for my next big adventure, but just as it is in a painting filled with vivid color, we need neutral tones to create balance. The same is true in life – roots and places to land and reflect, deal with the mundane…help to refuel us for the next undertaking, task or adventure. This helps develop an understanding and deeper appreciation for the inevitable ups and downs in life.

 

tools….never too many brushes 

 

I love the paint on my palette, but I love scraping it off too…ready for more…the next adventure

 

“le matin (morning) 10th arrondissement – Paris” on my easel…is it finished?       10″x 20″ acrylic on canvas

Both of these paintings are now hanging at Le Panier French Bakery in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. If you are near, go sit on a stool, eat a beautiful croissant and have a look. If you are interested in my work or would like to purchase, please contact me. cappwiley@gmail.com

 

©Teri Capp All rights reserved

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What we carry with us.

“le matin (morning) – 10th arrondissement – Paris”                            Acrylic on canvas      20″x 10″     2017

 

Threads of our stories move with us through our lives – from childhood to middle age. Fresh, raw experience turns into deeper understanding and reflection. We ask different questions at each landing. Some of the sheer, sensory experiences from other times and places hang in the rafters of my memory – stirring emotions – raising goosebumps…making me laugh or cry.

Truly, it can just be the light…the light of a landscape, a city anchored in its geography, a certain latitude, the atmosphere that is slightly different in one place from another.

I have been going back to my life’s moments in France. It is a place that has woven itself into my story. To study art and live in southern France in the 1980’s, as a college student, impressed upon me the riches of immersing my senses in a place…with its people. As I adjusted to four and a half months of life and work there, I expanded and contracted, listened – learned a new language, saw, felt, smelled and tasted deeply of that place.

In the south, the small village of Lacoste and its surrounding valleys were rough, scratchy, imperfect, places. As students, we hiked out of the village, set up our drawing boards and used fat bamboo “pens” that had a long angled cut at one end, which we dipped into ink…to interpret the hundred year old oaks onto our paper. During the hot part of the Provencal day, the tangled oak trees created shade, so it wasn’t a bad place to be working. Here is one of the bamboo pen and ink drawings, (circa early 80’s),  from one of the days deep in the grove. The original is at my parent’s home…so I can pause and look sometimes and remember and feel that place.

Oak groves at the edge of Lacoste village, Vaucluse. Bamboo pen and ink, 20″x 28″

We spent time with the farmers and painted in their vineyards, almond groves and around their olive trees. But really, these are details for another story and images for other paintings.

Any trip that I’ve made to France has included time in Paris. Time by myself, times with friends, other trips with my husband and daughter. I finished this painting recently, after looking and looking at a photograph I had made from the window of our tiny, cubicle-of-a-hotel room one night, north of Place de la Republique. The 10th arrondissement of the city was waking up, and I could hear the footsteps of people below, produce crates hitting the street, bike bells and bits of conversation and a car horn or two.

A thread, a moment of light, in a city that I love. I carry a little of it with me…always.

 

“le matin (morning) – 10th arrondissement – Paris” is now hanging at Le Panier French Bakery in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. It is on a 7/8″ deep canvas, 20″x 10,” that I painted with a warm, orange-red under-painting. You can see bits of the color popping through and the edges of the canvas are painted the warm tone.  $475, unframed. It would look good in a floater frame too. Please contact me if you are interested. email; cappwiley@gmail.com

©Teri Capp  All rights reserved