Over Underworld is going on a vacation in Graton.
This painting is part of a meditative abstract series on the links between worlds. I’ve always found it fascinating how much of our lives are lived in fantasy, dream, reading, and contemplation. These are whole worlds that float beneath us. I wanted to paint the notion of a thin “skin” of organized thought, houses, civilization, geometry, over a beautiful chaos of creative form. Ladders link the worlds, so, that with focus, we can climb up and down from one world to another… ladders without the chutes!
Painting process: I established a horizon line for the three paintings, then started a gold and orange spatter process underneath, working on all three paintings simultaneously. I tried various stages for the top. You can see some of these in October Underworlds. I opted to paint the whole thing rather than adding on the black and white paint compostions I had considered mounting. Then I used areas of intereference paint mixed in with other paints over large areas of the painting, so that they would shift with the shifting light.
I’ve spent little time in Graton, but the painting is currently on loan to Catherine Devriese and Isabelle Proust. That’s mighty fine company, I would say. And I did have a drink at the Underwood with Susan Cornelis last night, resulting in this immortal masterwork of a sketch. Overworld, underworld, Underwood– after my martini and some fun with Susan, watercolors, and ripping up the Underwood menu to collage, the horizons between them seemed to become , delightfully, more permeable.
Tell me, what lies Under your Overworld?
Mythic News: I’m going to Rome this Christmas, and had forgotton that in one version of the Trojan myth, the last of the remaining Trojans fled to found Rome. I don’t know how this fits in with Romulus, Remus, and the Wolf Mom, though. I’ve been feeding my soul with the classical warrior heroes, and only periodically get patriarchal indigestion.
Studio News: my new weekend workshop is called Spontaneous Construction and will be offered in the spring. More soon.
6 thoughts on “Over Underworld Vacations in Graton”
Enjoyed this blog very much, Suzanne!! I love these paintings!!
Best to you!!…Lisa Black
Thanks, Lisa. I hope all is well with you and your family. It was fun having you in class.
This sketch looks way more fun than a lot of the sketches I have done. Provocative, too, Venus Girl. I had to make my sketchbook into an ABCDiary to have a direction — I like the rhymes, but don’t work in it very often. Of course, it’s a small book (Sketchbook Project) and I like bigger books.
As a reluctant sketcher, I find I really am freed up by a small sketchbook. I have a fancier Moleskine watercolor book for Italy, but this little 5 by 7 seems so inviting. Yeah, it ended up provocative…. didn’t mean it that way! Freud would have something to say!
Suzanne…..this is fabulous!
I am also a reluctant sketcher….I really don’t know why, I adore drawing.
Perhaps, this reluctancy to sketch happened when we were in school? I remember constantly doodling, and learned how to sketch teeny-tiny and very secretly so the teachers wouldn’t notice. Odd thing is, as a fourth grade teacher, I also scold (in a nice way, mind you) those little sketchers.
It would be interesting to gather all these stories about sketching and drawing. I might not like the litany: “In 1963 Mrs. Hoffman said she didn’t like my purple asteroid elephant, so I QUIT ART FOREVER!” But, apart from those— it seems a disproportionately huge part of art approval hangs on drawing and sketching, and thus anxiety. I think everyone just has to find their way in.. It broke loose for me when Susan Cornelis said that her travel sketching was a sensual experience. I thought, hey, I can eat a steak, or drink wine, or sketch. Same. No bad way to enjoy them. Something shifted in me.