Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What is my Narrative?

This is yet one more of my "beginnings" that has now totaled 8...I'm so ready to go back to these pieces and take them to the next level.
Beyond art making skills, shapes, lines, form, texture etc. and far beyond tools and materials all of which I love to love is the narrative to me. The story that needs to be expressed, the secret revealed, the communication, the language of art making. I made a list recently of my personal 'pulls'...subjects that call me to explore and study time after time. One is 'Oasis" the ancient abstract dream place...the sanctuary. (I believe a 4star spa complete with cotton robe is our modern day oasis any upstanding ancient Roman would envy.) The Oasis for me in making art is a simple place of comfort, pleasure, safety and peace. I'm most called to this narrative when 'real' life is chaotic or the worlds chaos has become overwhelming to me. I've recently returned to the oasis in my art making and at this time choosing a place of exquisite gardens and architectural beauty...Alhambra. I've explored the beauty of this heavenly place through books, videos and waking dreams. I'm not sure how many attempts I'll need to tell my story. I'll be posting in the weeks ahead. What are your 'pulls', what subjects pull you?


  1. I lived in the city of Granada for 3 months at one point in my life and spent many happy, entranced afternoons wandering around the Alhambra. It all seems a dream now, and I have not one photograph from that amazing time.

    It's interesting that you ask what are the subjects that "pull" each of us as artists. It is a question I have been struggling with lately. I seem to work in series, concentrating on one area of interest until I feel I'm done with it and need never go there fact, am not capable of returning to it. My newer work is without topic but is more of an exploration--a discovery-- to see what the textures I put on my canvas suggest as paint is wiped on and off. In this way, a narrative is revealed and developed. I have no idea where I'm going to go or what I'm going to talk about in a painting when I begin, but I do feel the need to hook onto some sort of narrative.

  2. Mary Ann, so nice to have you back with comment space again. What subjects "pull" notes from my studio time hold my new series name "pull of memory" and land forms containing rocks...they keep appearing in what begins as an abstract.

  3. I truly enjoy your Oasis series Mary Ann, and to see you revisit it anew is something I am looking forward to.

  4. I like all that you say. We never know, do we. A couple of days ago, I picked upsome sticks and was completely thrilled! It was as if it had never been done, completely new, and there was a tag hanging from it. I am so excited I have to slow myself try to finish some of the projects I have begun, so that I can start a new...I love new beginnings! All full of promises!

  5. love your Oasis "pull" .... I revisit several themes, letters and writings, or communications being one of my favs....

  6. I love this, your beginning. I think it is beutiful. My pull when I am writing is always about things/people that are missing. Perhaps I'll try some art on that theme. Thank you for the inspiration. Penny

  7. louciao, I envy your 3 months visiting Alhambra and now with your wonderful memories.
    I like that the narrative appears before and sometimes after the work begins...the work always leads!

    Maggie, The 'pull of memory' beautiful.

    Leslie, Yes, this Oasis journey is rich,exotic and meaningful but then aren't they making!

    Annell, I so agree about beginnings and directions and all the middle and end parts too!

    Cat, I like the re-visiting ...a way to expand and grow in well known places.

    Penny, Great using the pull in writing for the art...levels and depths of richness for sure!

  8. Hello Mary Ann - thank you for the reminder of an Oasis - a place of calm and connection! Love the idea of making a list of'pulls' great stuff!!

  9. This is just lovely as it is, Mary Ann! I love the misty atmosphere, the sense of an otherworldly or sacred secret temple... perhaps a memory of a dream. It makes me think of the Isle of Avalon from Arthurian lore. I just love looking at it!
    Can I ask what media you used for this?

  10. This is the perfect beginning for this time of renewal. I am so blown away by this. The spirituality is leaking off the page. One could sit and meditate and make real progress!
    Sorry to go overboard but that is how it hit me.

  11. The Re-'s have pulled me in. I'm fasinated with repurposing, reinventing, reusing, renewing - doing more with less. I'm not pulled to this as a way to save money (though better people than me succeed at that)but rather it's the energy I get from finding value and life in something once thought dead, long lost, past its prime, if you will. It provides that start to my creative spirit. Loved this post Mary Ann and I really love this most recent "beginning" piece.

  12. Rosie, We all so need an Oasis!

    Sharmon, I'll have a second approach...ooops hope I don't botch it up!

    Pat, Going overboard is a good thing...sets my smile.

    Karen, I can relate so well with the re-' might be a DNA thing but it feels wonderful to give something new life!

  13. I like the Oasis analogy to a place of comfort for you to do your art..It's working!!!

  14. Well, this piece pulls me to it, that is for sure. The archway of light, the symbol of home, reflection and peace. I love it. roxanne

  15. Lovely to read about your Oasis and what it means to you Mary Anne.
    It is almost essential to have this imagery to return to, to nest in and live into... deep archetypal symbols do this so well... after greece in 1987 I spent years returning visually and soulfully to the stairs and archways, the geometry and abstractions of their archetypal dwellings over centuries.
    It was like could breath properly when I did so... I was not fully at home in the world till I had been to this place and then I was not quite reconciled to where I was in this contemporary life for some years after that.

    Somehow that heritage of people living simply and totally in sync with the land, the forms of the houses coming out of the land so organically, allowed me to return to what was not organic in my own culture....the disconnects ceased to leave me quite so uneasy if I could return again and again in my painting to this symbolic places.

    Through this deep nourishment I found my way to other symbols over time... seed pods now allow me to feel a kinship with all life, everywhere. Thast my touchstone.

    Thank you for reminding me of this just now Mary Anne...its tapped some thoughts to ponder a little longer!
    My best to you!

  16. Lyn, This Oasis thing is working for me...thanks!

    Roxanne, Good words to read...thank you.

    Sophie, We are kindred spirits...finding places on this planet that inspire!

  17. Mary Ann, glad to meet you. Thanks for visiting my blog today. I am eager to follow your story.

  18. What a great post! I'm really liking your "tower" piece, nice pallette.

    I've got lots of "pulls", my favorite being trying to recapture the vitality and "un-self conscious" vision I had as a very young child.

  19. Your linking the vision of sanctuary, gardens, oasis -- such timeless archetypes that transcend cultures and time -- wonderful, thoughtful entry!

  20. I like the mysterious quality of this piece so far.

    A big pull for me is capturing the essence of a moment or a personality. For me it's a way to "possess" that moment or character, in order to both appreciate it more while capturing it, and also to have it on paper or in paint or in a sculpture to return to and enjoy again and again.

    Thanks for asking the question and making me think about and articulate an answer.