Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Holding on to Paradise

These past few months I have been working for several shows. In my mind (and sketchbook) I organized the paintings I wanted to paint under three different ideas. My show coming up Sept. 11 in Cannon Beach at Heritage Gallery is titled, Holding on to Paradise. My show coming up Sept. 18 at Art Access is called, Walled Gardens. The third show at the Greenwich Workshop Gallery Oct. 17 is titled Works on Paper
For the Works on Paper show I've been painting on antique wallpaper. I've been working with ideas about good luck and being present. This show will be a little different than the other two, although the themes overlap.
As I was doing my homework about Holding on to Paradise and Walled Gardens, I discovered that I was approaching the same subject matter in two different ways. 
The word "paradise" entered English from the French paradis, inherited from the Latin paradisus, from Greek parádeisos (παράδεισος), and ultimately from an Old Iranian root, attested in Avestan as pairi.daêza-.[1] The literal meaning of this Eastern Old Iranian language word is "walled (enclosure)." The term eventually appeared in Greek as ho parádeisos "park for animals." Hebrew pardes appears thrice in the Tanakh; in the Song of Solomon 4:13, Ecclesiastes 2:5 and Nehemiah 2:8. In those contexts it could be interpreted as a park, a garden or an orchard.  -Wikipedia

So, paradise is a walled garden. I have approached the shows differently. Holding on to Paradise questions what the idea of paradise is. I explored delusional ideas about surrounding myself with perfection. Is it a blissful garden where nothing ever happens? Does it smell like coconut oil and sound like trickling water and birds singing? Or is it something totally different. Maybe paradise is where I am; a place where the only thing at rest is my heart. It's a place where a lot is happening, it smells like the dinner we just had as I'm washing the dishes, and it sounds like raucous music, little kittens discussing homework. I can choose if I am living in paradise, it's perception.

The mind is it's own place, and in itself
can make Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven  -Milton, Paradise Lost

Paradise is where I am if I choose to be aware of it, be present in it. That idea ties a painting I did for the Works on Paper show to my idea of paradise. It's called Be Where Your Feet Are

My approach to Walled Gardens is more about protecting my paradise and creating my paradise. 
The walled garden is a garden enclosed by high walls which are decorative and secure. My paintings for that show are about my home being my walled garden. I want my home to be safe. I want my home to be a place of celebration, with music and dancing. I want my home of be a place of learning and beauty. 

So though I thought I was doing painting three topics, it is all connected. 

I'll post more images later. My computer is still in the shop getting fixed. 

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