Friday, May 21, 2010

draw another brick on the wall...

Last night, over dinner, we were talking with our friends ("the R& R team") about walls. We started by talking about the wall murals in Belfast; it is possible to "see" at least parts of the history of Northern Ireland through the art on its buildings. Then I started thinking: everywhere, walls "talk." Our children came back from a trip to Berlin with portraits of each other taken up against colorful, standing remains of the wall and also were tempted by "pieces of the wall" that were up for sale. The Lascaux caves in France had to be reproduced (right next door) in another "cave" to save the original walls. Cy Twombly's paintings seem to be inspired by the "graffiti" that was scratched into Roman walls and columns and stones and monuments. Jean-Michel Basquiat's work took the figures and the desires and the signature initials and scrawls of the street into the studio and the galleries. Diego Rivera's murals lead to hundreds of later murals: San Francisco's walls are one example.  Some walls in cities are set aside for artists to address the space in changing exhibits; sometimes the letters and outlined holes and cracks in the wall and the faces are positively lyrical.

Then, of course, there is the problem of the unwanted street tagging, the pristine wall of a neighborhood or school that is suddenly defaced. Is this a problem of intention (on the artist's part?) or reception (the audience is not amused) or reputation (another audience problem: if we knew the work was by Cy Twombly, we would likely frame it).  We do have a Parisian friend who lives proudly behind a graffiti'd door... because "no-one knows" about his beautiful little courtyard behind that door.

That's the outside; then there is the matter of the inside wall. Our restaurant, last night, had held a contest for an artist to paint its back wall. At night, walking or driving through a new town or a new part of a city, I look into windows and I am always surprised at how many white walls I see: not even the posters of a college dorm room, not even dogs playing poker. But many parents put up their children's art -- affectionately called "refrigerator art" -- in their kitchens.We have one from our neighbor; he is nine and he just recently learned to draw a panorama:
So why does the fridge get to be the only fun place?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

the photograph that became a painting, and yet...

I took a picture of my feet.

This isn't as strange as it sounds... I tended to take off my shoes when I came through the front door (into our house in Normandy) and I would throw my feet up onto a chair or ottoman to relax. We also had a bed that was a little on the short side, so feet crept out from under the covers... So I saw my feet a lot.

I had just learned a new French phrase: tout arrive. It means, as I understand it, it will come, it will happen (so give it time!).  I wanted to paint something that illustrated that phrase, which meant, to me, that we had come to this point, where we didn't exactly "fit" the way we anticipated we would, but we would, I hoped, continue to feel more and more a part of our French world ...

So I painted the feet (just mine) in our bed, with our squared window above (we could often see the moon or stars). It was a dream, of sorts... I think I intended the right-hand side to be the "tout" that would come in time.

When I took this painting out of the stack, I was prepared to hate it. It wasn't exactly a happy painting, but when I was working on it, it was hopeful, and I so wanted it to be "true." I do think it is true to the moment when I painted it. And, in its own way, I feel I need to admit that this is a good painting. 
And in its own way, it did come true, the tout arrive. It did come, the life, just not in France!

Monday, May 17, 2010

still raining...

about 118% of normal precipitation for our area, they say... while we wait for the sun, a little photo of an antiques-store light, a bowl from Tunisia, and a painting, in the semi-darkness....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

a good art day!

It was a misty day most of the day today, so it was a good day to work inside. I am rescuing the "bad" painting from the other day, with both Agnes Martin's point about composition and Sargent's lush brushstrokes in mind. I now have a layered work that I like... this might not be its finished state, but I am happy with it so far (it is now on the right, below).  And I brought in a newly sanded "blank" canvas (left) to look over for awhile to see where its best direction lies. These two will sit here and I can see, over time, what they need:
And I can hear you saying, how will you know? Gertrude Stein said, in a little piece called "Pictures," that "to give me this interest the painting must be an oil painting... for me it has achieved an existence in and for itself, it exists on as being an oil painting on a flat surface and it has its own life and like it or not there it is and I can look at it and it does hold my attention." The painting must be seen. And when I am really working on a painting, or a series of paintings, problems and their solutions can, sometimes, come into my mind suddenly and insistently... and when that happens, I feel lucky.

Friday, May 14, 2010

sargent (good) and the (still-bad) painting

When Michael Kimmelman wrote about the Sargent-Velazquez pairing at the Prado Museum in Madrid (see May 9 entry, below), the piece encouraged me to look at Sargent again. I found a painting on the web that I had never seen before, a gorgeous, fairly typical lush Sargent, called "Nonchaloir (Repose)" from 1911:
Sargent often painted portraits where the subject (because she has paid) is shown as engaged, and lively, and enviable. Here, this (relatively small, at 25 1/8" x 30") work shows a woman who is not -- despite the painting's title -- in "repose": she is clearly restless, unhappy, and although her body has tucked itself into a corner of the sofa, her hair and the fabrics are only just under control. Her hands are clasped uncomfortably in a kind of confused show of fingers... she looks as though she might be wrapped in a sheet or some kind of elaborate shawl that might match the sheen of the skirt. There is just enough gold leaf on the table and frame above her to make clear her wealth... and her unhappiness.

Agnes Martin once said that "People think painting is about color/ It's mostly composition/ It's composition that's the whole thing/ The classic image -- /Two late Tang dishes, one with a flower image,/ one empty -- the empty form goes all the way to heaven" (from "The Untroubled Mind," in Writings).  The composition in this Sargent is so simple, but I think the horizontal lines work with the colored whites of the fabric to help us see the air inside the frame. The "empty" whites here pull you in... the viewer breathes the same air & wants to know more about the room, the moment... Even though the fabric shows strong brushstrokes,  the painter-li-ness makes it seem, somehow, touchable, something that could move in a slight breeze. Sargent and Vermeer both give space, even in their interior compositions.  They leave emptiness. I can't figure out how that works, but they do.

And then there's my poor thing, languishing in a corner of the living room. Despite the sanding that I thought had cleared it out a bit (May 3rd entry), it seems clogged and still:
It has no composition, as you can see. And therefore no air. A lot of white, but unreal, straight white. Insufficient emptiness.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

a zinfandel (not from the usual places), a covered bridge, yellow poppies and a lavender farm

We took a drive and found a zinfandel from Lodi, very good, tasted in an espresso bar at about 10:30 a.m. (unexpected!); we bought two bottles of Barsetti 2006 Zinfandel. The area in and around San Joaquin County was beautiful to drive through: vineyards with roses at the end of each row, wooden barns, horses, strawberries and cherries (at least, today), nut orchards, a very! hot midday and rows of trees planted along quiet back roads.

We stopped in Escalon, a little town that says its motto is "peaches and cream." We found the old center of town (Main Street!) with a pretty little antiques store, The Green Pea, along it, and then we drove to the lavender farm... only a few blossoms right now (and they arrange tours and lunches on weekends).  Further on, in Knight's Ferry, there is a park with a walking path to a covered bridge, and it was on the way here that we found the yellow poppies (California is famous for its orange poppies, as France is for its red blossoms, but we had never seen these colors together before):

And, just for old times' sake, we did see one red (French-style) poppy:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

perhaps the palm tree wants its portrait painted...

Because it glowed as I took this picture!

Giacometti said (in about 1963) that "You never copy the glass on the table; you copy the residue of a vision... Each time I look at the glass, it has an air of remaking itself.... it really always is between being and not being. And it's this that one wants to copy."

It is that shimmering of its leaves in the sunlight that we hope to catch.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

"it has glace and sirop and steak and paintings" and blue-ish white ... and one more blue

I keep journals, all shapes and sizes, from the years since my husband and I met. One journal, devoted to one of our summer trips to France, has several drawings by our children, mostly sketched in as we were waiting for dinner. Here is one sketch by our (then) very-young daughter where she has written all the essential ingredients for a good restaurant visit [glace meaning ice cream, by the way]:
This was a quick little study, and very funny at the time! I especially like the combination of steak and paintings. We brought our American selves to France repeatedly, trying to absorb the details of life there. We succeeded better as tourists, perhaps, and as wishful thinkers, in blending in, more than we did when we actually lived there. And so ... we do wonder why that is. I read an interesting article by Michael Kimmelman in the April 27th New York Times; it is called "Local Heroes, Far from Home." It is really a very strong, though short, critical essay. Kimmelman begins with the idea that "good" art "retains meanings specific to a certain time and place." Hopper's dark interiors and bleak city corners can, "to New Yorkers who know them intimately, ... evoke... a singular beauty and dignity amplified by, and grounded in real, lived experience" that other viewers, from other places,  might not feel. He gives the example of Heinrich Zille, a painter who "focused on places and qualities rooted in Berliners' particular self-image," and says that we might be too likely to dismiss his work because his experiences are not ours. And finally, he attends a show at the Prado Museum in Madrid where Velazquez's "Las Meninas" is toe-to-toe with Sargent's painting of Edward Darley Boit's daughters (Americans in their new, posh Parisian apartment). He tells us that Americans see the "modern outsiders" in these Sargent portraits; the ideas we have about "new money and social ambition" make us more likely to identify with Sargent's (portrayal of? or Sargent's own?)  "outsider's striving." This is a pretty bold claim. As I read it, he is suggesting that Americans who view the exhibition would feel Sargent the equal of Velazquez ... although, he implies, Velazquez is, in some objective way, a far better painter. And most critics would readily agree. For the record, Charley goes for the Sargent.

But it is an interesting idea, this one that art may not be so universal. I am finding that I don't want to agree. I want to believe that, like dance, visual art makes its impact without the use of language, so that nothing gets lost in translation.  But then, perhaps, Kimmelman's point might explain at least some people's experience -- like ours -- that the wealth of experiences that we store up as inhabitants of one country leave us rather unprepared to (truly, without ambiguity or second-guessing) take on those of a new place.  Gertrude Stein managed it; she always said that everyone has two countries, the one they come from and the one where they belong. America is my country, she said, but Paris is my hometown. Perhaps, when we only come halfway to that feeling, it isn't enough.

So, artistically, then, given the idea of the (preferable? more flexible?) blank slate: I am working now on a 24" square painting that has undergone two or three major changes already; I finally gave up on the original ideas and painted white over the whole. Now it is sanded down and waiting for the next re-vision:
I am now working on it... and will post the next version...

But I can't resist one more blue... Picasso's and Motherwell's apparent favorite blue, from the famous cigarette package, that I found on a street-corner:

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Back when we lived in Upstate New York, we had a group of writer-friends over one night for dinner. The house had all these huge, rather noisy paintings of mine all over its walls, and one of the guests stood for a long time in front of one of them.  He said, "It must be nice to paint. You can just hang the work up and that way everyone can see it and once people see it, it's done.  It's just there. When I write, it can take months or years before anyone will ever read it. I never know, even after people buy my books, what they think. I never hear from them; I never know."

I don't think I had ever, until that night, thought about it that way... that the viewer completes the circle. I guess I didn't think of just one or two viewers as meaning the work was then "done," but in a sense, it is.  Picasso used to say that it was so difficult to "stop" painting a painting... he claimed that it would be impossible to say that any given work was truly finished. I stop painting when both Charley and I like the picture. So, I guess, in that sense, it is "done."

Maybe that's what Wallace Stevens meant:

After the final no there comes a yes
And on that yes the future world depends....
If the rejected things, the things denied,
Slid over the western cataract, yet, one,
One only, one thing that was firm....
One thing remaining, infallible, would be
Out of a thing believed, a thing affirmed...
                             from "The Well-Dressed Man with a Beard"

Just one "yes" to a painting (or, okay, in our house that would be two) or a poem or a short story, just one, one listener or viewer is enough... more is better, of course, but one is a start. That something can go from a thing "believed" by one person to a thing "affirmed" by another: this is wonderful. Of course I should mention that Stevens ends the poem with the rather more complicating line: "It can never be satisfied, the mind, never."  Whose mind? The artist's? The audience's? Anyone's? Perhaps he means fully satisfied in some way... that once one painting or poem is "done," the next lines up to be painted or written and then judged... For some reason, though, I find this poem really lovely, and oddly positive.
In honor of Wallace Stevens, who was also an insurance executive in Hartford, here is a Connecticut barn (formerly used to dry tobacco) in the morning sunlight of a September day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

blues revisited... and once more, with peony

I forgot one of the best "blues" painters I know... Claude Monet. I was reminded because the New York Times has a review today of the Gagosian Gallery's show "Claude Monet: Late Work" (at 522 West 21st Street, in Chelsea, through June 26). The reviewer, Holland Cotter, writes "The fact is that everything of essential importance that happens in the world happens in miniature in a garden in some form. To know this is to be absorbed into the botanical drama. Monet was absorbed, and he tried to simulate that drama in art" (p. C22, today). Exactly. Here is a blue or two from Monet to absorb:
This may not be in the Gagosian show; this is a detail from a painting called "Nympheas" from 1914-17. It measures 63 x 78 3/4" and is in the collection of the Portland Art Museum. Then, here's another, different blue:
This is called "Wisteria (Glycines)" from about 1919-20, and is from the collection of the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College. While neither of these may be in the current New York show, they are similar to the works pictured from that show... particularly the emphatic blue.

Another critic wrote that Monet's work "far from being passive, requires an unusual power of generalization, of abstraction ... Monet declares: here is nature, not as you or I habitually see it, but as you are able to see it, not in this or that particular effect but in others like it. The vision I propose to you is superior; my painting will change your reality" (quote from Michel Butor, 1962).  Wow. That's a lot for a critic to claim on behalf of a painter... but if you have ever stood in front of one of Monet's large (blue!) panels of waterlilies, I think you would have to agree. It does change the way you see.

And now, back to the garden, and the peonies that came into the house two days ago. They are still spectacular, but now increasingly part of what Holland Cotter would call that "botanical drama." They are opening up and at this vulnerable, beautiful point, they are dying:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

sitting down and mixing paint, or, throwing paint... or making lists

So, I re-read a journal from four years ago, written just a few months into our French residence. It is clear that I was writing in order to reassure myself. I used to paint a lot at our [very typical] long wooden French farmhouse table.  And the paintings were smaller than I was used to, so I did far more detail work, and more preliminary sketches, and made slower progress, than I did with my usual big-brush or throw-paint-at the-canvas style, and I was trying to tell myself that small was okay, for awhile. But I don't think I was very effective at listening to (or maybe even giving) myself advice, because I can say now that I was not painting enough in France. 

But here, in California, I am finding that small work can sometimes be a good change. And sometimes table-sized, more concentrated work is calming. And I can admit that I have done small-brush work on small areas of paintings (at my plastic, not French, non-farmhouse table) twice this week.  But I do have to add that the fact that I can throw or drip paint, or use big brushes, or nail big wooden painting supports to the wall, or that I can change entirely and print, all help me feel as if I can do anything. This is a feeling I lost track of in France.

Instead, in France, worried that I would lose track of something, or miss something, I made a lot of lists. Here are a few that I picked at random out of the same journal:

-our car is 137 cm "long" [really?]
-Francis Bacon had it backwards: the field shimmers & the figure rests --- do that
-the name and number of our British estate agent, so we could ask her to dinner [we never did]
-names of our banker [she spoke English] and our chimney cleaner [he did not]
-the place where you can sign up for a gourmet mushroom weekend
-the stereo is coming 10/26
-pansies flower from Sept-May
-interrepteur= switch  dimmer=baisser
-the bathroom sink space = 45" wide and 26 1/2" deep [note that this was a non-metric measurement]
-the song I heard was "This Modern Love' by Bloc Party
-pelouse= the lawn  tendeuse=lawnmower  tondre=to mow [it took 3 hours to mow our lawn]
-LeMans to Tours = 85 kms.
-print copies of the photos and then incorporate them into the art -- how? poplars?
-the hours of the [recycling area/dump] decheter -- closed Fridays and Sundays
-the hours of the British and American pharmacy in Paris
-Charley roasted chestnuts from our field yesterday
-Corot: "sheer fidelity to landscape" (Monet book)
-why is the restaurant Au Pere Tranquille?
-little hills with farm cottage
-dates for December
-22 [Euro] cents per min. under current system to call U.S.
-flowers from car dealer/fog
-list of doctors/Xmas Messe/sapins de Noel
-outside porch light
-kids' poster
-Italian monument
-"Soiree Beaujolais" at our cafe: samedi a partir de 20h.
-walk--bad luck chez nous--car ins.--cow died

I don't make big lists now; but I still make little ones, almost as often as I now paint "small." But somehow, I feel like I have more possibilities, the world is more open to me. I don't know why that is, but I'll take it. 

(above:  an early morning, all is possible, and a hotel window, along the California coast)                                           

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"C'est comme tu veux, toi." (Literally, "it's as you wish, you" ... the second 'you' gets added for emphasis in French, quite often)

Back in mid-April, I was convinced that I had finished this painting, called "Lucien, Leigh and Jasper," and posted a photo (on April 21st) of it as completed.... and it looked like this:

I brought it into the house and we lived with it for awhile, and I kept thinking that something was wrong. The painting wanted to be worked on, clearly. That's why the post is titled (in the French term) "it's as you wish," because the painting is creating its own desired form (I think) and then letting me know I am definitely not "done."

As I kept looking at the painting,  I saw that there was no obvious "outdoors," exactly, which had been a major part of the point when I started. I needed a "garden" and, last night, I dreamed about peonies. Today at the store, the small bouquet of peonies for sale was so beautiful that I bought it and brought it home.  The flower and its loose petals and bright white color is just amazing to me; I saw my first peony just a few years ago (in a Chinese painting, and so I found photos and then started to see peonies occasionally, in the fancier florist's shops).  So I took my own photos of the bouquet -- the first peonies I have ever bought! -- and now they are part of the painting. This may not mean I am finished, yet (I am learning) but it feels more complete.  Here is the latest version:
So now, "Lucien, Leigh and Jasper" has returned to the living room; if it is happy, it will remain silent... we shall see.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"wherever you go, there you are... " (Yogi Berra, I think)

Except when you're not. There were days during our life in France, after we had bought the house, after we had bought firewood and pansies and lamps and French lessons, when I didn't feel as if I were truly "there." Or anywhere. Being French seemed so elusive, and if I couldn't be French, if I couldn't be a part of things, who was I, exactly?  Who were we? What had we based all that heady anticipation upon? A good friend of ours told us that it might take us a very long time to know why France just didn't feel right to us. And so, as I look back at photos of travel and tickets and landscapes we loved, I still wonder:
There's Biarritz, there's a trip to see Georges Braque's grave, the Luxembourg Gardens chairs, LUAS tickets from Dublin,  tickets from Barcelona and Lyon and a photo from our final European trip as a family of 4, to Rome and the Pantheon. It is who we were, who we are, we travel, we move, but now, in the Western parts of the U.S., when we move, it seems to me that we bring everything we are with us... more often. 

I found a poem by Amiri Baraka today... it is called "Numbers and Letters," and while pieces of it are not who we are, who I am (he writes, mid-way through the poem, "I'm Everett LeRoi Jones, 30 years old"), pieces of the poem seem to say, whatever it is, if you need it, if you look for it, you will find it. Baraka speaks to his audience in a familiar way... but urgently, "listen, listen," he calls:

If you're not home, where
are you? Where'd you go? What
were you doing when gone? When
you come back, better make it good.
           .... Say what you mean, dig
it out put it down, and be strong about it.

I can't say who I am
unless you agree I'm real.

I can't be anything I'm not
Except these words pretend
to life not yet explained,
so here's some feeling for you
see how you like it, what it
reveals, and that's Me.
I am a meditative man, And when I say something it's all of me
saying, and all the things that make me, have formed me, colored me
this brilliant reddish night....
this is a messenger calling, over here, over here, open your eyes
and your ears and your souls; today is the history we must learn
to desire. There is no guilt in love.
                                 ---excerpted from "Number, Letters"
                                    from Transbluesency: Selected Poems 1961-1995
                                    by Amiri Baraka

So, we bring love and colors and poems and a few boxes of seashells and books to California...  and we try for "some feeling" and to learn "today is the history" that we want, that we make.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Freud, Rome, and a bad painting

Early on, in Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud is in the middle of an explanation ... "originally, the ego includes everything, later it separates off an external world from itself. Our present ego-feeling is, therefore, only a shrunken residue of a much more inclusive -- indeed, an all-embracing -- feeling which corresponded to a more intimate bond between the ego and the world about it."  He then assumes that, in at least some people, the earlier form of ego can co-exist with this mature ego, "side by side."

Freud tries to find a metaphor for this side-by-side possibility and finds... Rome. He says that it is still possible to find "the wall of Aurelian almost unchanged" along with other early remnants, and these intact or ruined forms are "dovetailed into the jumble of a great metropolis." And it's true; walking in Rome, we stumble across old stones and new cement, ancient and new graffitti...This could stand for a model of the way a mind works... but then he gives it up as a metaphor (unfortunately, because even though it doesn't really work, it such a cool idea) because "the same space cannot have two different contents." Freud admits that "On the Piazza of the Pantheon we should find not only the Pantheon of to-day, as it was bequeathed to us by Hadrian, but, on the same site, the original edifice erected by Agrippa; indeed, the same piece of ground would be supporting the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva and the ancient temple over which it was built." He gives up on the metaphor, but not the idea: he says "it is rather the rule than the exception for the past to be preserved in mental life." So he can get going with the rest of the book... (the edition I used was translated by James Strachey,  New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1961 and 1989).  This book is a wonderful exploration...

As it is with Rome and the mind, so it is with paintings, I am arguing.  Maybe paintings, from the start, come with an ego that wants to survive at all costs, even outlasting maturity. I had a painting, a bad one, that I had worked on over months. I had an initial idea; it sounded great, and the first "draft" of the painting held together nicely. But then I tried to improve it, and the picture didn't want to go there.  It was 24" square, and it just sat there. I have a few tricks that I can use... and none of them worked. So I decided to do an archeological dig on the painting. I sanded it. I got down, in some places, to the earliest, hopeful layer. In other places, colors showed up in new combinations. I am now hopeful that the Roman metaphor can work for me: ruins, old foundations, crumbled paint, and new paint, all "dovetailed." Here is a corner of the painting, progressing, I think, well:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

the role of the color white... not just a primer for the canvas...

In the Geffen Contemporary, part of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (a.k.a. MOCA, located in a former firehouse; we went with our son and his girlfriend), there are very new works up against a few older pieces. The curators have included remarks by the artists next to the pieces, which is really helpful: it lets you know what the artist's view might be, and helps you see a little bit into the painting process. Next to his painting with white and globs and scribbles and script and slashes, and a checkerboard, the curators chose this as Cy Twombly's quote: "I like white... It's not closed. And I think psychologically it's like there's no beginning or end. Then the painting doesn't have a center -- it comes in one side and goes out the other." Twombly is probably best known for his huge canvases with lots of white space, and a few well-chosen markings (someone said that these are modeled on the graffitti -- or perhaps the inevitable marks of time and lovers -- scratched into the columns and facades of Italian buildings). He has owned homes in Rome and further south in Italy and returned frequently to his home in Lexington, Virginia, as of the last interview I read. I think his work is filled with light, whether it's Virginian or Roman or Napolitano... Here is a rather typical work by Cy Twombly,  "Untitled," from 1964 and 1984 (oil, pencil, and crayon on canvas, over 6 x 8 feet):
Some people don't much care for what they call Twombly's "doodles." But I think there is real energy here, and lots of bright, open space. I talked to an artist once who said that she thought of white and black as filler, non-essential, round-the-edges kind of colors. White, because it's so opaque, gets bad press, except from people who see it as Twombly does, as more related to a flash of lightning than to a light-blocking curtain. I think white and black are colors in their own right.  Maybe we don't see them in nature all that often, as pure colors, but maybe that alone is a reason to appreciate them.  Then, too, with a little alertness to black and white, the painting moves, because, as Twombly said, "it doesn't have a center."

Saturday, May 1, 2010

pattern and (inexact) repetition

Sometimes I take a photograph that I really like... and I try to figure out its patterns. It wants to be a painting, I know... so what's there, what's not, what is it trying to tell me? Here's a photo I took, in the full morning sunlight, in a hotel room, and the shadows and reflections are very strong:
 Here is a first quick -- only a few inches -- sketch; I decided that this photograph doesn't want lines; it wants paint:
So, this could be a small painting or a print... it needs a shot of bright light through its center.

So, changing now away from the photograph...  thinking about artworks that create their own patterns deserving scrutiny: here's one that just showed up in a few inches of the corner of a painting, while I was busy adding and removing colors, and it arrived and is utterly adamant about staying:
Or, below, a pattern has re-asserted itself--it just came and stayed, and found itself in several paintings as something of a star.  I found the idea of the white square comforting for awhile, and the square showed up over several large (2 x 4') paintings... until I was ready to move on. Only, recently, I found myself sketching that square, again... I think it wants a new life, maybe on a smaller scale:
So, that's the plan: a painting of the light and shadow on glass and wall, and then a re-working of the white square, finding new life, as a monotype.