Tuesday, June 10, 2008

When a Wild Beast is Just a Chicken

How you perceive what your see is colored by who you are. Your experiences, the time and place you live in, these things are inescapable. Everything is subjective. Not only is this true in life, there really is no such thing as objective art and design. Whatever is in the well of our thoughts and experiences spills onto our perceptions of images and design.

With that in mind I want to share with you a painting that I created from my fearful perception of an incident many years ago. I originally wrote about this in my book, Paint Happy.

This painting was inspired by the memory of my first night alone in an old ranch house in Central Oregon. During the dark early morning hours I heard loud mysterious animal noises inside the house. I imagined wild raccoons or bobcats prowling my room. There were no lights, and I'd left my flashlight on a table too far from the bed, so I decided to keep my head under the covers and wait until the animals left. Once the early morning sun began to light the room, I peeked out from under the blankets and saw a clucking chicken standing on the foot of my bed! A tall rooster with a colorful tail was perched on the dining room chair by the picture window and about six chickens were scratching the wooden floor and kitchen countertops. I didn't even know there were chickens on the ranch property. Apparently, there was a hole in the outside wall under the kitchen sink, and the chickens came in looking for breakfast!

More than a decade later, I took the best part of that memory - the comical surprise ending to my dark fear fantasies - and turned it into this painting. The rooster is crowing a rainbow of sounds toward the rising sun. The bed (symbolizing one's life) is the center of this universe and the land over which the sun rises and the clouds billow. This image captures the happy lesson that fear and worry are often a waste of energy.

This framed painting is for sale through High Desert Gallery in Sisters, Oregon.
Rise and Shine, 22" x 30" acrylic and hard pastel on paper.

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