El Molle I
2009 - acrylic , mixed media on canvas
26 x 24 inches
El Molle II
2009 - acrylic & mixed media on canvas
26 x 24 inches
El Aguaribay I
acrylic, charcoal on canvas - 26”x 24” - Ellen McKay 2009
When early man painted bison on a cave wall at Lascaux he did so to conjure the animal itself, promising a successful hunt. He was performing an act of magic; by painting he was fulfilling a wish. To paint a thing is to praise it, and in so praising, the entity is called upon to appear.
Painting is presence.
By painting the bison the cave man entered the flow of creation, the seed of beginning. The future of the tribe depended on the abundance of bison for their sustenance, their survival, thus their future depended on the painting.
My wish is not for bison, but for trees.
I wish that the native woods might continue, that individual species, that forests and jungles might not only survive but flourish. This wish is emphatic, imperative, urgent, now that the
forests in so many parts of the world, Argentina included, are so critically threatened. Much as the cave man depended on bison for his survival, we depend on the forests for ours, as does our home, the Earth itself.
The latter not withstanding, my deepest wish is to praise trees, and in so doing, to reflect the essential nature of each kind of tree.! ! ! !
Relationship creates the space.
Relationship generates the energy field in which a continuum can occur. Whether it be person or tree or cloud or animal, insect or stone, each thing is interdependent, connected to the other, thus affects the other for better or worse. It cannot be otherwise.
In painting, the relationship between forms and colors creates the space, and the dynamic of that space. As the canvases in “Native Woods” are lined up in a continuum, each connected to the next, they become a larger entity, larger than the sum of the parts. Each painting depends on its neighbors to carry the narrative, the mood, the view -- or to change it.
Just as Nature is a work in the making, always in flux, these paintings are a continuing “work in progress”.
In that this is a “work in progress,” it is ‘incomplete’, also ‘not yet completely defined’. It implies a tenuous state. It is inconclusive, much as our future and the future of the Earth is now “inconclusive”. We, humans are at the threshold of realizing the terrible danger the Earth now faces. We do not know whether we will wake up in time to take the necessary action to save the forests and our Earth.
Some of these paintings are literally unfinished, and others, metaphorically unfinished -- and as such, there we find uncertainty. An unfinished work of art is in a humble state; it is vulnerable, fragile. It is open to possibility, and therein one has room to breathe and move and imagine, and thereby intention is all one has at any given moment.
What if we let go of our bravado for a moment (much can happen in a moment!) and left our powerful (ego) selves behind, or aside? Perhaps if we were to let ourselves slip into that state of the uncertain, the vulnerable, the unfinished, if we let ourselves be frail, be human, we might, in that moment, step into a woods, a woods which is a continuum where all things begin anew.