for Holly Suzanne, and the occasion of my parents 47th wedding anniversary

Painting made with Holly Suzanne
stroke for stroke

Simple Complexities

Defining Ekphrasis: Interaction of Forms

            Simply put, I wanted to paint with you.  Not, as it happens, to slather you in viscous pigment and wipe and wriggle you across canvas (though that has surely crossed my mind) but to be making painting with you.

I would make a mark, a swipe, some stroke of shape and color, and then you.  You’d place a line or blot or smear in relation to mine (in the same field, plane) thereby activating, diminishing, interpreting what I laid down.  And so on.  I come back with a gesture, holding my own or joining yours, perhaps redirecting, covering over or utilizing yours and you’d follow again, asserting your body, your motion, your mind via substance or tool…corresponding.

And so on.  Soon there’s amalgamation we both envision – sometimes at cross-purposes heightening the compositional tension, sometimes converging – like our naked bodies wrestling toward union in our marriage bed.

What felt like a strong lead turns out to be structure, some underlying hue; what seemed a mere blurring or drip comes to rule the panel, arranging the entire frame or texturing what layers in the making.

A conversation of gestures then, a simple process of filling a firmly boundaried, relatively small space, with our selves…both of us, together.  Turns out you slashing black across my purplish squee-gee’d sphere compounded with white violated my intent, which, according to you created a necessary balance.  I set to scratching, scraping and sanding back your last move which you promptly flooded with magenta ink.  It was beautiful, how it salved the wounds yet witnessed the blood, so I applied a bandage to hold it, perpendicular lines of blue.

More then, and more, tangle and flow, react and respond, follow and lead until we begin to lose track of who’s who, morphing into a four-armed, four-eyed, twenty-fingered being speaking out of both sides of our mouth from the four sides of our brain.

We pause for rest, our interactions having swollen our private territory, momentarily complete – further argument would muddy; extending ecstasy blot out the lines and distinctions – compromising the differences necessary for content’s form, for joining.  I see what I’ve done, where I’ve been, who I am woven with all of you and yours into something neither of us could have created on our own.

Our marriage, our art, our selves.