For the spring I’m starting a Love Letter series, the first is Love Letters to Henry Miller, a collection of 9 collaged paintings that will be displayed here and elsewhere online. The first picture is the complete series hanging now in the studio. As they are presented in the next blogs, for each artwork I’ve selected notes from my journal, followed by a quote from Henry Miller.
In my previous blog I wrote about Henry Miller inspiring my art almost from the beginning of my career in the 1970’s. The pilgrimage to Big Sur’s Henry Miller Memorial Library in 2010 spawned a fertile time in the studio. That’s when the original stage of these 9 was completed.
My confession is that I “reglitterized” (to use Miller’s word) these paintings because there was too much white paper showing, but there was still something special in them. In posts to follow, I’m showing the 2010 state, the second state and finished, with some details.
Another thing I noticed that they were painted on Arches Cover paper (favorite and most used) rather than Arches Watercolor paper that I’ve been using with the most recent gouache and watercolor series. Arches cover paper is my favorite and most frequently used paper, it is as supple as leather, not brittle like the other. So that realization seemed like an invitation to revisit them.
The elements in these paintings embody a few of my values, like communication. In this case, letters, which by the way, he had an enormous correspondence practice with many friends like Nin and Durrell. My invented script in each painting symbolizes the importance of communication especially in times like ours. Many of the things he wrote are still relevant now. I create these artworks as an answer back to the writing that cheers me. Sometimes all it takes to lift my spirits are his titles;
To paint is to love again
The Waters Reglitterized
The Angel is My Watermark!
Stand Still Like the Hummingbird
The Smile at the Foot of the Ladder
I also collaged mica like on Always Merry and Bright, Book of Light pages 164, 165, 166 that I wrote about in the previous blog. Being reflective, mica represents the “always merry and bright” motto of Henry Miller’s that I adopted.
I invite you to watch for this virtual art exhibit soon, and a studio tour, an unscripted un-tidied look at the scene of creativity.