Friday, May 21, 2010

Meditative Landscape

Marava, oil on canvas, 48x48 inches, © 2010 Diane McGregor

My work engages landscape without referencing specific places or times. I work very hard at keeping direct landscape objects out of the work -- my project is for my work to be reflective of a place in a spiritual and emotional context.

This is Marava. Four feet square, a large canvas to cover. Very thoughtfully considered, my technique is glacially slow, but quite meditative, and when the painting is finally finished one can see the energy of my efforts, the moments of decision, the different hours and moods, the meditative mantra of the brushstroke.

This is one of the most fascinating aspects of being a painter -- watching these moments at the conclusion of a painting, after sometimes waiting months (in this case, with Marava, it took 3 months) for the painting to be finished. The final stages of a painting are always my favorite times to work: it's when the painting starts to sing, the composition clicks, and you know resonance is approaching.

"Marava" is a Sanskrit word meaning "forming or situated in a desert." I kept thinking "desert" as I added brushstroke upon brushstroke to the canvas. I live here, in a beautiful, solitary desert, with only the wind and the birds -- somehow, I feel this painting is connected to a primal knowledge of land, space, sky.

Below are a couple of details of this painting, to show the textures and layers of oil paint.