19 August 2015

Arriving as a Mystery

Attendants, 2015. Diptych, each: graphite & oil on wood panel, 16x10", 16x22 overall.
Every infant arrives as a mystery. We cannot readily guess or determine how life will unfold for this new being. We do not know who they will become. This mystery often multiplies in the case of adoption. All who mother, father and nurture this child may never be known. And those mothers, fathers and nurturers may never know the becoming child.

"Attendants" alludes to the biblical tale of infant Moses, hidden in a basket, floated in the reeds of the river, tended by his elder sister, Miriam. I was first drawn to the subject by identification with Miriam in her role as attendant to her brother. As the image took shape in my mind and I recalled the story, I recognized that Moses passed through many hands and hearts in his rearing. So in this diptych composition he appears merely as a floating basket between his vigilant sister and the Pharoah's daughter's handmaiden. It is this unnamed servant who conveys Moses on the next passage of his journey.

My explorations continue with further studies of Miriam and Moses, or less specifically, the attendant and the infant. I am only interested in the biblical story as a cultural touchstone I might share with those who also contemplate such essential relations as they appear in the series.

The subject matter -like virtually all of my current work- has presented opportunities to explore new media and palettes.

In the Reeds, 2015. Graphite & oil on wood panel, 10x8".

"Miriam Study I", created last Winter, inspired a continuing series of images with unexpected themes and interpretative possibilities. Such discoveries and productive diversions are part of what I love about image-making.

Miriam Study I, 2014. Graphite, ink and watercolor on paper, 8x10".