"between meaning and material (h.H.R.)"
Watercolor, gouache, graphite and marker on Arches paper
32 x 32 inches
I'm feeling very good about the Hysterical Transcendentalism series now. An intellectualized consideration of contemporary culture's relationship to Nature has grown into something more immediate and universal. The paintings are just one facet of a larger project now, a perhaps impossible attempt to reclaim lost communicative abilities. The premise of David Abram's important book, "Spell of the Sensuous," resides at the core of this project: "We are human only in contact, and conviviality, with what is not human." More specifically:
"The breathing, sensing body draws its sustenance and its very substance from the soils, plants, and elements that surround it; it continually contributes itself, in turn, to the air, to the
cornposting earth, to the nourishment of insects and oak trees and squirrels, ceaselessly spreading out of itself as well as breathing the world into itself, so that it is very difficult to discern, at any moment, precisely where this living body begins and where it ends. Considered phenomenologically - that is, as we actually experience and live it - the body is a creative, shape-shifting entity...at last, the possibility of a truly authentic phenomenology, a philosophy which would strive, not to explain the world as if from outside, but to give voice to the world from our experienced situation within it, recalling us to our participation in the here-and-now, rejuvenating our sense of wonder at the fathomless things, events and powers that surround us on every hand."
Abram's book was only recently brought to my attention, but it so articulately argues for a worldview I believe essential that I often read passages rapturously, as deeply religious people read their significant scriptures.
In any case, I feel good about life generally - although I still wish I could live in the country and have access to the city's cultural resources...but who doesn't? - and I'm more confident about my art than I can ever recall being. I'm excited about the studies I have going, some of which I will post on my website soon.