“When old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth
from the heart; and where the old tracks are lost,
new country is revealed with its wonders.”
I’m not going so far as to say that any old tracks have been lost, but when any artist or other creative person switches from one track to another, there’s a mixed sense of both adventure and a little trepidation.
Still, it’s the sense of adventure that wins with me. I want to hear new melodies breaking forth from my heart. Okay, maybe that’s a little over the top, but trying something new with the painting is giving me a lot of fresh energy.
Let’s be clear. I still love bringing jazz and painting together as I have in my “Colors of Jazz” collection. And I had already begun to think about expanding this, perhaps with other musical genres – “Colors of Rock”? “Colors of the Classics”? “Colors of Polka” was not on the list.
Then I painted something completely different from any of my paintings so far – a simple mango-colored background with a big red curve. That was it. I looked at it for a couple of weeks, trying to decide what I wanted to add and in the end decided that what I wanted to add was “nothing.”
As an artist who usually has a lot going on in my abstract pieces, I found that big red curve a little disturbing, also intriguing, also maddening. What the hell? That’s it?
But instead of letting it push me back to the jazz paintings, I held my ground, pulled out another blank canvas and got going. This time, however, the background was not one color, but two (now she’s cookin’!) and I spent a little more time on it, added a little more color, and finally a big white curve.
I don’t know yet if I want to continue to play with this or move on to something else, but I’m leaning toward “Yes, I want to continue” and see what the colors say to me.
The titles, too, have moved a long way from jazz tunes. The first title came to me in a heartbeat for no good reason except that I liked it. “Molly, please.” Words my partner says with a grin when I say something foolish.
The second title came from him when he told me he’d overheard someone on the street say something that puzzled him, “I did not punch that dogie.” Words from a wayward cowboy, perhaps, on the streets of San Diego but inspired especially for a girl who grew up in cowboy country. Inspired!
As I continue to play with the colors in this new collection, I’ve decided to give the paintings titles from puzzling things I’ve overheard and noted at one time or another, and yeah, I have them written down on slips of paper – some place around here. I just might call this collection, “Say Wha?” in memory of my days in North Carolina where just about everything was puzzling.
I’m packed and ready for this adventure. I don’t know what new country will be revealed and what kinds of wonders it might bring. I just know that I feel a song comin’ on!
©2018, Molly Larson Cook
20 x 24, Acrylic