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When I was looking for a title for the painting above what came to me seemed exactly right--Longing. I feel that there is a sense of longing that comes through in many of my paintings, and for some reason, this one seems to get at that feeling more than most. To me this longing is a strong yearning for something yet to be experienced. A sense of nostalgia for something that hasn't yet happened, if that makes any sense. It comes to me during both the painting process and in contemplating the finished work. On some level, I've been aware for years of this longing in relation to my work. With this painting, though, that feeling came into focus. I don't know why, but it touches my heart. The longing I'm talking about is hard to define. In terms of the painting itself, it's not for any preconceived result; inside, emotionally it's not for any particular person, time, or even place--though wild places do play a strong evocative role in my work. Instead I can only call it a spiritual longing. It seems inexpressible in words...painting on the other hand can be a perfect form of expression for what is ineffable. This sense of longing accompanies me in the studio, pulling me along toward an elusive perfection, a point that would hold the deepest possible soul connection. It keeps me coming back over and over to a painting-- adjusting the color, adding a line, shifting a shape. For me this isn't overworking. It's more like inching toward an ever shifting sense of completion that goes beyond the physical form of the work--looking for a path to a feeling of wholeness and connection that is tantalizingly close but always slightly out of reach. I'm happy when I find a meaningful stopping point in any one piece, but the bigger, more encompassing search continues. As I write this post I worry about seeming grandiose or pretentious in trying to explain what is difficult to put into words. But this is not just about me--I'm also sure that this sense of longing is far from unique. In some form it's the engine that drives the work of every creative person.
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