Why is It He Never Looks at Me?
by Gay Pogue
8" x 10"
Acrylic on canvas
In a recent conversation with Carol Barnwell, she asked me point blank, "Why do you paint snakes?"
I referred her to this blog, but I did not have a good 10-second answer to that question. Hmmm.
Needless to say, I have been pondering that moment with some consternation. Here is my first attempt.
"I paint snakes because I can make them what I want them to be--serious, whimsical, religious, spiritual, sentient, or iconic."
Here they represent the human condition. Two beings lie in the grass tete-a-tete, neither able to acknowledge the other.
How often do I pass people by without looking at them?
In response to the recent post of my painting "The Heart of the Matter," Martha Terrill sent me these comments. I share them here and ask you to join in the continued discussion. If you click back to the original post, you can also read comments by Susie and Carla.
Interesting you should bring that up. Yesterday, I was in a discussion where one of the participants allowed as there was just no such thing as evil...that it was just a judgment about someone's behavior, which was different than categorizing someone as evil: the behavior was evil, not the person. ( I am over simplifying her statement).
You could have knocked me over with a feather! When I recovered from my shock at her thoughts, I asked her if a person knows that their behavior will harm someone and they deliberately, knowingly harm another person, does that not make the "person" evil, as well as the deed?
Then the discussion segued on to Hitler, Saddam, etc, which is obvious and a gazillion things have been written about them and evil......I am more interested in discussing a singular person, who does evil things and what really constitutes evil.
If you accept the notion that God created the Knowledge of Good and Evil and put the key to that knowledge in the Apple, then the responsibility for that action remains with God. Our responsibility resides in the fact that we now know what the difference is, we have a choice and hopefully we choose Good...because if we don't choose Good (and now know that we deliberately choose Evil) we risk the loss of God's what? protection? Grace? Love?
The Heart of the Matter
by Gay Pogue
24" x 30"
Acrylic on Canvas
The finished painting.
Lately, the Apple has been bothering me. It was there. God made it and put it there. Did God say, "Don't eat the Apple," so that accepting the responsibility for the Knowledge of Good and Evil is our choice?
And I am thinking the Apple is still in the Garden waiting for us to eat again. I, for one, want more knowledge about Good and Evil. The older I get; the less clear it all is.
For "New Snake and Tree," I chose a 24" x 30" canvas that was waiting in the basement. It's plastic wrapper coated with dust, that canvas had been around a while.
Looking at the more recently purchased smaller canvasses sitting there, I suddenly had this feeling of claustrophobia. This is a larger painting.
Two years ago, when I had to put a few things into my Explorer, say good-bye to my house and home, and head north, I suffered some sort of artistic trauma. I became obsessed with "small." Everything had to fit into a plastic box that I could quickly grab, throw into the back of the car, and take elsewhere.
I obsessively check the National Hurricane Center website to indications of any tropical cyclones. This year we learned that not all hurricanes give us days of warning. Humberto went from depression to hurricane in 16 hours before slamming into Beaumont, just a few miles away.
But it is now October 14 with nothing on the horizon but cooler weather and water. Two seasons have passed and I am relaxing about things. Something has told my psyche that it is again okay to paint big.
A few days back, I was tired from teaching and everything else, so I put my sketchbook in my lap, took a pencil in my hand and began to idly draw a familiar motiv. The colored pencils were sitting there and soon added their spark.
Here it is. We'll see how the drawing translates to canvas.
This summer, my husband Ron and I took a road trip to Colorado. We visited friends and enjoyed the cool air and scenery.
In past years we would sit in the hot tub or on a porch or before a campfire and "build" things. We designed cabins, redesigned kitchens, and dreamed about future endeavors. To tell the truth, none of the designs was ever built; none of the paths we laid out were ever taken.
This year it was different. We made movies. Ron came up with an idea for a short meditation involving something in the landscape. We stopped the car, got out the camera, and began shooting. We toyed with things and took numberous shots. That evening I downloaded the "dailies" into iMovie and began editing. I had set up a blog for Ron to organize the videos. Then I pulished the video to YouTube and embedded the code into the post as I have done here.
Fortunately, almost everywhere we stayed had high speed internet so we had no difficulties carrying on the enterprise. When we were in Texas, we would just pull into a road side park, pop open the laptops, and we were in business. The parks are now all WiFi-ed. Amazing.
Yes, there were a few tense moments when we were on "take fifteen" and things still did not come out right, but all in all we worked well together.
As we sat one evening reflecting on the day's escapades, we realized that this was the first time we had begun one of our creative ventures and actually finished it. It felt good. We plan to keep it up.
For more of our videos, go to http://www.e-piphanies.com
Knowledge of Good and Evil means humans can make informed choices. We know what is right and good and will likely end well; we know what is wrong and harmful and will likely end badly. It seems so simple. Yet, in this world, what seems good today, we find is evil tomorrow. What seems evil today, we discover leads to good tomorrow.
When Adam and Eve first tasted the fruit of the tree, that may have been what they discovered--that there is no clear line between good and evil.
This dear angel snake is tending the Cave of the Seedlings. Which seedlings are those? You ask. Seedlings for new Trees of Knowledge.
They were planted so long ago and are slowly working their way toward the light and us.
I have to wonder what it would take to hurry progress.