Aganippe #1, watercolor on Yupo, image size: 35x36 in.

Aganippe #1, watercolor on Yupo, image size: 35x36 in.

Welcome to my blog.  I’ll be writing about my paintings, my art practice, and posting images of work as it gets made.  
The series named for Greek nymphs (and one for a local river, Tesuque) mark my emergence from about four years of illness, when I could paint only sporadically, and my personal focus was on healing, if I could focus on anything at all.  In another post, I plan to write about the gifts I gleaned from that illness, but now it’s time to talk about painting.  These are watercolor on Yupo “paper,” a translucent sheet recently developed specifically for watercolor.  Brushed on Yupo, the paint does not absorb into the surface, as it would with regular paper, but remains on top to dry, and as it dries, it moves over the slick plastic to pool in any low areas, just as river water will pool in deep places.  This pooling is beyond my control, altho I have begun to learn how to guide it a little.  
I have come to these paintings through experimentation and noticing, and following the thread of my interest.  Obviously, I’m interested in natural processes, especially how they interact with obstacles, in this case, the painted-on circles.  Paint pigment carried in water demonstrates its own process very visually, and has so many counterparts in the natural world: rain puddles, food stains, kitchen spills, bathtub rings, pools left as a stream dries up in dry weather.  
My process seems to me to embody the essence of allowing.  A grid of circles is painted on the paper, and the paint is allowed to flow.  What a yin way to create!  Water with earth (pigment), the yin elements in Chinese tradition, suggests nurturance, support, flow, change and healing.  Water supports life by allowing it to flourish.  So these paintings are indicative of my personal healing, and offered to the world as spaces for healing, inspiration, and spiritual support.  They are as beautiful as I can make them.  They present a balance between structure – the grid of circles – and fluidity.
Like the Chinese, the ancient Greeks associated water with women.  Each one of their streams, springs and wells, even their wet marshy places, had its own female deity, a Naiad, a fresh-water nymph.  The Nymphs were personified as lovely young women, some with powerful healing or oracular abilities.  Aganippe presided over a well that was sacred to the Muses.  She could inspire people who drank her water.  Eupheme was also associated with the Muses as their nurse. 
Eupheme #1, watercolor on Yupo, image size: 35x37 in.

Eupheme #1, watercolor on Yupo, image size: 35x37 in.