#5 summer summit 2018

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Here in Virginia this is the week of dill. If you have recently come by our house you were either given some to take home or have been served some at a meal. The taste of fresh dill is a color all its own that I wasn't fully attuned to until I began to garden in Virginia.

I not only associate color with taste but with place. Virginia is green as dill and mint and garlicscapes. Color is also carried in memory. Our recent trip to Tasmania has been carried home in shades and variations of ochres, fat yellowish sands and pink granites.

When I am in Maine I use a lot of blue paint because the ocean is so dominant. The sky is the balance to the water. I try to find other colors in the ocean and sky but the blues always sneak in. I use lots of cerulean and ultramarine these days. This month I pulled out a few of last summer's paintings and painted back into them with my ochers. I took the blue and I submerged it in yellow ochre and some North Carolina Okaweeme red. I liked what happened. These paintings began on burlap coated with plaster and then acrylic paint was added on top. They are fragile but still a bit textile-like. Today while photographing I dropped one which cracked and crumbled it in places.  So I sanded it down a bit and then did a new coat of paint. I then turned it over, added an acrylic medium binder plus a layer of my red clay paint. Perhaps a prayer to the gods of color, "please hold this fragile piece together." I loved the surface I got. It's surprising sometimes how I work looking at one thing but then it's what's on the flipside that's the important discovery.

05 summer 2018.jpg
Admit that you have stood in front of a little pile of powdered ultramarine pigment in a glass cup at a museum and felt a stinging desire. But to do what? Liberate it? Purchase it? Ingest it? . . . You might want to reach out and disturb the pile of pigment, for example, first staining your fingers with it, then staining the world. You might want to dilute it and swim in it, you might want to rouge your nipples with it, you might want to paint a virgin's robe with it. But still you wouldn't be accessing the blue of it. Not exactly."
― Maggie Nelson, Bluets

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This page contains a single entry by Catherine White published on June 5, 2018 6:29 PM.

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