A spring morning I drove to Emigrant Lake (Ashland, Oregon) with Georgia to take a walk. As we left the parking area, making our way along the path that crossed a rocky dike, a silent procession appeared of women carried their rowboat.
Resting the boat on their shoulders each moved with purpose, silent and head down (concentrating on the uneven ground or from the wet wind … likely both), they resembled pall-bearers. In reality their destination was a pale yellow dock flanked by water, light and mist. The wind and drizzle made the walk along the top of the dike uncomfortable; instead we followed the procession towards the shore below the protective wall of earth. Two teams of rowers gathered preparing to launch, the first team rowed silently away from the dock into the mist, while the other prepared to follow.
Rows of grass in the foreground curved towards the shore, with a pale footpath running diagonal – both bringing the eye to the dock. Arcs of light sparked on the water curving back towards the center of the image. Nature’s alchemy completely changed the background through the pale vale of vapor. In the early versions of the work the mist looked more realistic, as the painting evolved I began to see figures emerge … lurching, tumbling, reclining and dancing in all directions.
It was a scene of transformation. More than that of the lake, mountain and sky … the change was within myself as it was also the day of my father’s burial.
Pairings: here are two musical creations that I believe connect with the message of transformation: The Surface Changes by Kaki King and In A Mist by Bix Beiderbecke. You can also see a simple slide show showing a progression of the painting by visiting the VStudio.