Sometimes, when things seem particularly sticky, I notice I take respite in the sky. I don’t mean to say I’m one of those skydivers, or anything along those lines. Nor do I mean to imply I’m an overtly religious person. I’m really not – and to use a phrase I’ve come to abhor for various reasons, I suppose I’m more spiritual than religious. Side note: that phrase galls me because somehow it feels like a loophole – a way out of a deeper conversation.
At any rate, I just finished a painting called Big As The Sky. It’s of a place not far from my house – a farm tucked back a bit from the fairly busy road it abuts. I drive past the farm more than several times per week – and every time I drive by I imagine there might be a loving family, all gathered around this table or that, trading stories about that day’s work, all the while taking great pleasure in the retelling of toil and of roots.
Here is a photo of the finished work, and one of the work in progress alongside a sketch I did before painting.
On the morning I snapped the picture from which this painting was made, I noticed the sky seemed to stretch farther than I’ve noticed in some time. Here in North Carolina we have a beautiful blue sky, but we don’t necessarily have tons of broad vistas as we are – generally speaking – a pretty heavily treed state. On the morning I drove past the farm yet again the colors drew me in, and the stillness beneath the everything seemed to hold me.