In my former life making documentary films, I was very very fortunate to be able to spend time with and film various cultures in more than forty countries around the world. I remember often being mesmerized by the intricacy and beauty of the textiles and tapestries of various indigenous peoples I encountered.
Pictured here is an amazing eight foot by seven foot tapestry I bought years ago in the village outdoor market in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. It was made by an enterprising vendor who had collected huipils, (the traditional garment worn by indigenous women, each with its own unique regional pattern and design), and sewn them together into this large hanging.
I just rediscovered it today, having stored it away and forgotten about it long ago. Now, it is up on the ceiling on the office end of my studio. What is striking to me is how many of these colors and even patterns have been emerging in my latest series of paintings, "della terra". My process is largely subconscious and intuitive (with LOTS of editing along the way), but how could my love of these indigenous textiles through the years, not bubble up somehow in paintings I'm working on today?
Pictured here: della terra XIX, oil on panel, 24" x 54"
In this new series I'm developing, Calando, I've started to introduce more contrast into the paintings. They feel more dynamic with the addition of some darker tones, and I think it adds a bit of a sense of mystery to the composition. Above: Calando III, oil on panel, 24" x 24".
My new work has morphed a bit into another series of new paintings, which I'm going to call Calando. The work is similar to my earlier series Adagio, and even the newer series, della terra, but also different. Like Adagio, Calando is a musical term, instructing the performers to lower the volume and also the the pace. In other words, to slow down, to quiet. These paintings suggest this to me, a calming. very soft effect, and thus the title. Below is Calando I, oil on panel, 24" x 24".
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