Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Serendipity of Objects

I had individual critiques with each of my first year students from my beginning still life class at PAFA.  I thought instead of a group critique, which we had many of throughout the semester, a chance to talk one on one might be a better way to end.  I usually wrapped them up with the question, "Is there anything else you'd like to discuss, ask, get feedback on?" And one student said, "Yes, why do you paint still life objects in your own work?" Hmmm.  Good question.  Hard question to answer in that situation.  I said something like, "They seem important to me because they are constantly around me, in my life, standing in and easy to draw memories from."  Is that why?  Partially.  I think also because they are so good to construct a painting from for me.  I feel an ease with their shapes and a freedom to invent so that the painting works and unexpected relationships come to be .

googly eye and scissors photo courtesy of Things Fitting Perfectly into Other Things

A few days ago, I stumbled upon this article, The Existential Satisfaction of Things Fitting Perfectly into Other Things, in The Atlantic (a publication I have really been enjoying for its thorough reporting and on the pulse discussions) and the writer gives words to something similar: the odd satisfying sensation of objects unexpectedly being perfect for each other in the real, physical world.  The notion is silly in a way but poetic in another.  It's such a small thing when the coin in her pocket fits in her iphone cover perfectly but its like a talisman for the serendipity that can be found in the world, and that is so comforting to stumble upon.

Laptop and cookie sheet   

So today when I went to pack all my paintings for my solo show into my friend's pickup (which was not the car I thought I would use but turned out other options were too small), I felt so, so good, good beyond what is logical about the fact that they fit in perfect line with the edges of the truck.  I've been into these external signs from the physical world and this one takes the cake.  The uncontrollable, night-sweats, chill-inducing anxiety of this thing was least for the drive over to the gallery.


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