Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Flying with Joseph Albers and a Russian Circus Poodle

Da plane! Da Plane!
Mural in Zen time is a three-walled Florida courtyard where I had some slapstick moments—a full can of lavender paint did the hula on my head, covering my hair and just about everywhere else while I was dive-bombed by persistently angry bees, one of which stung me before I whacked it and hastened its next incarnation. This is, after all, a tranquil meditation space.The trained circus poodle on the property only spoke Russian and, like much of the population in retiree paradise, had lousy short term memory. Each time he saw me it was a new adventure of feints and barks.

I finished highlighting the whirring propellers, thinking about Joseph Albers Interaction of Color (the only life-changing class I've ever taken), and realized that the care I put into the shadows and light on the bamboo might well be overshadowed by the plane, placed at my client's behest. (I wonder if the famous luminist painters of the Hudson River Valley School--Cole, Church or Bierstadt--were asked to throw in Rumplstiltskin?) Hiking through bamboo and eucalyptus groves in my former Hawaii home is a delicious memory, but the experience of piloting a small plane, especially through sunset, gave me delirious contentment.
100 degrees-- a dreamy bamboo forest emerged from my brush and overheated mind, blue streams and mysterious marshes surrounding a zen garden. This is Florida, where a concerned stranger who loved my artwork told me I'm going to burn in hell for eternity. Now I know why Bush won here, why 18,000 votes disappeared and very few really seemed to care. Brain fry.
In my usual 'I can do this' approach, I attended ground school after I'd flown a few times. Learning the intricacies of engines and navigation was, for me, like dancing, loving the feeling, and then being told that I had to memorize all the bones in the foot and learn how to repair them if I wanted to be a really great dancer.  I realized that the next time I hire someone to take me into some remote spot in the Amazon, I could fly the plane if the licensed pilot keels over, but I won't have a clue where we're going. It may really be about the journey, not the destination.


Lynn said...

Looks beautiful Beth-of course! Is there a door in that opening? (I don't remember it from previous images.) You'd look like one of your mermaids with lavender hair!

designempress said...

The mural is painted around open doorways,sliding glass doors, nooks, columns and an open arch..more pix at www.bethsurdut.com/news.htm

Becka said...

Keep up the good work.