Thoughts on Painting

Jun 10, 2014


Since this little tack I've taken in my life has been largely motivated by a desire to follow my bliss and paint, it seemed logical to me to also turn this blog around into something that focused more about my work.  It's morphed before and it can again.

Problem is, I'm not terribly adept at talking about my work. I'm great at talking about paintings, just not mine so much. So I'll just rip off the bandaid and tell the tale of my most recent work, Panhandle TX. Maybe I'll get better at this as I go along.

If you were along for the ride when I blogged about our cross country drive you might remember my post that featured the inspiration for this painting along with the only mention of the great state of Texas, with apologies to all Texans. We'd only crossed over a very tiny bit of the panhandle, after leaving spectacular New Mexico, and we found the place desolate and dusty. Believe me when I say that my painting is a verdant Eden compared to the drought stricken landscape we encountered.

But as is often the case, when I really dive into an inspiration image, I find so much more there than "meets the eye" to make a shameless pun. In my little iPhone snapshot I found life clinging tenaciously to the roadside, turned earth teeming with dried seed heads just waiting for rain to give them life, and a battered highway exit sign seemingly pointing the way the last truck took across an arid field. What at first glance seemed so bleak, became rich in meaning.

It is also worth saying that after witnessing the devastation of Texas, entering Oklahoma truly felt like entering the land of Oz. Like an instantaneous miracle, gray yielded to green and all seemed right with the world. So much so that I celebrated the experience with another painting earlier this year, Oklahoma.

Paintings: Panhandle TX and Oklahoma © Lissa Banks 2014