You Can't Win Them All

Jun 7, 2017

Summer came in with a whimper -- cold, damp and generally uninspiring. I decided to spend time on an ambitious project, four paintings, each a quadrant of a whole. A tetraptych.

I suppose I believed that summer would continue as it started so I thought the whole thing would be done pretty quickly. The past three days have been in the 90s. Did I mention I don't have air conditioning? The paint was literally drying on the brush before I could get it to the canvas! I'll have to wait for cool weather to move on. Until then, it's an unfinished project.It comes as a surprise to me sometimes, the meaning I find in my paintings. I don't start out intending to paint an interpretation of the annunciation, or an homage to my grandmother's garden. Those connections come out of the painting itself. And many times I don't recognize them until I sit down and try to express what a painting means to me as I type these words here, in this blog.

I'm unaware of the thought process that brought me to this place. These four paintings. They are each a piece of a whole. Unique but connected. They are familial but each, hopefully, will stand on its own.

I realize now they are my sisters and me. We are four.

None of us are dead ringers for the other. We are separated by the states in which we live, by our own family nuclei. But we are all a piece of a whole. We laugh at the same things. We share a love of food and silliness and each other. We were created separately and brought together and raised as one before splitting off to our lives.

Weddings and family reunions have slowed down. There just aren't that many occasions to get together. But when we do we see ourselves both as who we were growing up and who we are now, growing older.

The fierce urgency of youth is slowed by nature. The paint dries on the brush. I'll take my time finishing these four. I'll savor the memories of our lives as I do.

Painting: Family 3 [unfinished] © Lissa Banks 2017