Of Mice and Painting
Painting is its own form of wanting to touch something. It’s wishing and longing and reaching out. I paint what I admire as a way to creep closer to those things. I have to do it quietly, wearing camouflage, if I want to get close. It’s an act of curiosity and patience, like sitting in a blind. To paint a child’s face is to touch their cheek. To paint a horse is to stroke his sleek neck, finding out where he is made of silk, and where he is sheer velvet. When I paint a horse, I find myself in awe over all the lovely details of him, how his heel is cloven, how he’s got muscles between the jaw and the eye, how he’s got surprising depth in his furled ears. I fall in love with my subjects, wanting to share the quirky beauty I find once I have wiggled my way in close and come out thankful, with a painting, perhaps, of a mouse holding his own tail when he sleeps. I’m glad I did not wake him up.