Working on the figure in Bombers is reflective of the fairly solitary life of a painter. I spend large amounts of time alone in the studio painting, sometimes seeing almost nobody. Yesterday I spoke to eight people all day including a visit to the local church to see my kids in a show. I feel like a hermit.
Silence and solitude are said to walk hand in hand. Silence is not necessarily the silence of sound, but can be the inner silence that comes from pure focus upon the task in hand. I recognize a contradiction in the solitary life I lead in the studio and the pleasure I gain by playing loud music when I paint. Is this reflective of satisfying an inner need for chaos, or indicative of a lack of social interaction? I suspect that it’s no accident that this hermit painting is happening now, as the summer in the studio draws toward its most peaceful period when there are no students to provide any distraction from solitude.
“If the desert is holy, it is because it is a forgotten place that allows us to remember the sacred. Perhaps that is why every pilgrimage to the desert is a pilgrimage to the self. There is no place to hide and so we are found.”
–Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place