Mothers are not supposed to have favorites… I wonder if artists are.
There’s something very special about this grouper… it’s not a particularly colorful fish but I was, for reasons I would not discover until I began to paint it, drawn to it (so to speak). Almost in the beginning, when I lay in the drawing for the body of the fish, when I added the eye, I felt an immediate difference in what I can only call the energy of this particular fish. It has a doleful yes exceedingly lovable character. It always seems somehow concerned… yet always open to being reminded that things are rarely as bad as they may seem. Grouper seemed to, from the very beginning, to be uncertain as to its fate… how would the painting turn out?
Coincidentally – or perhaps not – this painting was taking form during the period of time when I was working closely with the consciousness of my body to become more aware of the activities of my mind in order to create a more peaceful place in there. That has gone very well.
I found myself talking to the grouper all the time, reassuring it… occasionally, as we neared completion, giving the whole painting a hug. The grouper seems to have a life of its own. I don’t know how that happened… but it seems lovely to me. I confess to feeling a bit melancholy as we came, ultimately, to a conclusion… then, one day later I realized who this fish is… This fish is me. This is the grown-up child who learned early that humanity cannot be trusted but who made a life for herself which always feels just a little tenuous.
This work is currently committed to the Art Ability show at Bryn Mawr Hospital in Bryn Mawr, PA until February 2021.