Meanwhile the World. 9 x 12. Oil on Linen Panel.
I've always loved poetry. As a child and a teenager, I wrote a lot of poems. We had books of poetry and I entertained my family by memorizing and reciting back long poems. I recited The Mountain Whippoorwil by Benet in a Forensic Tournament in Germany. In High School I'd go to the city library to read poetry. I copied down what I loved best and at home I'd type them up on onionskin paper and put them in a notebook. I still have my poetry notebook. It's full of wonderful, meaningful and beautiful poetry.
In May I went to Texas for a workshop at Deborah Paris' studio. Deborah reads a lot of poetry and read a poem to us. It was beautiful. When I left Texas I went to Colorado to visit my daughter and ran across a volume of Mary Oliver's poetry in a local bookstore. I bought it.
This past few weeks I've been reading Mary Oliver over and over and over again in my studio. I copied out poems and pinned them to the wall. This painting is inspired by a phrase from her poem Wild Geese.
Mary's poems are like prayers. And like a landscape, they are grounded in place: the rural northeast. That's not my place but through her poetry, I can picture it.