This is a phoenix painting. That is, I started it painting a few years ago, got stuck, and so abandoned it to my childhood art table that my dad made out of a door and then covered in pretty red bandanna-print tablecloth fabric my mother picked out. Over the years, cats, kids, and most of all, the enormous amount of junk that came to be piled around it caused the picture to slide behind the table. I found it peeking out behind the table’s edge a couple of days ago when I was looking around hoping to find a canvas. The canvas had been gotten stuck at the table edge which made a partial tear behind the eyes. Looking at her, I saw that the perspective issue I’d had that caused her abandonment could now be easily fixed with the tabletop easel my husband bought for me after watching me repeatedly try to balance a canvas against a tottering pile of books and games.
I haven’t painted like this before. That is, the first and last painting of a nude figure I did was some 17 years ago when I took the last of my art requirements to, at long last ,complete my degree–a impractical but happy B.A. in Philosophy with a minor in art. But despite the mounds of cat hair, the proportions that only looked right if the painting was laid flat, and the tear across the poor girl’s face, there was something there that was beautiful to me. So I slapped some multimedia paper on the back of the wound with a glue stick, pried some cardboard behind the frame for pressure until it dried, and resurrected her.
Light breaks where no sun shines; Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart Push in their tides Dylan Thomas, 1914 - 1953