Permission and persistence

Earlier in the week I posted about the persistence of vision of an idea with regard to planting seeds and making paintings.

Even earlier I posted about the John Varley novella sci-fi story that eventually led me to Taos.

Now I want to continue that theme as I write about another painting.

This painting is inspired by a photograph by Chris R___. I don’t want to go into a lot of detail about my long-time relationship to Chris, but to fill in the sparest of blanks, we lived together from 1985-86, just before I moved to Taos.

Besides working together in an intensely innovative workspace for its time (virtual) as a software developer for Epson, our relationship was creative.

Chris surprised me constantly, whether it was his inventions, which were many, but he was a musician and photographer after the intuitive Edward Weston variety. He had an intense camera collection (he always does everything intensely, no matter what it is). The camera collection included a Zone 6, with rosewood box and bellows, tripod and all.

Chris was sanguine about having to sell it, and I probably cried more about it going than he did.

Chris and I split up after I moved to Taos. He came to Taos a couple of times and I went back to California for visits, but we eventually hung it up and we took what happened after RSI imploded and each of us built new lives.

Since then I have learned that the most photographed and painted church in the United States is worshipped in by my friends and neighbors. Their hands have stroked the outside of the church in the yearly mudding that involves the whole community. I have attended weddings there. I have attended funerals of friends in that church. I have seen the miracle painting.

Chris and I got married to other people. He used to have a joke about his “current wife,” something I never became. We have continued to be our creative selves long after the random nature of the universe made us click together like billiard balls on the table of our dimensional life. Beyond the conforms of dimension, we are forever clicking, about to click, and thus, having clicked. Forever connected.

After many years, in 2008 Chris and his wife visited Taos and they met Rick and it was a really good visit. The kind of visit where you get to be reacquainted with why you had been together, and were reminded of why you eventually split up.

Now, years later, I get a batch of photographic prints of beautiful black and white photographs Chris took in Taos during their 2008 visit.

I decided to paint at least one of the photographs from the portfolio, and I am reminded of why I returned to painting and why Chris is probably returning to photography.

In many ways Chris and I both thought our art was something we got to do as a reward for being a genius elsewhere.

We forgot that we had better just make art because we were destined to create all along, all the time.

The world may be less brilliant because some of our creations have not been manifested in the form of patented inventions ( a la The Man Who Fell to Earth’s Thomas Newton) because we are no less brilliant no matter what we’ve given ourselves permission to create.