I love Bridge Mix. It is the perfect combination of chocolate and chew and surprise crunch and always comes in a cute box or cellophane bag and makes me feel like a little girl playing grown up. It’s that special occasion chocolate treat I can rarely resist if I’m in a chocolate shop or See’s or anywhere old fashioned that specializes in old school treats. My family makes fun of me that it is still my favorite, haven’t we moved on to salted caramel…everything? Nope. I’m stuck in a joyful time warp on this one and not going anywhere.
That’s what I love about this painting. It feels like a snapshot in time. A moment with a friend, a vintage vase, a blue milk glass dish of bridge mix, a cappuccino to share. There is that phrase. Write what you know. It applies to art too. Paint what you know. I paint my history. My snapshots of funny moments with my parents, sweet memories of my childhood, lessons learned from my grandparents and aesthetics borrowed from my hometown. I am learning this with every piece I create. That candy dish is straight out of my Nana Mary’s kitchen cupboard, right beside her hard boiled egg cups. Did I think I would paint this the last time I saw this dish? No. It is part of my visual map, my personal encyclopedia of images that is part of my soul that we all carry with us every day. I choose it, or the vase or the cups, it varies painting by painting, because it makes me happy. That’s all it requires. I feel good painting it, I smile, I am connected to something bigger than me, and I know I showed up to my gift that day. Simple. Now if I could remember that feeling a little more consistently….
Painting a still life is a joyful experience for me. Especially when I have a very loose road map (flowers? food? object?), it tells me what wants to be included. I am often asked “do you plan your paintings?” Yes and no. I might have a vague theme or direction or photo I have found that gives me a general GPS direction but once the car is pointed on the highway, it has a mind of its own! My job, if I can, is to listen to the whispers for bridge mix, even when they seem banal and make me think, really, you have to have a cellophane bag of candy on this table? I really do. And I really can’t paint it otherwise. It’s as if someone something else in me has taken over and as long as I’ve got my foot on the gas, it will invisibly steer the car. (I think they’re making something like that in Silicon Valley as we speak.)
Yesterday, I write about the meaning of life, the ups and downs of creative entrepreneurship and the angsty hand wringing of the “artiste”. Today, I write about chocolate. Showing up for both. xo
“Bridge Mix” 18×24″ Available at ElizabethW Carmel 1.831.626.3892