Friday, August 17, 2018

Warming Up the Heart

"Warming Up the Heart", by myself, 2018.
Watercolor gouache and salt on watercolor paper

I made a quiet resolution to myself the other day: I am going to do a saran wrap watercolor painting a day until I have at least thirty. If I’m sick of them after that I’ll stop, if not I’ll keep going.  The logistics of this project will probably drive my long-suffering and angelic wife clear out of her mind, as what will I do with thirty plus paintings?? It’s a legitimate question. I’m hoping people will buy at least some of them and get them off my hands and out of our apartment (and restore som. If you are one of those people who is looking for original art that’s cheap this is the deal for you! Each of these pieces are cheap, going for about $25, depending on good I think the piece is. The point is that you’re doing me a favor by vacating my house of all the art that’s building up in it.

“Warming Up the Heart” is a phrase I learned out of “Night on the Desert of the Holy Mountain”. The anonymous Gerondas (Elder) reveals to the author that, in order to make one’s prayers more sincere, that one has to warm up their heart with thoughts of Hell and your own sinfulness, contrasted with God’s mercy, goodness, and utter infinity. When this contrast gets far enough into your heart it will invoke tears. Looking at the raw saran wrap painting I found myself seeing a small flame, amidst the cares and anxieties of the heart. I tried to bring this out in the painting, that this is no physical flame, but something that, when lit, burns far hotter than any physical flame, but is infinitely more fragile.

The goal of the painting is not to look at it and see something that you can find in your normal life but, by looking into it, to feel the inner reality that it represents. If that sounds pretentious I apologize. But, if looking at this you can feel that inner fire in your heart, I will have done my job.

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