Saturday, February 14, 2009

Encountering Persephone in my Beloved Studio

Wow! so much was happening last week, then I went and got one of those killer migraines that takes me into the depths of darkness for several days and nights and obliterates life for me, anyway, I am back!
Here's a couple shots of my studio at night, I love this studio. It is a huge industrial space in an old Simmons mattress factory filled with other artist lofts. I share this space with two other women artists who are rarely there the same time as me but when they are, it is great to share their creative energies. I can see the Montreal skyline which is particularly beautiful at night, as well as part of Mont Royal behind two big beautiful green copper church steeples. The Lachine canal is beside my building which is a wonderful place for walking or biking for miles. There is a farmer's market within walking distance and the "hood" is colourful and interesting with lots of beautiful parks and mature trees. Even in the winter I will break up painting sessions with a walk along the canal or to the market just to clear my brain and move my body.
My two Persephone paintings are side by side in the top photo. I have had them moved up north for the upcoming Eros exhibit and to make more room for the other paintings that are still inside me just bursting to come out onto the canvas. I have just exploded with ideas revolving around the figure. Yesterday I started five new small pieces integrating the figure into the landscape, just experimental for now but it is so exciting to feel this much potential bubbling up, God how I LOVE to paint!!! Everyday is a new adventure.
I've decided to title the two paintings up above, "Persephone's Descent" and "The Return Dance of Persephone" because somehow the two pieces are related even though they are quite different in execution. Both pieces speak to me of the divine feminine and the results of her repression in both myself and our culture. How the "feminine" is in all of us, male and female, and how undervalued her qualities are much to all of our detriment. The innocent girl, Persephone descends into Hades every year to be nourished by death and decay and ravished by the king of the underworld only to return refreshed and renewed every spring as a powerful, sexual woman who walks the earth with confidence and strength...a cyclical balancing of light and dark. Embracing our shadow sides and releasing all that carefully repressed energy into bold, bright colours and whirling shapes. One of the line's in Louise Gluck's poems on Persephone says that Persephone doesn't even know what winter looks like only that she is the cause of it.

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