Abstracts, Semi-Abstracts, Watercolours, Acrylics, Mixed-Media.White Rock, British Columbia, Canada ✩ Soothe your soul! *All content © 2006-2017 Works available at StudioGaleria by appointment, located in uptown White Rock, B.C. Canada

Friday, January 11, 2008

The secret behind the painting

"The Chapel",
renamed "Refuge" on Oct. 22, 2007
= Original photo of RC boarding school,
with Mother Superior and all, circa 1956

the warm sunny afternoon

out on the balcony, last year, 2006
Version 3

Version 2 - quick 2x3" sketch
Version 3
Looking at the works now - a year later - with the exception of the "quick sketch", the other two versions do reflect to some extent the "need for perfection" and "uptightness" implicit in the expected conduct of a Catholic boarding school of the time.

I loved the swimming pool, almost as much as I loved this chapel yet, I have no interest in painting it... it gave me pleasure but it hardly gave me any comfort and refuge.

It is possible that the peace I find these days in "places of worship" (any place of worship, including deep in nature!) comes from those times, those deeply held convictions of safety - the comfortable isolation felt in the silence and alone-ness of the experience in an sacred (empty) building/space.

This chapel was a literal refuge for me, for I could hide in it - choosing the second floor (right above the front door), or choir mezzanine, to escape all the living demons on the grounds!

I was absolutely safe there.

God was taking care of me - or so much I believed, as my only solace was to find a protecting, loving figure even if "ethereal"... I did become a very spiritual child while residing in the institution.

There was a grotto with the Stella Maris virgin behind the chapel, I used to escape there too, with the two resident German Sheppard's - my only living, breathing friends in the "entire world"! I have no desire to paint this one either.

The "Maria Ward Institute" - a bilingual (Spanish/Hungarian) boarding school - had "formal grounds" although, it was originally a Spanish Colonial ranch we had wonderful statues stategically placed about. I don't remember ever running around on the grounds, except on Easter Sundays when we had phenomenal eggs hunts ... :)

A lot of what transpired there came to shape to an astounding degree the person I am today - it is mind boggling how a series of events, situations in childhood can still play an active role in my daily life even today - absolutely mind boggling, but true!

I like the way this building feels/looks; there is something "orderly" about it, trustworthy, despite the neatly (sharply ?) trimmed angular hedges - in clear contrast with the warm ocre colour of the structure and the graciously curved dor and bell cupola convey.