Tamari No Atua (God's Child) by Paul Gauguin.
I am cleaning out and reorganizing the years of bookmarks that were lost then found. From one computer to another it's amazing to see how much time and research lies hidden behind the simple lines. It is dusk in the peublo. A huge swarm of the beloved birds moves in a wave across the dusky blues of sunset; my heart leaps in the recognition of their familiarity; When the winds blow so hard I wonder how do they keep in the sky and in formation? They remain here in el Pueblo - it makes me so happy to know they are here still for months yet to come as the cold sets in and the sun goes down.
It's been a rather quiet holiday for me. I retreated from the world and emerged to engage in making mashed potatoes and ambrosia for the epic dinner at Carmela's house; her family and grandchildren, the MacCallum's and a couple expats listening to Spencer recite poetry after the evening meal of ham and salt fish Mexicano style. I made devil eggs the way Dkish's mom would and hung back in Kitchenlandia where I am most at home doing KP. Later after people left and went to bed Carmela and I watched on her newly installed cabel super sized tv a program about Paul Gauguin's painting. I feel in love all over again with this artist who perhaps was both beast and artist. I've loved his paintings and have identified with these women connected with the fruits of the earth. This was not your usual Christmas story; it was in fact sad and yet spoke for the desire for beauty. In this painting, his wife, his child, a daughter born on Christmas and who died a few days later. Gauguin had put everything into this painting; and waited for someone to SEE it....it wasn't appreciated for it's depth til after his death; how we wait for acknowledgement, to be seen, to be recognized, to find a patron who believes in our work and not necessarily us personally. But what we do for our art! How he suffered and had to sell out to follow his calling; Yet across the time and how his work has inspired me to paint when I paint. I was touched to recognize his love for the sacred feminine face of God a vision before his time.
I learnt I didn't get the grant I had applied for from NALAC. My dad told me gently enough....another dear Juan letra....so many applicants, and please do apply again....it's just how it is...you write, you edit, you do your work, get letters of support, and roll the dice; I figure my work wasn't edgy enough, not dark enough, too Mexican, maybe I'm not Mexican enough....Gauguin didn't get an artist grant; I'm only slightly disappointed because I am still doing exactly what I want to be doing, I am in the world I love, I am learning and creating; I have two stories to write, and have had the good fortune of support of people who believe in my work; I have a client/patron/friend who has allowed me the means to continue my research as I work on his project. Not getting the grant doesn't lessen the belief in my work....it just would have been nice; might have gone to Christo Rey or buy that D300 camera..... but in time....one must keep doing it and not give up. I have the gift of my old teacher Gauguin who has returned in the dark to keep it real and in perspective... he has returned with the returning light and inspires me to not lose heart and do a painting with prussian blue lines....still the light shines.....
I saw one of the most beautiful pots I have ever seen. I was at Carmela's when the young couple came to the door just after I did. They brought in their pots and laid them on the table. My eyes fill with intricate design and my imagination starts weaving stories. I dream underwater dreams that evening with dogs and horses and birds all flying underwater. It is a magical vision. The pot almost fell... all us lost our breath and resumed breathing again. If I had a couple grand I would have bought it myself just to encourage this artist to keep true to his vision and not sell out for something smaller, cheaper, "affordable". So I didn't get the grant but I did help be the bridge to a Christmas sale of the fantastical pot. QUE MILAGRO!! I can not express my happiness when the artist's father came to my house carrying his son's olla with his daughter carrying her big,fat, beautiful brown baby into my little house; To give them the check and touch again the world in a pot and have it lay on my couch like a magical egg and be the conduit made my day. It is the return of the light....the creator, the new life, the new vision. If I hadn't known I would be blessed with an amazing assignment -what would I have known to look for? I weigh my slight disappointment against this great moment-I suppose I all do is put another hook on the line and go fish. I head my boat into the upstream wind and row downstream, pacing myself and giving it all I got.
So too I listen and wait for my own line to follow. This is my first attempts to do Paquime with Rex. My friend,model,muse, little brother, co-conspirator....fellow student who plays art with me. We use the pots of Sabino from Mata Ortiz my father got when he was here a year ago; There is the migrations from the walls from the cave. How will I weave time and place? Moons and stars? Who will speak to my heart, and guide my mind and hand? How far will I need to travel? How much to learn before I can tell the tale? These are photo sketches in the making....they are at the end of one year's work and the beginning of next years work. Where will the images take me this time??? So there is much work to do regardless, so many roads to travel and the unknown places the winds of change will blow us.