YEAR WITH RILKE

An ongoing project, completion June 2021

Rainer Rilke's poetry has inspired my paintings for over 10 years.  His words have proven to be the most consistent and beloved source of poetic metaphors that wrestle with the atmospheres of our existence. I've found that they so resonate with how I navigate the world. Rilke's poems have informed the inwardness of many of my landscape paintings. Phrases from his poems are often at the top of my mind when experiencing the every day awe generously granted us by nature.

To honor that long relationship and the role of muse that Rilke has played in the becoming of my work, I'm spending some time, in a big way, visually manifesting his poetry.  Using the compilation of his poems titled 'A year with Rilke' with translations by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows, I'm painting 12 large scale paintings with each painting representing a month in the year.  A selection of poems from each month in the book, many which have informed paintings in the past, will align with imagery from the Northwest to create my version of a 'Year with Rilke'.  Each painting also has a color story attached to it from the wonderful website THE AWL, because these color perspectives got caught up in my filter when I defined my intentions for the series.  The paintings are all 6' tall and range in width from 40" to 108".

This project had a start before covid hit and the painting at left shows the original January painting, titled 'step into the evening' with an indigo color story.  I aborted the project for many reasons, mostly financial, and this painting was sold to a beloved collector before I reignited my passion to complete the series regardless of its commercial potential to feed me.  The original January painting will come back to the studio and hang with the 12 paintings that form the new 'year with rilke' paintings when the series is presented to the public.  

Follow along on Instagram.  I occasionally post updates of the paintings' progress.  They are being painted in the place of their hanging in my studio gallery space--wrapping around the space from January to December. A photographer has been documenting their unfolding and I'm hoping for an opening in June to celebrate their completion.

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    SHARON KINGSTON