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  • Writer's picturesharonkingston

Toward a lightness of being

I can't remember a painting in the past 10 years that hasn't had a poem or writing attached to it, either in the making or the titling. These words have not been included in my website presentation of my works for a purely aesthetic reason, to keep the space clean and uncluttered and for the focus to be on the painting itself. I do understand that many people are interested in the inspiration for works and so I'll try to periodically share the words along with the work here in this space where words are the primary reason to be.

'Toward a lightness of being' is a large painting I created at the beginning of 2015 as a fresh start to a new year in a palette of pinks and pastels. I recall spending a bit of time looking at Cy Twombly's 4 part painting 'Hero and Leandro', so I think my color choices may have originated there. I was also thinking about flowers and reading poetry related to flowers. I find their ephemeral qualities and softness relates directly to the atmospheric quality of my paintings and the way I paint. 'toward a lightness of being' became for me a space to hold a luminous quality. Therefore the underpainting was a vibrant pink that became tempered with layers of transparent whites. And I attempted with those forms to express the energy and impermanent quality of a blooming thing. These beautiful words by Rainer Rilke further inspired the painting and its title.

See the flowers, so faithful to earth

We know their fate because we share it. Were they to grieve for their wilting, that grief would be ours to feel. There's a lightness in things. Only we move forever burdened, pressing ourselves into everything, obsessed by weight. How strange and devouring our ways must seem to those for whom life is enough. If you could enter their dreaming and dream with them deeply, you would come back different to a different day, moving so easily from that common depth. Or maybe just stay there: they would bloom and welcome you, all those brothers and sisters tossing in the meadows, and you would be one of them.

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