Rilke has been infusing my artmaking since art school, which for me was not so long ago, 2005. I began looking to his poems for inspiration at the suggestion of an instructor, particularly the Book of Images. However, as you can see by the drawings I found in a journal from that time, I was attempting a literal representation of his words. A few years later he surfaced again. I made one painting, a looser literal representation of the poem Fragments From Lost Days. The painting sold. This past December I found his poetry again, however it was the Sonnets to Orpheus that struck me. For some time I have been painting abstracted landscapes with a clear dividing line between upper and lower fields of color: sky/land, sky/sea, land/sea. The dividing line between elemental worlds–everything Orpheus is about. The poetry had a way into my work this time around, but more as the essence of the painting. I now consider Rilke my muse. There is a connection between what I’m reconciling in my inner and outer worlds that the poetry is guiding me through. I think what’s happening is that I’m infusing my abstracted landscapes with this personal spiritual stuggle/transformation through the words of Rilke. I don’t want to make too much sense of it. It is in the mystery that the beauty resides.
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