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  • Writer's picturesharonkingston

to San Juan Island and Back

In Widening Circles, oil on canvas, 18×18 in

Yesterday I took the ferry to Friday Harbor with my children and a good friend–who also collects my work. We went for the ride, and lunch, and to look at some galleries and art.  Before I had a chance to tell one of the gallery owners about my work, she opined about how done she was with landscapes. Said she’s embracing abstracts now–everything’s about surface tension, texture and such.  From what I could see in the gallery it was about the suggestion of landscape albeit with stenciled numbers/ ship markings on some and heavily varnished collage on others. The landscape was still there, however–and I told her so.   A friend says the shift toward abstract is because all the television shows are staging their sets with abstract works which is influencing what people want to decorate their homes. What happened to artistic intent?  and meaningful expression? Ultimately, is it really all about decoration? 

So, today, in tribute to that ferry ride and all the glory of the San Juan Islands and the poetry of Rilke, I painted this–a landscape–or is it?  

From Rilke: I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world. I may not complete this last one but I give myself to it.

I circle around the primordial tower. I’ve been circling for thousands of years and I still don’t know: am I a falcon, a storm, or a great song?

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