“Don’t Slip!” and other advice…

Posted by on Mar 6, 2016 in Behind the Artwork | No Comments
Linus Hunting with his Pet Lamb

Linus Hunting with Caramela by Unknown Photographer & Visitor to Smith Meadows

I spend a lot of time in my imagination while working my day job. I have all manner of fantasies. It’s not that reality is dissatisfying, it’s just that I prefer to see it as a psychoactive door to a much more interesting place. And this is why I paint a rabbit doing human things as her mind drifts into places she can only reach on her flying tricycle. My biggest fan is my 10 year old son. His favorite painting, Don’t Slip, was chosen to be displayed in Art at the Mill. He has a good eye.  As he learns about ancient history and world religions in school, he checks in with me about this mythic space in my paintings. For a child, Ancient Mesopotamia is no less or more real than the world of comic books and surreal paintings. An infinite pantheon of spirits inhabits the most mundane spaces. I like to watch my son go hunting for them with his fake wooden rifle.

A Walk in the Snow, acrylic on wood panel by Nancy Polo, 2016.

A Walk in the Snow, acrylic on wood panel by Nancy Polo, 2016.

It’s been a long winter for Bunny. She is just starting to emerge from her cocoon. Although the peepers come out at night and the birds are singing during the day, all she wants is to burrow under the covers. Walks in the deep snow have given her lots to think about. In spite of Spring’s heralds her door is shut and the curtains are drawn, but they won’t be for long…

A Walk in the Snow (detail)What’s knocking on her door won’t be ignored. The tarot card of the High Priestess may seem a silly way to introduce this psychoactive component to Bunny’s world. It’s easy to dismiss it as a gimmick that attracts a nerdy, esoteric audience. Contemplating the subconscious, however, is not child’s play. Children are closer to the gateway and I want access to this magical space. Long talks with my 10 year old son are amazingly productive. We’ve practically written a book about Bunny’s new adventures.

Don't Slip, Acrylic on Wood Panel. 18"x24", 2015

Don’t Slip, Acrylic on Wood Panel. 18″x24″, 2015

The High Priestess can represent a time of waiting and allowing. It is not always necessary to act to achieve goals. Sometimes they can be realized through a stillness that gives desire a chance to flower. Children are wonderful. They force you to slow down. They ask impossible questions like, “Who’s your favorite super hero?” Taking time to answer a 10 year old’s questions allows me to reflect on the fantasies that shaped my adult world. This has been the power of winter for me. I look forward to what the next season brings.




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