THE PURLOINED LETTER
 
   
 
renice.com web

 

Wednesday, February 11, 2004


Love is (too) Sweet 


Painter Peter Bodnar told me some 18 years ago that he'd found a subject matter so engaging, he could spend the rest of his life on it. Frankly, I was not only unimpressed but a little horrified as well. True, Peter was joyously in love with his first and only wife of nearly 3 decades (of which he often reminded his captive and paying audience – his grad students) – but that he still loved having sex with her seemed far too clear to me from his paintings).

Fair enough, my opinion of Peter's life's work might have been slightly biased by the fact that he was chastising me for my "flighty" use of technique and styles, with the only B I received. Although I would once again defend my multi-subject multi-style style, he and I actually had a premise of our work in common... and I don't (necessarily) mean the subject matter of sex.

In my art, I'd gone through my Angry Young Woman period at 17, and had concluded that angst is easy, but joy is a much worthier challenge.

In fact, joy is incredibly difficult to express without seeming saccharine. And so it is in stories of the heart, even around that most acceptably saccharine of celebrations, Valentines Day. The truth is I'm joyously happy at the moment, as I sit, with laptop, on a padded and flounced island under a warm comforter with my most adoring fan snuggling against my side. But what am I going to do, write odes to my dog?

Countdown:   T H R E E . . .