Monet’s cycle of huge paintings based on his water lily pond has always held me enthralled – even at the scale of a reproduction in a book. The magnificence of being immersed in his world and nature, the iridescence of his pulsing color, the enormity of his leap of faith in starting the project – it does feed the human spirit. It’s also as though Mr. Monet were goading me to think bigger, try harder. I’ve been listening. The Heart Has Its Own Reference is another large diptych based on my own humble little creek running near the studio and through the industrial part of Framingham. It has its own magic, especially in the warmer months when filtered light squeezes through the overhanging branches and lush growth. The creek is quite narrow, so the brush on my side seems to merge with the reflections from the far side. There’s a rich tangle of vines and some flowering trees; enough to keep me occupied for some time. I hope this new painting marks the beginning of a much larger series of diptychs (did I hear Monet say triptychs?) based on my creek. Details below, including three views from the first few days of painting. Enjoy.
Technical painting notes: the sequence of images below show the development of the painting
When the painting was first posted, it had the title “Notes from the Creekside” However, that seemed too descriptive of the place it was based on, as though I didn’t trust the viewer to enjoy the painting without knowing about the creek. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was really about a place I love, and the joy of painting – a celebration. That’s when I changed the tile to “The Heart Has Its Own Reference,” a play on the idea of reference to the outside world and the inner world, as well as the way the heart ultimately tells us what to do.