Every spring, Margaret and I, along with our friends Dave and Sue, head to a state park here on Long Island. We buy a permit, get in our trucks, blast bluegrass music, and go off roading through the woods to search for a fallen maple or oak. We wind our way around lakes, through trails. After spending a few hours with chainsaws, we have a few trees in the back of our pickup trucks. Then we head home, drink homemade beer, and begin splitting the wood with axes.
Now, I’m not going to deny that both Dave and I are trying to undo the fact that he is a nurse, and I am an artist. It’s as if this act of wood chopping is penance for our careers that aren’t necessarily brimming with masculinity. We never mention this, of course- it’s just understood. And chopping wood is, in general, a purification rite for people as deeply embedded in suburbia as ourselves.
I started this painting a year ago, a pretty large canvas, and then abandoned it. Aint got no reason how come, suppose I jes got busy elsewheres. I resumed the painting today, and hopefully breathed some fresh life into it. Still needs a lot of work, though.