Detail 1 The Optmist
(see more by this artist)
The Optimist (c) Detail 1
This is an idea that has been taking many forms for a long time. First of all I had this dancing (originally pale) horse symbolizing my wild friend from high school, it was of two horses rearing back but coming out of the sides of his head like hair.
Later The horse became associated with my interest in girls. The pale horse (turned bronze) represents the affections of love. I took this idea and painted a detail that was re-enforced out of a memory of a girl I met when I lived in Hawaii in the military. Ali Brock is a horse trainer in English Pleasure and Dressage; a competition where exquisitely trained horses gallop sideways with their heads down in competition or they leap elegantly over giant hurtles, quite an impressive occupation. Here I have painted a horse leaping into the air as though she has taken flight, or taken leave of her senses. I wanted to capture her personality on canvas. We stayed in contact for a short period after I left Hawaii but we don't hear from each other anymore.
A horse can have sexual connotations of a wild nature. I choose to think of the horse in a more balanced way, this is why I came up with the idea of 'The Optimist' she is a balanced figure that dominates a good part of this painting. She takes this powerful creature (physical and spirit), as Ali does with her horse, and tames it through study, ingenuity, and true diligence.
The horse is being held in the air by the fingers of God, as if she is walking on a high wire. Behind the horse is a cloud billowing out of a pair of windows in the rear. These windows are flooded as if someone lived there during a terrible disaster. The optimist takes over now, head trapped in a cloud forever. Hope backed up by faith, looking out the window. Above it all. As Monty Python's song goes... "always look at the bright side of life."
Center we have Euphrosyne. (See Painting 4 Detail 19 The Three Graces)
Greek mythology. These were Zeus' daughters. The Greeks fair daughter of the Ocean Eurynome bore the Three Graces who became the companions of Aphrodite the goddess of love. Aglaia was a personification of beauty and/or radiance, while Thalia was blooming or flowering, and most fitting in this case we have Euphrosyne in the middle as 'joy'.
Euphrosyne is the goddess of joy. Why is she happy? Because she works and studies. it reminds me of a line that I love in the song from the Broadway play 'Chess', One Night in Bangkok...."I get my kicks above the waste-line sun-shine."
A figure crouching at the foot of the figure originally was several bodies around a male figure holding a woman in his arms like a board in the shape of a cross. The female figure has all of the five senses across her body. I have focused on touch the touch of faith then eventually this idea evolved into Euphrosyne this goddess like icon who majestically looks ahead we could say optimistically. Below are two worshippers instead of a circle. I say human emotions are what makes our senses interesting makes our beliefs believable there is no science, no religion without human feelings.
See Detail 20 Human Feelings Euphrosyne
Euphrosyne in her left holds a book.
see Detail 9 Senses The book is my symbol for spirit, and the 5 books of Moses each one symbolizing the five senses, although generally the book symbolizes knowledge universal. Above Venus in her shell holds the book suspended with her love (and a holy rosary).
In Euphroseyn's right hand she holds a car engine.
See Detail 10 Canvas. The engine represents ingenuity and hard work. The canvas in the title is the work for sails on a boat. On the left hand the book is spirit or unconscious, on the right the engine is physical and conscious. It can be compared to water being unconscious and the ship's sails (canvas) is the conscious. The ingenuity the engine has replaced the sails but it is always nice to turn off the motor and meditate.
The engine is being hoisted by a helicopter (see Detail 13 The Kiss) a tiger is hoisted by the same flying machine.
|28" x 22" acrylic on canvas