Be forewarned, this entry is disjointed, triggered by a Tom Waits song that mentioned the “one-eyed Jack”.
The image shown is the first of the paintings I did that exposed the ribbons of my brain. I had learned a watercolor glazing technique at a workshop I attended back in the 80’s. I find it a bit interesting that I used my least favorite complementary color combination of green and red.
Several month ago Kathleen asked me if I have songs constantly running through my brain as a background to everything else. No, I don’t. I have ribbons of color and light constantly running as a background to everything else in my brain.
Since that conversation with Kathleen I have asked several of my musician friends the same question. The reply in most cases is “yes”. That appears to be one of the main reasons that many musicians don’t have music going as a background sound while they are at home. The music on the stereo system is constantly in conflict with the music that is running through their brains. Though they can choose the music on their ipods or stereos, they have no control over the music that runs through their brains.
I’m thinking that the reason I want to listen to music is that I don’t have it running through my brain. Watching the ribbons dance through my brain makes me feel deaf when there’s not music to accompany them. I watch the movement of the ribbons, wondering what they are dancing to.
Painting to live music is expressing the physical manifestations of some of those ribbon movements that are my constant companion. Perhaps that is why, more than any other paintings or drawings, I feel connected to those quick little paintings. It’s as if my brain can finally spit out a bit of what it’s been watching forever.
So then, why aren’t more of my paintings like that? Hmmmm. Good question.
Back to the one-eyed Jack….
As a young child I spent hours combining dominoes, checkers, chessmen and playing cards on a masonite checkerboard, inventing stories of adventure and romance. I found the two one-eyed jacks (the jack of hearts and the jack of spades) a bit scary. The jack of diamonds and the jack of clubs were much friendlier and far less intimidating. I would generally settle for the less intimidating jacks to be the chosen mates for the queens. I’ m not sure why the kings were never chosen. The queens, however, became bored quite quickly and ended up thinking about the one-eyed jacks. I ended the game before the queens ever had a chance to shake up their lives.
I’m not sure what the connection is to the ribbons, but I know that right after the memory of the childhood games was triggered, the ribbons of light became extremely intense in my brain, coming to the forefront rather than staying in the background.
The question to all of you is “What is it that runs as a constant background in your brains?”