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That Healing Power

I've been busy the last couple of weeks on a production of mosaic tea light holders for my friend Karl, the in-country director for VAW--Volunteers Around The World. He has the job of running medical clinics staffed by med-school volunteers from the US in some of the very neediest outlying villages. He gives these as thank-you gifts to the volunteers--a very sweet gesture; Karl's a really sweet guy with a big heart, and likes to do things with style.

These pieces I've made now more times than I care to recall. At the outset, I really couldn't imagine this being a very creative job. I'm simply repeating a previous design. But though its a repeat, these pieces, like the previous ones, have their own unique value for my studio process. As I've been making them over and over, I've played with the colors (sometimes out of necessity because the colors I wanted weren't available here), the underpainting, and the grout color. The underpainting is really fun, quick, gestural, and doing so many builds confidence and economy in my brushstrokes. This time I've been able to focus the color and tone of the watery-sky blues of previous incarnations., The color is a reference to the beautiful space we inhabit, living here n the water of Lake Atitlan under sacred skies.

I took a photo the other day to show you an interesting effect of the shady gradations of blue between the sky and the water, with the darker being the sky to one side and the darker being the lake, to the other. As well, it shows the color palette I chose to focus on for this series.

I've been noticing the horizon a lot when I swim, the blue skies, and blue seas, me, in between.

I feel that swimming in the lake heals me, as I know many of my local Mayan neighbors believe as well. Being suspended between the sea and the sky, swimming, is when I do my most heart felt thanksgiving. That is what I know heals me. I hope that this healing energy somehow finds its way into these pieces and these young doctors' work and lives. These pieces are little reminders of their time here under the ever-changing blue skies, the colors of the Guatemalan flag, as well as the shimmering light on Atitlan.

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