Deep within the woods, Cinderella had planted a branch at The grave of her Mother,
And she visited there so often and wept so much
That her tears watered it until it had become
a magnificent tree.
From "Cinderella at the Grave", Into the Woods
I do a lot of thinking on road trips. Something about the solitude and being forced to sit still lets my brain wander pathways it otherwise might not. Mostly I blame the music. My travel playlists have some real sorrowful songs mixed in with the sing-a-longs. There is nothing quite like the open highway and Patty Griffin singing "The Mountaintop" to make every hound dog in my heart raise its voice to the sky. And I can't tell you how many times one of these mental byways on a road trip has inspired a painting.
Stan Kurth said it perfectly: "My work is the collective unconscious and conscious images, dreams, hopes, jubilations, elations, loves, blues, joys, biases, frustrations and thoughts of my life." As much as I'd like to ignore the sad bits and heartaches, they are a part of the creating like anything else. And sometimes they are the best bits in a piece of art.
During the workshop, Kurth's feedback on this piece encouraged me to look into the work of Rufino Tamayo. I've ordered a big hardcover book of his art so that I may study it thoroughly. In the meantime, check him out here. I think he is a kindred spirit.
My mom's birthday was this weekend. She would have been 78. As I hit the road tomorrow to travel back to the land of sunshine and humidity, I have a feeling she might be along for the ride. You never know who you'll run into here in the woods.