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From Meeting Notes #3: Tangled Up in Knots

July 15, 2014

blue canyon border

Yellow Rose 5" x 7" oil painting

Yellow Rose 5″ x 7″ oil painting

An inexplicable story that must be told, but where do you go when the words fail? Where does the story go from there? “Dios Padre me dé las palabras….”

A triple braided chord is not quickly broken…”

An endless strand that always returns to start when the journey is done. A tangle of line, a tangle of thread that lies in a heap upon the ground where, once it lofted kites high into the air.
Rondeaus, and villanelles, words woven tight to hold against the strife, woven over, under, and around but always returns to start when all is done. Art is not art if it is perfect in every part, for art must be the product of a fallible person reaching out beyond self to touch, if just fleetingly, the universal; so no perfect geometries for me, no perfect symmetries. It’s just a game I’m playing; abstractions to fill the margins.

The Navajos, in their designs, always leave a route for escape, so that the spirit, can take flight and find freedom in the moment of need. I am compelled to escape into a tangle of lines, always bringing the end back to the beginning, to make sense of the tangle, to get the kite back in the sky.

The Cretan Mountains in the wintertime are full of snow I’m told, and the cherries bloom there in the spring though by the sea the oranges grow. Minos, the king built a palace there, and, for his beautiful daughter Ariadne, Daedulas created an elaborate dancing ground. The dance followed its path and all the steps the dancers took always returned to the start again. Theseus came from Athens, won the heart of Ariadne, and put an end to the unholy sacrifice of Athenian youth in the Cretan labyrinth. From the labyrinthine-dancing ground he followed the thread, his only clue*, for his escape and sailed away with Ariadne only to abandon her on a lonely isle, having set free the Athenian youth.

On the Isle of Iona, St. Columba came from Ireland and established a monastery. There, in all probability, 2 centuries later, the manuscript that was known as the Book of Kells was begun. When I first saw the knot work from the Book of Kells as a high school student, I was completely taken aback, and proceeded to start filling spaces with random interlaces.  It has given me plenty of respite from meetings  over the years and provided the needed nudge for composing paintings. What I set out to do is not derivative of the ancient Insular style of the British Isles, but is, nevertheless, a starting point.  There is always a tangle to create from whatever clue may be at hand.  I think the clue always leads to freedom, though where it ends seems to be always at the beginning again.

To quote A. E. Houseman: “…And nothing now remained to do /  But begin the game anew….” (From “Terrance, this is Stupid Stuff”)


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