Boulders and Wild Blueberries

A trip Down East must, as a matter of course, bring you to Blue Hill and Deer Island. To pass this by is to miss Maine at its best. Of course, it isn’t recommended during the height of the tourist season. For me, I love it in the late fall when the blueberry fields turn blood-blue-red, and the boulders are bald headed ancestors who lived long ago and now stare out. Native Americans might feel more at home in the late fall when the blueberry fields have been picked by the laborers from away, and the colors have turned. They can’t feel at home in the height of the tourist season when cars rush by as silent boulders look on.

In my series Boulders and Wild Blueberries I found myself thrust into the true character of Maine. Well now, “true character,” indeed! Who knows what that is…dare I answer? I believe I do know part of the answer through the paintings that I have generated in this series. The series is a group of ‘resolution paintings.’ I mean by this that I painted at first in a representational manner, backed away, re-did, and then painted abstractly; I used texture applications to build up the boulders. I faced myself square on, ran away, then I dissolved, and went blank. I did this over and over again. I worked in oil paints, after the initial acrylic I scraped away. I cried out in frustration and hung my head in resignation. I ploughed on: to end with what is my impression and direction for this series, an out flowing, my impression of Maine through the relationship of the boulders and wild blueberry fields, silent witnesses to a changing Maine.

True, it does stretch one’s capacity for attention to look at a large flat landscape six feet long, by four feet in height. It will be hard not to run for another free wine at an opening exhibition event. Yet, it has been my distinct pleasure to work this intuitive process out, to turn and master each molecule of color that I was able to push out of the tubes of paint, engaging my feelings in creating the visions shown. I was able to maintain the traditional colors of the Maine blueberry fields when they have turned blood-red-blue and at the same time find myself in the landscape. I reached within myself for the value I held at that time, and I feel confident I was able to incorporate this value into the paintings.

So, the fields are not simply about the fall and the visual attributes that show when the blood-blue-red hits one in the eye. It’s all about the artist, the boulders and the wild blueberries, and the nature of Maine.