Fall Road – Acrylic/canvas – 28 x 44 inches.
In old Celtic tales, “summer goes to its rest” in autumn, and the “darker half of the year” begins. Here, a man and his dog walk along a deserted road. Everything looks innocent enough. That’s because the sun shines on trees and fields and cozy houses in the distance.
But it won’t be long before a special night arrives. Then, in darkness, invisible curtains that separate the worlds will open, and spirits from under trees and fields will stalk this road looking for souls who are alive.
The ancient Celts called this night “Samhain” and took care to dress up like monsters or animals to dissuade the spirits from the world below the earth from kidnapping them.
The man enjoys a warm afternoon stroll. Ever alert to danger, the dog senses something and stops to listen.
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One thought to “Fall Road”
Upon first viewing this painting one might think mostly of mother nature, a very “natural” landscape, and it is, on the one hand, in its timelessness around the cycles of the seasons, in this case autumn as the season of decline. But the human imprint is everywhere, not just the man and his dog but the furrowed fields, the trees deliberately planted in a row, the fencing, the telephone poles, the culvert barrier, the houses, the very road that is part of the title of the piece. I recall seeing often in your work over the years the intentional depiction of human intervention as a reminder or tension between the real and the ideal. It seems a sort of resistance to the temptation to idealize. In one painting it might be a barbed wire fence from another time or, in another, utility lines roughly attached to an old building constructed long before electricity. It’s a very effective tactic that jogs the viewer’s complacency from a simple or simplistic reading of a painting to greater nuance, to something deeper than the surface of a canvas. The title is the summary of the dynamic: “Autumn,” mother nature; “Road,” the contrasting human presence.