One of my earliest memories is of looking out a backseat window during family car trips. I discovered a secret joy in pretending to roller skate on sidewalks as we slowed down through towns, gliding over irregularities with no fear of falling, feeling each change of texture underfoot. Years later, college art courses offered me the chance to explore this transferred sensation, even required me to explore it in depth. One of the first tasks assigned in class was to draw a log laid out on a big table. “Let your hand respond on paper to a very slow march of the eye across the object,” we students were instructed. “Let the eye massage the object, discovering whole new tactile worlds missed by casual glances.” I was given permission (at least that’s how I interpreted the assignment) to indulge my whole sentient self upon that log. My awareness of sensual stirrings inherent in the contemplation of physical objects blossomed. Indeed, became, for me, a spiritual high. Aesthetic parameters opened further to include the spaces between objects, hue, value, intensity, form, texture, composition…all the basic language an artist uses. When I was a graduate student Teaching Assistant, my favorite project to assign to freshmen art students was the classic two-week rendering in pencil of a hen’s egg. This is not easy, especially for those who struggle with observational skills or who lack patience. It brought out, however, astounding revelations among my students about seeing and feeling things for the first time. The act of painting, for me, brings to life and elevates a sensual and spiritual relationship between me and the subject I paint. I get to self indulge by arresting Time, reveling in sensations derived from intimately feeling every nook and cranny, sniffing every organic twist and turn, paying attention to minute shifts of hue. I become at once a voyeur, creator and storyteller, laying out a banquet of discovered pleasures.
©2017 Lucinda Tavernise