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Losing Lines

I took a class awhile back and left feeling frustrated and confused.  I loved the rich texture and thick humanity of my Russian teacher – but I didn’t understand most of what he was yelling at me.  Grabbing the brush from my hand and feverishly waving it around like a Baton he would balk “we are not drawink hea – we are pentink! – NO drawink!!”

When I dared show my confusion, he would shake his head in caring disbelief, and spout on about ‘coalehr ant valeue’.  We’ve become friends.  I send him my new work occasionally so he can cut it to shreds and tell me to keep working.

I’m blessed with another warmhearted mentor, for whom I am grateful. He challenged me to slow down. I did. I let my work breath. I took old gessoed boards covered with failed paintings and let new colors cover their crevices. I did not anticipate their completion before I started. I just played with them, and left them alone, coming back each morning to make small adjustments, building layers of paint and mixed colors.  I found a level of complexity in my work and understanding in my process that I have not ever achieved before.

In that space I came to understand what my Russian friend was trying to tell me years ago.

Lose the lines. Build form with chunks of color, not line.

In mathematical terms a line is described as a continuous extent of length without breath.

A continuous extent of length without breath will only box you in – or make you pass out.  I have found new oxygen. Sweet oxygen…, unconstrained by a line.


4 Responses to Losing Lines

Truly gorgeous, Kelly…still your wonderfully vibrant style but now that I see this new work, how it RADIATES, glowing from within to put a huge warm smile on my face, enticing me to linger, savor every nuance, suddenly the comparison with prior work feels like chancing onto a serene dell after the noisy fun of a country fair. Wonderful progress; you must be floating high with the satisfaction!

Posted by Diane Pool · via · 132 months ago

Excellent work Kelly !!!

Posted by Chae Sullivan · via · 132 months ago

LOVED this piece of art and the more relaxed presentation of your subject. Felt your pain in the previous works…following you closely and hearing your struggles, enthusiastic voice and reflections.
Keep up with the challenges of life..Luv to u and family 🙂

Posted by judi keefe · via · 132 months ago

Thanks All. Yes – it was nice to loosen up. Now just trying to keep it up. “a serene dell” – I like that. I’ll remember that as I stand in front of the “cow family” I’m working on this week.

Life has eased up a bit. We have a mutual plan, and seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

Nice to hear from you too Judi. See you on the beach this summer (the kids are crazy excited for some sun and sand). Say hello to Tom and your family.

Posted by kelly sullivan · via · 132 months ago


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