This past week I puppy sat for my friend Joanie. She actually owns the original "Night Flying Femlin" so I was able to sit on her couch and look at the painting again, remembering. It is refreshing to be able to look at the painting after not seeing it for awhile. Here are some of the thoughts that I had while looking at it.
"Night Flying Femlin" 24 x 36 inches acrylic on canvas 2005.
"To Fly" 24 x 36 inches acrylic on canvas 2002.
I remembered its process. I started the painting as a progression of an earlier painting, "To Fly," before I left for Costa Rica. I was not able to finish it before I left so it sat incomplete for three months. While I was in Costa Rica I made a bunch of paintings that leaned toward even brighter colors and more childlike figures. Upon returning home I could not finish the painting as I began it, I had to rework parts especially the figure and her bird. She became more of a spirit/goddess than a real human. The bird balancing in her hand is an extension of her, the invisible part made visible. When surfing we collaborate with the wave and its energy I think the painting presents this, as well as the idea of balancing opposing and uncontrollable forces.
Sitting in front of the painting I realized how much time went into putting outlines on all the tendrils. I remembered how I did one and how the painting came together because of it and at the same time dreading the fact because of how long I knew it would take to do each one correctly. The painting was a bridge from being in Costa Rica to coming home for me so in a way the figure is me, though it could be anyone who can identify with her balancing act.
The name of the painting was originally just "Night Flying" then an Australian publication renamed it "Night Flying Femlin," probably because they could not resist or liked the word, Femlin, that they coined. I kept the change because it offered a way to explain the figure. Since then I have explored the same composition three more times; however, I think "Night Flying Femlin" is still the most poignant.
"Cloud Riding" 24 x 36 inches acrylic on canvas 2007.
"Boyfriend" 24 x 36 inches acrylic and mixed media on canvas 2009.
"Girlfriend" 24 x 36 inches acrylic and mixed media on canvas 2009.