paeony

pulling in.letting go

I didn't set out to paint flowers. Indeed, the peonies [well past their bloom] captured my attention quite by surprise. Most of the petals had dropped to the table, exposing an unfamiliar beauty that was both vulnerable and strange.

There was an unspoken insistence that I bear witness. Document. Look. Describe. Deconstruct. Reassemble.

Over the next year various interpretations emerged. I found myself transitioning back and forth between abstraction and representation. Each a migration of thought that built on the previous. From photos to studies to paintings to collage, each body of work brought some new observation, a different perspective, a changed understanding.

–It was later that it occurred to me; this experience...this observed departure...was reminiscent of losing my mother to cancer. I had hung on. Denying...yet respecting...the inevitable.

 

These works are an enquiry into journey. Into beauty. And the infinite expressions of both.

“The end of life has its own nature, also worth our attention. I don’t say this without reckoning in the sorrow, the worry, the many diminishments. But surely it is then that a person’s character shines or glooms.”

— Mary Oliver, American Poet

// the photos 

// paintings and works on paper

 © 2020 Caryn Baumgartner 

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