These paintings and drawings are a continuation of my deep involvement with the stream in front of our Indian Himalayan home, the Hirub. For the last ten years, the Hirub nallah/stream has fully pervaded Kamla and my living environment with its constant purring, bubbling, drumming, and roaring presence. The Hirub is continually changing its form and sound based on so many factors. This is especially true during the Monsoon storms (July-August-September) when it transforms from a crystal clear, jade-blue stream to a roaring muddy brown torrent rising up to five feet.
Behta Pani Studio 2013
After not painting in 2012, I was anxious returning to Behta Pani (our home/BP) wondering whether "it" was still in me. I went back to basics, going out by the Hirub, and sketching every day for hours (like practicing piano scales). My painting chops came back week-by-week, as well as moving deeper and deeper into the imagery: from more realistic to symbolic representations.
Though I'm rarely truly happy with my work, as it seems like a Fool's Errand trying to capture the energies of Nature I feel/see, the evolution of the Mystic Hirub work was a moving endeavor returning me to the "Gift (see Lewis Hyde's book)." The last five Amrit paintings of my stay moved the imagery to another spiritual level. Amrit is said to be the ambrosial nectar of gods, immortalizing those who drink of it. The paintings were done in a trance-like state with little awareness of time passing. Amrit 5 is subtitled Great Mata/Mother Ocean and is the crescendo of the series. It seems to have touched some of my friends who have thus commented:
There's something about Amrit 4 and 5 that pulls me in, and reminds me oddly of the feeling that I had when I was first pregnant but didn't know it. I felt like I was floating in some kind of primordial dark, warm river-flow. It was an amazing feeling, have not had it before or after. Jessica Seddon
The Mother River giving life...feminine energy flowing moving. Water, awe, sweet cleansing pure water, the blood system of this Magnificent, Precious Mother Earth. A prayer in Gratitude in Water is in order....that's what I feel when I look at this new work. Libby Jennings
Your Mystic Hirub-Amrit Suite paintings are bursting with energy from the canvas. There is both a lot more to say and nothing to say as they "speak" for themselves. Arny Lippin
We all come from the primordial Mother Sea that flows in our blood. If in some small way the Mystic Hirub and Amrit paintings remind the viewer of that connection than my life-long goal of creating beauty and interpreting Nature's energetic forces has given me meaningful purpose.