A series of recent sketchbook studies of winter windows has given me the opportunity to slow down and pay attention. Within a nice geometric boundary, I study the dark, the light and note the meeting of the two values. I look for unique edges, silhouettes, and wider spaces. Somewhere within the details of the interior, sill and all, I pass through the glass to the deeper space outside. The best drawings had a space of falling snow or a semi transparent curtain as another layer.
As I drew all my concerns fell away and I rejoiced in the details coming together. I felt like time slowed down and I heard celestial music. Moments such as these show me that the divine is close when I pay attention.
I am reminded of great alter pieces by the northern European Renaissance artists such as Rogier van der Weyden. Panels of the Nativity contain a host of details lovingly attended to. The traditional art of the time was constructed in symbols and much of what is included would have symbolic meaning to the viewer, but I also believe that the artist relished the rendering of details and saw in the process a form of prayer...just to pay attention.
I feel suspended a bit this evening in the midst of the holy days. The frenetic energy leading up to the day of gifting and eating seems to have eased up. The airports, malls, and grocery stores are filled with merry folk and a faint drumming music.Presents are all wrapped and the oven is warm.