Persuasive Mythicality

The phoenix is an immortal bird associated with Greek mythology that cyclically regenerates or is otherwise born again. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.

I am not one to subscribe to mythological or religious pursuits but can more than respect the inspiration. Visual creations to represent such beliefs are some of the most inspired and pain-staking works globally and have been for centuries. That being said, for me, an awareness of this is very beneficial to understand where we are now. I do not necessarily feel the need to know the why or how of it… but totally dig it.

Maud Lily Cox, Phoenix Rising

The world is so much more complex now and changes are moving at the speed of sound. The phoenix might decide to take a minute now to gather its thoughts and compose itself before rising again nowadays. The depth of inspiration for me can be in the simplest forms. Waiting for the Metro somewhere in the outskirts of DC I found myself staring at a pattern of rust and various other minerals (and probably chemicals) that had been oozing out of the concrete wall on the opposing platform. It had obviously been happening so slowly over a long period of time, growing, changing, staining. This is an example of something that took me 30 years to figure out about why I do what I do on canvas. I am attracted to chaos and the thought of organizing chaos, or on the flip side, attracted to impeccable order and imagining ways to incorporate chaos. After going through that mental journey and the conversations I have with the canvases from beginning to end, it is all about composition. It is the composition aspect that is the loudest voice from the painting that tells me, “yo, stop, I’m done”.

Am I talkin’ smack?

Yeah, a little. What I feel at this moment of the what and why of my painting could really be way off. A “spot on” assessment of who I think I am is just in my head as I type these words. Anything can happen to redirect what inspires me to paint. If I were to propose that there is some “deep” reason for painting I would laugh at myself. It just feels exciting, personal, and intimate for me. Beyond family, friends, anyone I connect with, painting is just a thing I do. It is like sharing a secret and moving on to another secret while disconnecting or explaining the last secret that happened.

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5 thoughts on “Persuasive Mythicality

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