The Best Laid Plans of Hens and Men

Pastel on sanded panel 18 X 24
Pastel on sanded panel 18 X 24

It started out as a simple experiment. I went outside, got a collard leaf, grabbed two apples from the fridge and then, on a whim, an egg. I dropped the egg, with predictable results. But then the whole thing looked much more interesting. Shadows and reflections and distortions were going on all over the place! A learning experience then.

The veins in the collard are the same fractal pattern that occurs in the branching of tree limbs, plant roots and our circulation system. The egg white grays and flattens everything seen through it. But it wasn’t interesting enough and I almost trashed it the next day because it was too static. The composition was impossibly symmetrical. “Impossible?” I asked myself. “C’mon THINK-few things are impossible.”

Einstein said you can’t solve a problem with the same level of creativity that made it. I needed to ratchet up from analytical to crazy. I made the collard all swoopy and bug-bitten and threw in colors and patterns that show up better in the original. Now it is an allegory of life. We make our plans, we do our work, we sometimes feel stuck. The egg breaks, but wait, I can use that. Still, the result is not satisfying and we feel helpless to change it. That’s when we need to set our intuition free, ask “what if?” and “who says?” take a risk and have courage.

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