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Oriental Masks

Oriental Masks
Photo by Jefferson Solayao, 2016

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Two Still-Life Studies

Two years ago Regina gifted me with two, medium-sized oil paintings she acquired from an obscure antique dealer. They were still-life studies, circa 1960s, painted by a Japanese man unknown to me. The style and the subject matter of both paintings did not appeal to me at all, and I thought, at the time, that Regina gave them to me because I was a painter and collected other artists' works.

I stowed the two paintings away with my other canvases, telling myself that I would decide between keeping them or disposing of them later. The paintings would show up whenever I went hunting for specific canvases through the stack. Sometimes they would mysteriously disappear, then turn up in places I was sure I didn't put them in. I always felt that they were urging me to set them up somewhere, but I always hesitated to because eerie scenes and thoughts from the artist's life began to inundate me.

Now, whenever the paintings show up, I know that I am called to paint anew. I set up the paintings somewhere in my studio where I can see them all the time. My work somehow improves by leaps and bounds as long as I do that.