“Strange though this may sound, not knowing where one is going, being lost, being a loser, reveals the greatest possible faith and optimism, as against collective security and collective significance. To believe, one must have lost God; to paint, one must have lost art.” -Gerhard Richter If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud there will be no water; without water, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, you cannot make paper. So the cloud is in here. The existence of this page is dependent upon the existence of a cloud. Paper and cloud are so close. -Thich Nhat Hahn Daily Cloud explores a moment in the practice of two painters: Paul Miyamoto and Karen Dana as they tackle the same subject. Clouds seem to be visible masses of water or frozen crystals suspended over celestial bodies; we perceive them as something more than air and less than object as they loom above our busy lives. Paint seems to be a viscous color-bearing medium that relates to the liquid part of our bodies but whose careful application by practitioners comes to embody a grasping for metaphor and meaning in the world of appearances. So perhaps the practice of painting clouds involves wading deep into a territory where distinctions between body and mind are relaxed. But painting and looking at paintings is actually rather simple- probably even a strangely familiar feeling despite being beyond the capacity of our defining mind. From this strangely familiar place, many questions may arise and float by. For example, when we mindfully view each drip, smear, and glistening of paint on Paul and Karen’s canvases, do we tap into the psychological space of lived experience in their studio practice, or has the cloud nourished a fresh spring plant?
Karen Dana's statement:
“Window of Prohibitions
On a wall in a Madrid eatery hangs a sign that says: No singing.
On a wall in the airport of Rio de Janeiro hangs a sign that says:
No playing with Luggage Carts.
Ergo: There are still people who sing, there are still people who play.”
Daydreaming simulates a nature of pleasurable experience.
I often look at moving clouds making imaginary shapes and stories; from those encounters a state of association sparks. I tend to relate my own history to what I perceive and then I wonder around the possibilities of what is around me as an inherent part of my own context.
That daydream concerns my mythic art-world. I try to bring those clouds to my interior space, to my studio, to my wondering thoughts.
I try to recall that game that I played when I was a child looping “light as a feather, stiff as a board” as a conscious act of innocence. I wish I could levitate, I wish I could fly.
My paintings portray a sense of a charged psychological place while providing discrete spaces at their base for introspection. They give visceral and immediate impact to abstract dualities such as presence and absence, infinity and illusion, solidity and intangibility. Trying to transform the familiar into delusions or hybrids, displacing meaning in order to stimulate new interpretations.
My practice as a painter requires a very personal process. It involves the search of meaning, communication and growth. I move back and forward from figuration to abstraction, I realized they are two different methods, both necessary for me. When I depart from representational subject matter in favor of abstraction I often find myself dealing with unconscious thoughts and emotions.
I always seek to present images that give physical presence metaphoric transcendence. The active figurative space offered by the grounds the transcendence in a concrete materialism that proves no man is an island, even if his head is in the clouds.
Paul Miyamoto's statement:
In my youth, water and weather were favorite topics of discussion of my farm family in
California. Not the weather that causes dramatic events that carry away house, trees
or mountains but actually lack of significant weather. The dry hot desert winds dried
the plants and directed my chores. One of my more pleasant duties was to irrigate the
crops so they wouldn’t dry up and result in a low production of fruit.
I stared at clouds big or small and wondered why they were reluctant to produce rain.
Dark clouds would also cool the parched dirt under my bare feet. More importantly,
rain meant the end of my workday. Even though my persistent gaze never produced a
drop of rain it did provide endless hours of cloud and sky watching.
There is a very significant difference in my past 20 years in the Hudson Valley. My
northern weather events bring a wide variety of conditions that startle, astound and
simply inspire me on any given day. From my vantage point on the crest of the valley
I can see clouds approaching for many miles away. No single day like any other.
My work reflects the notion that vernacular images can inspire emotional responses.
Thus, a cloud, a car, a river of water may connect with a universal consciousness–a
nuance, a recollection a feeling, a memory.
– Paul Miyamoto