" Auto-Retrato Como Los Riachuelos Que Bebo "
acrylic & oil on wood
72 x 34 in © 1998 Gabriel Navar
When I go on hikes in Oakland's Redwood Park, I not only get physical exercise, I also achieve a sort of exercise of the imagination which later results in my image-making. In this painting, I feel that I am communicating something that I consider fundamental: while one is in a physical state of sleep or meditation, the mind/ subconscious awakens into a more clear, lucid state of being. I believe that this fundamental thought is not unlike what an artistic experience can be or do.
Engaging in art may bring one into another state of mind, knowledge, being. This painting therefore expresses the fertility of the mind that is awakened while one is grounded and in peace. That the figure sits in water suggests that there is a basic, clear and even releasing phenomenon taking place.
Water is essential to existence. It is also used for cleansing. Meditation as well as art may be powerful devices for cleansing, transcendence and transformation. The trees in the painting are almost leafless because they are new. It is as if they are children being re-baptized in the purifying waters of the artistic cycles.
I'd like to mention also that the wood that the painting is on was a table - top belonging to the late Richard de la Torre, a furniture refinisher who worked in the Bay Area. After he passed away, his son Ray gave it to me so that I could recycle it. I immediately began preparing it for a painting. I recycled the table-top that in a sense transformed me as I brought the painting out from within my meditative enjoyment.
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Visit my Current Featured Painting "app 4 disgruntled days". It was currently added to my site on April 2013. Also, visit my Archived Featured Paintings, I have about 20 Previous Featured Paintings. Each one of them has a story, a description about their creation as well as some background about their form, content and symbolism. Looking at the Previous Featured Paintings page I realize that I have had a wide range of interests over time in the figurative, narrative work that I have created over the years. I hope you can appreciate that an element that ties my work together is my desire to create thought provoking compositions that involve the figure, rich colors, and, often, the human theater.
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