I really don’t know when I started responding to stone as if it were a living substance. I have always picked up shiny stones on the beach, and pocketed faceted rocks that I find on a woods walk. I love to see walls built of stone, especially uneven stone, stone that has been softened by wind and water and age.
A new and more overpowering response to stone began last August, when I encountered some giant boulders on a trail at Big Bear Lake State Park near L.A. I could feel their quiet presence, looming up from the earth, seeming to speak about something deeper than deep, and older than old. I leaned against them, my hands on the textured roughness. I wanted to stick around. They seemed oddly nurturant, like a parent I could count on - like “Mother Earth” would be. And in fact, they ARE Mother Earth.
Then something even more mind boggling happened. My travel dreams keep manifesting, and in January Carl and I traveled all the way to Barcelona to see the architecture of Antonio Gaudi. I had waited 50 years, since my sophomore year in art school, to see his curvy colorful outrageous work. And finally I did. We visited the amazing Casa Sagrada Familia, the mansions on the main streets, and the prize Gaudi experience, the monastery like structure at Parc Guell. Built from the local stone, it was a magical place - it seemed as if the earth had come alive and the stones rose up dancing and placed themselves just right, to create a sacred space.
When stones speak, I hear them. I have no idea whether others do. They seem to pass right by, not noticing. But I could not walk by, I had to stop, to listen, to touch, and to photograph. On the oldest streets of Barcelona, of Girona and Sitges. I heard them everywhere. They made up the walls of buildings, the walls around buildings, the enclosures, the churches, the hidden synagogues. I really cannot describe my response, but I can say that it was profound. Perhaps you can sense that here, and even more so when you are with the paintings that resulted.