If I could, I would paint the invisible. I imagined it quiet and light. An emptiness surrounded with skin or soft like
the inside of an arm. I wanted to touch, gaze and explore. Could I paint a caress?

I had to begin. Pink felt appropriate: Small, insignificant, baby girl, first steps, new skin, soft...
What to draw? Something straightforward like knitting "plain". Begin with a single unit and see where it takes
me. I want to be on the side of the not clever, the vulnerable, inconsistencies and mistakes. This is what
beginnings are like.

How the units touch, support, squeeze and hold each other is important. I study the gesture of one shape
towards another or its passive isolation. Each unit is an individual or they might have edges so soft they melt
into each other. I think of the units as skin. Sometimes they surround emptiness, sometimes it's between
them. It's become the way I see intimacy or the space between us when we care about each other.

Thinking about painting's history and my history. Can the grid be sensual? Can loss be the seed bed of love?
Can sweetness be tough, can I make the almost invisible present? Thinking about writing I love: "...immerse
myself in nothingness. This will be my courage: to abandon comforting sentiments from the past. CL*.
Clarice's lesson: “...go find the quotidian, the insignificant..."  "How can one know, how can one tell the infinitely
small?" HC*. "One cannot prove the existence of what is most real, but the essential thing is to believe, to
believe weeping".CL.*

Jo Smail

*Clarice Lispector and Helene Cixous.
<previous       next >