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The Spaciousness of Silence

A Step Out into the Far Away

Lorna Ritz,
oil on linen
60" x 66", October 2001


Whatever one was before, one becomes more of now. After days of silence lost in the sadness of the events of the past many weeks, it gives me great pleasure to begin to come back to life, and remember how in love with painting I am. I love color more than ever. I am deeply sorry for the suffering and loss. Never did I ever believe such a thing could happen, and I remain stunned. Although my painting has been affected, I am working to commemorate in paint what this time has been. As an artist this means that the timing speeds up, that the drive to grow and expand inventive ideas is based on keeping hopeful during hardship, not living in fear, but transcending it. I cannot paint from fear, but I can express the horror of the deed and make it become an invention from keeping hopeful. I am a painter of space and light, two ephemeral elements that transcend object. The wave of horror sat heavily in my body at first, like concrete, but now is taking form through color as a source of light. At least for now, there are the trees and the mountains and the clouds and the wind before and on me, and I can respond to their magnitude, instead of living in fear, or focusing on the destruction by the hand of man. I am not about to push a political image onto the canvas. My painting is more complex and doubled-meaning than relaying current events. I need time to incubate thoughts, feelings, ideas, that later become powerful inventions. I have new color relationships that become shapes I have never known before. That makes for an exciting creative time.

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