I used a lot of the same colors today that I have been using lately (see Volcano?, When Robots Attack, Orientation). I used a sloppy wet brush to apply purple, cadmium red deep, Prussian and phthalo blues and mauve. I applied the colors in adjacent pools and left them alone to merge. I was struck by the results and did not proceed any further.
When I looked at the composition after it dried, I saw a face. The word ‘grotesque’ came into my head. It brought to mind Winesburg Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, a book that I read many years ago. I was living in New York City at the time and specifically remember walking south down Park Avenue toward Grand Central Station, with my nose buried in this book, deeply captivated by the stories. I don’t remember much about them today.
Looking back though, I seem to recall that, at the time I was reading Winesburg Ohio, I was making notes of my dreams every night and documenting much of my waking life. I even bought a pen that wrote upside down when I discovered that some of my 3AM scrawls were illegible since the ink ran away from the tip of the pen as I transcribed my dreams into the notebook I held over my head.
As I recall from the prologue of Winesburg Ohio, entitled ‘The Book of the Grotesque’, Anderson’s character, a writer, also wrote down what he remembered from his dreams about the characters in his town. The remaining chapters are short stores about those people. I’ll have to re-read this book to be sure. I hope I can recapture some of the fascination I once had with it.