A few months after we got married, Margaret and I traveled through South America.  Somewhere north of the Atacama desert, or was it south?, we walked beside this church.  It was in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but low desert brush around it.  A few miles away, we came across some guy selling llama steaks that he had cooked over a clay charcoal pit on the side of the road.  There was nothing else for miles.  All the while we walked beneath a sky that was the strangest, deepest blue.  And so, I did this painting about six years ago, but I haven’t the clue where this church is- Peru, Bolivia, Chile.  That’s probably why I like this painting so much.

Have you ever read the BFG?  You should.  It is an excellent book by Roald Dahl.  The theme is that of a big giant who captures dreams with a net, bottles them, labels them, and then stores the dreams on the shelves in his cave.  At night, the giant gallops across the hills and seas, pries opens windows, and then lets the dreams loose in people’s rooms as they sleep.

Painters are, at best, like the BFG.  They take an intangible something, such as a church lost in the deserts of South America, or the fleeting beauty seen in the line of a young woman’s neck, and they bottle it, and then let it loose in people’s rooms, filling their heads with good thoughts.


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