Where Ideas Come From — Celestial Interlude pg230

Colorful companion to my memoir The Incompetent Psychic

Old Money series: $500 Dollar Bill 1997

“Mernie has worked out a new painting technique, but is frustrated in her search for a theme,” said Rose. “I trust you have a goodie after her time in Paris.”

Gamdi rolled the gold ball in his hand and tossed it in the air where it expanded into patterns of crisscrossing crop circle shapes and curlycues. “There’s far more input than I expected. You really found all these artists willing to pop in?”

Peter Paul chuckled. “When I mentioned watercolor it got everyone excited. Moving pigments through gooey oil or plastic paint in that heavy gravity takes a lot of energy. Although she’s not well practiced in this medium, Mernie’s got some drawing skills and knows color mixing. Pretty much any soul who left some good work on Earth can reach in and squiggle pigment through water. Watercolors are made for angel energy. They will be re-imagining what they did once before, but just for fun this time.” — From Chapter 12

An artist revisits puberty every time she or he transitions between concepts that form bodies of work. You try to hang on to what you’ve outgrown, have emotional setbacks, and act spastic and ungainly in fits and spurts. Acne is optional.

After five years exploring all the ways oil paint could become portraits of roses I was done. During an awkward 1997 transition to the next concept, I attempted to marry representational rendering with abstracted forms. While spacing out during an AA meeting I stared at the dollar bill I was going to throw in the basket. All those tiny etched classical shapes around the edges jumped off the money and grew in my imagination to huge organic, linear forms. I went looking for other denominations of bills. This is right at the point when new money was being printed without all those fantastical designs. Using heavyweight 22x30” full sheets of cold-pressed papers, splashed watercolor, inks and colored pencil, I created six large images of the shapes on money. The US Mint stopped printing big denomination bills with the advent of electronic transfers, so I went to the library for images of the lost $500–$10,000 bills.

The Old Money series was a place marker between my earlier Low Gravity fantasies and the Baroque-co-cos to come. This image is what I imagine the blueprint for an idea to transmit into the brain of an artist on Earth might look like. Twenty years later I’m going through another long transition phase now that the Faux Louvre series is complete. Fortunately, maturity and experience keeps me from going emotionally spastic this time around.

Writing a book got me exploring narratives in a new media using words instead of paint. Meanwhile, I paint scenic vistas of my new home in the Hudson Valley as a place marker until the next ah ha. I can try to figure out creativity itself using text, while relaxing with landscapes. It’s a good way to enjoy the puberty of old age.

A signed copy of Mernie’s memoir is available at www.etsy.com/listing/839838936

Unsigned copies can be ordered wherever books are sold.