Praying to Saint Agnes

Yes, yes, I did that.  Because, well, shit, i was able to get some success with only tiny little paintings  – smaller studies –  to get all ready for the bigger paintings, well, I’ll tell ya, they got over controlled and just looked kinda dead and I got so frustrated………

Agnes Martin in her Gallery, when she was alive.. (no, I didn't see her apparition!) in Taos NM.

Agnes Martin in her Gallery, when she was alive.. (no, I didn’t see her apparition!) in Taos NM.

So I went to the Harwood Museum. For 2 reasons, really. One to get some mileage out of my membership, and 2 to look at some Blumensheins. I kinda like Blumenshein. I like the way he handled paint and I think he was not over-influenced by the “Mountain”, The TAOS Mountain is a bit overplayed in this part of the universe.  So I find Blumenshein a bit refreshing.  ANYWAY, so I went into the Harwood, and visited the Agnes Martin Room – which is why I think I am in Taos, really – in the cosmic sense of “why”.  I think she is hovering over me and “tsk, tsking” all this blogging and facebooking stuff. But I’m also thinking she might’ve been a little bit socially awkward. Maybe, maybe not. I’m sure there are some folks around here who have actually had a conversation or two with her. I mean when she was ALIVE. As Banjo Billy said to me last night at the Eske Pub – “Its ok if you talk to the spirits, its when they start talking back that you gotta start worrying.” I’m also hoping that I can get to actually see her movie – “…with my back to the world” sometime while I am here!  So I went into the Agnes Martin room, and sat on those stupid Donald Judd chairs…. (sorry, I’m sure someone thinks they are genius) and looked up into the skylight. and looked at all the paintings really, really closely. I tried to shut out the fact that a yoga class is in there on Wednesday mornings. I just looked at the pictures… at the paintings. and then, I found myself doing what all errant Catholics find themselves doing at desparate times. I started to pray to Agnes. Asking for her advice. Asking her to shine a bit of her light upon me this week as I venture through a difficult passage in my work. I felt peaceful. Although its almost impossible NOT to feel peaceful in that little hexagon of a room – with the glowing skylight coming down from above. I prayed like Agnes was my patron saint. Like her paintings were relics with the spirit of her just wanting to be gleaned and heal the artist in pain. Saint Agnes.

And then I left. And bought some postcards. And found out that the Harwood shows the Agnes Martin movie on her birthday every year. That would be March 22nd. And that’s next week. I didn’t see anything scheduled.

Reflections in the “Wurlitzer Foundation Common House Windows”, Agnes 1-4

Val Sivilli
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