by Suzanne Edminster at Saltworkstudio

Abstract Art, Myth, and Painting

 

Here’s your myth for the day, dear readers. Did you know that in Norse mythology Auoumbla, the primaeval cow, actually created mankind? She licked away the icy salt blocks of the first creation, sculpting them with her warm tongue until first a man’s hair appeared, then a head and a whole man. I love making cows with abstract shapes rolling around in them like their complex factory stomachs. On my last visit to the Central Vally I photographed cows right outside our house, their shining, massive flanks moving like hot mountains.

In last Sunday’s studio class, we painted fluorescent pink and cadmium orange underpaintings, then spattered them with Golden Acrylic liquids. This is just pure play to loosen up. I like hot, bright underpaintings because I sometimes think they make the painting breathe and heave a little, generating imaginative form. Then you carve with opaque paints like the cow’s tongue on the ice and things pop out. Primitive creation is fun, letting us regress to being mucky little kids with cosmic questions.

Weird creation myths and wrong, kitchy color give a wild spin to the day. Abstraction and mythology read the world through metaphor. Auoumbla says, take a lick at eternity.

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