January 25, 2021
By Arthur H. Gunther III
If I had a real conversation with Sara, who is in a room during this virus, as so many of us are, her face not seen though we can imagine her thoughts, it would come after our eyes met. I would wait for that, brush in hand, and then let a quiet rhythm begin in my speech but say few words.
I would want her to talk, and I would build on that, she in the painting, me beyond the frame. The conversation would be not so much what she says but what she thinks. That would make the ordinary of this unusual long moment come alive. It surely would direct the brushwork.
Has this been a time of deeper reflection? We all reflect no matter what, but usually it is on the go, the wavelength competing with other frequencies, like radio stations jumping on your favorite network. Now there is quiet, utterly so at times, and sitting in a room as Sara is doing, the place very simple, with a strong upright standard lamp assuring light, the heartbeat can slow, and you amble rather than race through your thoughts.
More doors open into your inner mind, and you make connections to memory, to unsolved dilemma, to happy thoughts not regularly visited when we are in the hustle-bustle world.
As I paint, I know Sara will turn — just for an instant, for the piece is about every woman, and so we cannot “see” just one person.
But I will look deeply into Sara’s eyes, which means everything. And I will understand. So will she. It’s my painting, after all.
The writer is a retired newspaperman.