Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Good Things Come in Threes

Thank you everyone who sent their thoughts and concerns about my dad. Your comments touched my heart and brought ease. I wrote it while waiting with my family for a flight to Kauai, a place that my father had introduced us to seven years ago and to which, paradoxically, we were returning shortly after his diagnosis.

Buddha's Dream, ©2010, Hannah Hunter, Collage
Since I've been here absorbing sun, waves, and floral abundance, I've had time to think about my own art work. Often, when I'm thinking about a post, I'll pick an event or a thought that is clamoring for first place in the forefront of my mind. Pathos, pain, and or redemption claim my attention. Taking a break helps me to focus on quieter voices.

I finished this piece several weeks ago. Originally it was three separate 12" x 24" panels. After studying them out of the corner of my eye (best way so they don't know I'm watching), I decided to connect them. A risk.

For many years I've wanted to create tryptchs, having become enamored of them when I first discovered Jan Van Eyck's "Dresden Tryptych" in an art history class many years ago.

Periodically, I'd give it a try and find that I couldn't extend my attention sequentially over a series of surfaces. Perhaps it was because I was giving most of my attention to my children. Or, perhaps it was because I simply wasn't ready.

Whatever the case, I've discovered that in the last year I've been able to create and sustain a flow of attention across several surfaces. Is it because my children are grown and launched into their own lives? Or is it because I've grown? One of those proverbial chicken and egg questions.

No matter what the reason, I'm delighted and all the more so because this opens up a whole new suite of possibilities which I look forward to exploring in this new year of ours.


  1. Best wishes for Dad.

    Love your collage. I made my first tryptych last year, a nature scene. Good luck with yours.

    Happy New Year. ~ Madeline

  2. I think this works beautifully as a triptych: the rhythms of circles across the 3 panels are very lively and the center becomes more of a place of quiet. I think it will be a fruitful new direction.

  3. Thank you Madeline--there is something so catching in being able to move from one section to another!

    Altoon, Thank you too--that's a good observation--I hadn't noticed it before--but as I worked on it, I kept wanting to add more to the middle. I tried, but kept removing what I added. Your comment tells me why.

  4. I love the connections and uniqueness of each panel...relationships are relationships...each of us separate and able to fine ourselves in one another too.

    thanks for you thoughtful comment the other day Hannah (well always...I'm so glad we are connected!)

  5. Beauty-Full work Hannah and I love your mention of the of my favorite modes to work in yet I haven't even considered it in what seems like you brought me a grand gift in that...

    I love working on a number of pieces at once...colors weaving and topics talking to one another...

    Enjoy your time in lovely that your dad first introduced you to the tropical beauty there.

  6. Beautiful tryptych- with such personal meaning.. and I am from Kauai-- grew up there and graduated from Kauai High school many years ago.

  7. Laura--thank you for the notion of comparing tryptychs to our relationships with others. That's got me thinking!

    Donna, love that that's tripped a trigger--And yes, watching pieces speak to each other is one of my favorite things.

    Donna, What a coincidence--or maybe not! I began to truly appreciate and understand the aesthetic of Japanese art when I began visiting the islands and learning their history. Knowing this about you gives me an even deeper appreciation for your work.

  8. Beautiful collage! I feel my work changed a bit after my children left for college, but I had never really thought about it until you brought it up. Our daily lives change drastically after they leave, so I do feel a shift is bound to happen.

  9. Greetings dear Hannah,

    A very beautiful collage. The symbolism within is so personal and full of meaning, it is like reading a picture book.

    My children have not completely left home, my son is still here and my daughter is at Santa Cruz University, but I know that my last decade of health issues has been like a relationship with ones self.

    Thank you for sharing,

  10. Egmont, It is so good to hear from you. I hope that you and Miss Kitty are faring well.

    It's an amazing thing isn't it, the relationship with one self?

    I hope your daughter is enjoying UCSC--I spent my first year of college there so many years ago.

  11. Hannah, I enlarged the image and have been sitting studying your Buddha's Dream. It fills me with such peace. Your decision to connect the panels was certainly the right one. I love the feeling of space ..... calming space .... surrounding the Buddha. Looking forward to new art directions.

    Wishing your dad well with his chemotherapy.