Arctic Poles

I have been meaning to pull apart this painting I did in 2008 for some time, and repaint/resew parts of it. It has proven to be a lot more work than I anticipated.


It was a lot of work to begin with! It is called Arctic Memory. It’s 40 x 60 inches big and it’s an oil painting over sewn patterns and embroidered linen. I made miniature garment patterns in the shapes of Hebrew letters to more or less spell out the words “Arctic Memory,” only it does not say that. I originally had it translated by someone over the internet by someone I did not know. When it was hanging at my solo show at Hillel at UCLA, one of the Rabbis informed me that it actually translates to “Antarctica Memory” and this has bothered me to no end ever since.

It didn’t even occur to me to change it until pretty recently. Back when the Rabbi pointed it out, my knee-jerk reaction was, “Well, it has been completed. Nothing I can do about it now.” It was being exhibited after all. But the truth is, it doesn’t work. The reindeer, the  aurora borealis, my Sami heritage. All that work – the painting was just wrong. I couldn’t even justify it with being bipolar either. Hardy-har.

So now what? I have been firstly pulling out the threads on the Kuf and the Hei (ה  &  ק ) and with a razor blade, trying to pull the manila pattern paper off the canvas, without pulling off the oil paint that is underneath because I painted the landscape under it. Well, it’s not coming off. Only the top layers of the paper is, so I’m left with manila shapes of the letters.

I will also have to pull off the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th letter and somehow replace them with a Reish and a Kuf – spacing them so it looks like they belonged there to begin with, then not care that there is so much space between the two words. Here’s the idea:

arcticmemorydetailAnyway, that’s what I’m dealing with. As far as the panels go. They are all sealed and beautiful and ready to be painted on, so keeping them beautiful is a whole ‘nother scenario.


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