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Thursday, February 3, 2011

"Self-Reliance" by Kristin Jurist Haakenson




 Self-Reliance
12" x 24" x 1.5"
acrylic on canvas
$500 + $30 shipping (contact)

I was inspired by Colorado artist Kate Dardine's recent quest to revive half-finished, forgotten paintings that have been sitting around the studio.  This buffalo painting was, for the most part, finished - but I wasn't happy with the final result, and it has since been collecting dust.  I decided to use some leftover paint from recent pieces and try to work as loosely as possible (I save all of my extra mixed paint in tupperware containers...once I spray them with some water and close the lid, they can last for weeks).

I've also been reading an anthology of literature by the American Transcendentalists.  It has a lot of classic pieces that I could re-read time and time again, as well as some really fascinating journal entries, etc. that I've never read before.  The Transcendentalists' writings have been a foundation in my life since I first delved into them...Ralph Waldo Emerson, in particular, really speaks to my soul.  

I decided to choose a quote by Emerson (his work is in the public domain) to write on the sides of the canvas...the image of the lone bison really seemed to call out for something from "Self-Reliance".  The left side of the canvas features the following text, handwritten in a Sharpie pen (which was surprisingly difficult): 
"Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world." 
RALPH WALDO EMERSON: Self-Reliance
...and the right side features this text:
 
"Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind." - Self-Reliance
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
 
 When I feel like I need to loosen up between other paintings, I might continue this trend and try my hand at creating some similar Transcendentalist-themed paintings.



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