Molten Heart

Medium melts, puddles, spreads on the hot steel palette, eighteen inches of liquid, some clear, portions of sky blue, a baby’s pink flesh, the metallic pewter of granite,some colors disappear into more dominant shades, soundless oozing, the slight tick of the hot plate melting the world away, color, texture, warm beeswax and damar pitch filled with African grass and elephant hair.


Zimbabwe in every stroke of my brush.Botswana speaking through my hands.Dobbing, dragging, scoring, building up, scratching out, razoring down through layers of color, exposing a hint of lemon yellow, a line of viridian, quinacridone magenta and zinc white melt into a gentle lady’s lace. 


Sound and movement outside my studio go unnoticed, reality fades away, only my hands, the brush, melting wax and the board. The blank board waits for me to tell its story of ocean waves or a fragile Brazilian orchid, earthy red texture, a ginkgo tree, or a flower necklace, my expressions of the world as it lives through my hands.


For hours I stand and sit and stroke the brush. The sun rises, casts no shadow, and slides to the other side. My back and feet ache, hands caked in color and medium, a fan freshening the room, the CD long since finished. Quiet is my company, it urges me onward, I ignore the hands moving around the clock, they mean nothing.

Wax, sensuous, smooth, waiting to be molded, layered, willing but stagnant in a square block, the label wrapped tightly around it restricting its expression.  As the block melts down, its color is freed from confinement, as am I. 

Expression flows as chemicals and earth particles mix or refuse to blend. The perfume of the process seeps into my clothes. It’s all I can smell, roses outside my window wait for appreciation. 

Blended colors on the board, take on a life, an aboriginal expression. Oil stick adds depth, highlights texture, fills in pockets of color surprises.  A click of the heat gunsets my work for the future. Final touches of awl scoring, cleaning up lines. 

I scratch “bam” into the corner, and step back, exhausted in my labor.  Africa expresses itself in Boise, Idaho. My hands are the brush, my eyes the window,my heart the finished piece of art.




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