Friday, June 4, 2010

Pandora & The Pie: "I'll Chance It!"

I've always been fascinated by the nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence". When I was very young I was always puzzled about what it meant and completely baffled by the line that stated (nonsensically in my mind) "When the pie was opened the birds began to sing." Right! It seemed quite logical to me even at a tender age that having been "baked in a pie" in such a crush, 24 blackbirds would come storming out of the open pastry in a mad dash for the open skies and freedom....(More like Pandora's box!) "the birds began to sing"..."Dainty dish"...indeed! More like a whirlwind. And there's no reversing the course and getting them back in the pie either.

I got to musing about the effects of cutting open the pie of creativity and the irreversible results. Not always a whirlwind to be sure, but definitely it doesn't just sit there and sing to me...well, it might sing to me, but maybe from a trapeze, the high wire, or a trampoline at the very least. I make the first cut when I set out to create a painting or other work, and when it's completed, and I put it out there to be seen by all, that second cut opens the pie and whatever ensues is out of my hands...much like the blackbirds. The piece is scrutinized if I'm lucky (to be sure, being ignored is the most ignominious fate). Sometimes it will be appreciated and enjoyed, other times it is judged and relegated to some classification niche for mental "ease of handling". Sometimes it might be taken as an instigation and bring on a whirlwind of critiques and dissections that attempt to lessen its power. Hopefully it doesn't just sit there and sing its dainty song. But...that carries the weight of the unknown.

I'm pretty sure that if I knew the final result of my attempts at painting, I would soon give up the chase out of the boredom of predictability. Equally, if I knew how the piece would be taken, what doors would open or shut in my face, what soul travelers I would have the pleasure of meeting, or even what mental cubbyhole I might find myself in the "Art World" I'd probably get tired of the exercise pretty quick. So....pass the pie and the knife please...."I'll chance it!"

For dessert, "Four & Twenty Blackbirds (When the Pie Was Opened...)" (An original painting by WB Eckert, acrylic on canvas, 30"x 25", custom frame) Please direct all inquiries to .