Myriad


Myriad
Watercolor, 5 x 7 inches

SOLD

There is so much going on, without and within. Spring is breathing life into every nook and cranny. My gardens are bursting with bloom, the hedges are overflowing and ants are finding their way into every room of my house! (Where do they come from?)

When I looked at this finished painting, the word Myriad popped into my head and I thought, "That's good. It's like that. There is a lot going on in the painting."

As usual, I started looking up definitions: online, in dictionaries on hand, in etymologies. If you're a regular reader, you'll know that I like to get to the bottom of words. To their origins and deepest meanings. Especially for the words I use to title paintings.

On the surface, at first glance, the definitions for Myriad are countless, innumerable, extremely great number, and so forth. None of those gave me a hook.

Then I looked in my parent's dictionary, the one I grew up with. A well worn, 1946, thin paper Webster's Collegiate Dictionary with broken spine. My little brother scrawled parts of my parents' names on the fly leaf and title page in red ballpoint pen. Someone colored Noah Webster's hair, forehead, cheeks, lips and tip of nose in pink crayon. I drew a bunny girl head in pencil above Noah's portrait with a cartoon bubble in which "hip hop" is printed.

But back to the definition. The first definition from the 1946 Webster's Collegiate is "The number of ten thousand; ten thousand persons or things." The second definition, "An indefinitely large number."

Ten Thousand Things. That I can sink my teeth into. In fact, there is so much into which I can sink my teeth, that I'll have to mete out that chomping over future posts.

What most resonates with me is the connection of Myriad to the Tao, the way, the path. The Tao underlies most of my paintings both in execution and form. This is a satisfying hook for the title and a springboard for future posts.

Each painting is an unfolding, a way of discovery, as today's text has been an unfolding of a word, a discovery of meaning and relationship.

More to come soon... It will be as much of a surprise to me as it will be to you. Exciting!

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4 comments:

Art with Liz said...

Love it! Love the way you found a link to the Tao - it's a beautiful word for a great painting - I always think of shiny, sparkly water when I hear the word Myriad. Wonder where that would lead me?

RH Carpenter said...

A gorgeous little gem of a painting, Suzanne!

Suzanne McDermott said...

Good! Thank you, Liz. That's exactly the response I needed. Looking forward to seeing where you're led along the path. Shiny, sparkly water is one of my most favorite delights on the planet.

Suzanne McDermott said...

I'm so glad you like the painting, Rhonda. Thanks for saying so!