"A little magic can take you a long way." -Roald Dahl
David Graeme Baker paints a figure inhabiting two places. She lies in bed with a twilight landscape on the wall, filling the inside space with outdoor atmosphere. He makes a resting figure more active by putting her feet up. This turn at the knees makes her pose less stable, more apt to change any minute. David makes her a bridge between the two worlds. The dominant shape of the pine tree is broken where her feet cross over, the colors of the dress almost disappearing into the field beyond. She is both part of the landscape, and a disrupter of it.
The Time Between
The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos (χρόνος) and kairos. The former refers to chronological or sequential time, while the latter signifies a proper or opportune time for action. While chronos is quantitative, kairos has a qualitative, permanent nature. Kairos is the right time, the right season, the moment for opportunity.
Bending color around David's precise realism shows the shifting, growing, changing state of mind in both sitter and painter. A purple outline energizes the shoulder, the realism of the face dissolves into a warm magenta aura. These hues tell us something deeper is happening. Her natural expression, lacking self consciousness, lend the painting intimacy and authenticity. The painting becomes more than a likeness, becoming a portrait of a time of life, a time of growth, a time when we forget ourselves.
"Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." - C.S. Lewis
David usually describes a scene in careful detail, but here he uses indistinct brushwork to suggest. The space around the figure is undefined, opalescent greens offset warm flesh tones, heavy marks and layers surround satin skin and rich fabrics. Moments of closely observed detail are balanced by mark making that merely suggests a figure in space. An absence of detail in some areas implies time, movement, shifting, settling into a place.
"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer" - Albert Camus
David’s figures lay on the threshold between inside and outside, in a dream-like place. This series is about the evanescent space between. The stillness of nightfall, the transition from day to night, serves as a metaphor. David’s paintings elongate the feeling between here and there, suspending the peaceful moments before we step into the world. David indicates traces of memory, dream, and emotion, as though we can see through time, perched between past and future.
Page Gallery 23 Bay View Street Camden, Maine 04843