Desert Mirage

Kaethe Kauffman    Desert Mirage
Ink   2022   framed 29″x21″

In Desert Mirage, two shapes are positioned near each other. I create a highly textured surface with many tiny ink lines to maximize a sense of energy in the shimmering air around them, similar to the visual movement inherent in a mirage in an arid land.

The top form seems stationary, while the object below it might be in motion, whizzing by.  The upper apple-like design looks as if it’s heavy and settled into one spot. It may or may not be disturbed by its speedy neighbor. Perhaps we’re seeing the instant before a collision. This possibility adds tension and interest to the composition.

I’m often amazed by the differing rates of movement between myself and others. At times, I’m the quick one and friends say, “Slow down, wait for me.” However, at other times, people around me seem to run at warp speed. In my social life, when I watch the rate at which some friends form and discard relationships, I feel like a tortoise by comparison. In my personal relationships, my speed disparity with others sometimes has an impact, an emotional collision that can result in struggle. 

If I look honestly at myself, I see that during the course of one day, I have swift times (morning), but become sluggish for an hour or so in the afternoon. When I need to slow down, I might condemn myself as being lazy. These inner conflicts have a negative impact. Instead, I’m trying to learn that divergent speeds are natural and to accept the differences when they occur, whether in the outer world or inside me.

Life’s energies are endlessly fascinating and I try to capture their essence in Desert Mirage.

Desert Mirage is featured in the Walter Wickiser Gallery space within the Seattle Art Fair, July 27-30, 2023 at the Lumen Field Event Center, 800 Occidental Avenue S, Seattle, Washington.