Presenting my newest painting: Coming & Going

Posted on December 5th, by S. Bartron-Miscione in Blog. 5 comments


Only a few people have seen this work so far, but it may be  more evocative than anything else I’ve done, the early feed-back suggests that it is – and it feels that way to me.  Maybe seeing the objects hanging, instead of traditional still life presentation as objects on a table, makes them resonate with more emotional connection for the viewer.  If so, that is a very good thing!

I always know what I want to happen in my work, which is fully realized in this painting, and there is huge satisfaction in that!

Comments are invited,


Coming & Going

June 2013 – November 2014
36″H X 26″ W
Watercolor & Pastel

5 thoughts on “Presenting my newest painting: Coming & Going

  1. I was just spending some time looking at Coming and Going and I wanted to tell you how much I like it! There is so much detail it’s incredible! Plus I just love the overall composition. It really inspired some interesting feelings and thoughts as I looked at it in depth.

  2. Congratulations upon finishing this stunning painting, it is unbelievable in its detail. “Coming and Going” is a regional departure from your work except, of course, the shells. I am interested in the title of your painting. How do the titles of your paintings emerge? Do titles evolve as you are working on the painting? Do titles hit you “out of the blue?” Do titles pinpoint a particular emotion, metaphorical meaning, place in your life? Again, congratulations. Jane Hegstrom

  3. Janie, I appreciate your comments and thank you for that question. Titles usually come to me as the paintings come to life, but I almost finished this one without a title. I needed a title, like anything that is loved needs a name, and a title may hold a clue to the back-story of the painting. So, I went back through my blog postings to revisit my intentions for this work and think about emotional connections to the objects that I’d chosen to paint. Successful still lifes extrapolate from the personal to the universal. A still life without a back-story can still be a vehicle for the viewer’s own story, but I don’t know how it would be possible to imbue objects with thought and emotion unless the artist begins with that.
    The objects were hung to visually self-actualize as the spirals that they are — most dramatically with the bighorn sheep. A magical element of spirals is that they continuously ascend towards and descend from a fixed point — both coming and going. There it is! Each of the objects in this painting represent a place that holds my heart and my heartache, because of memories of people that I love who once lived there, or live there now. The chambered nautilus is a perfect holding symbol to metaphorically shelter a love or tender longing. The CO flower’s five dove-like, Fibonacci petals sing about life in a still life of objects that once lived. It was my intention that the viewer would be captured and held powerfully, both literally and figuartively, in the spiral of a big horn. We are all Coming & Going, and within our circles of relationships and places, that can happen simultaneously, magically, tragically, beautifully — in whatever way the viewer sees it.

  4. When I first saw this nearly-completed painting in your studio, I conjured a back story…perhaps not the back story. I saw cycles (rather than spirals) and I felt completeness and intuited transcendence.

    Past, present and future, life cycles, relationship cycles, dust to dust, the dead nourishing the living. Also, the nautilus has always symbolized wholeness and holding for me. It is encompassing.

    Transcendence jumps out of the frame to me because the objects are hung ‘out of order’:
    future/distance past/now. The top of the frame is ‘missing’….unknown! Unlike the usual still life in which the objects could have arrived accidentally on the table, these are carefully suspended….intensionally juxtaposed. But from where, by what? The interdependent relationship of the objects within the frame, the implication that the sequence continues infinitely (spirals?), the acrostic puzzle of their commentary on me, the viewer, as I seek to receive and understand the intent of artist… …all bring me to the mystery of what lies beyond the frame, in all directions, and transcends it. Why the cycles, the relationships, the totality, and where do I fit?

    What a profound commentary on the human condition!

    • Ron, I read your compelling response to the new painting with interest, and must tell you, I always hope that will happen with the viewer. I consider the people who become my audience, (by intention or unwittingly), to be the last part of my creative process. That’s why I love the forum of still life, it assumes a visual narrative, but more than that, I want the objects that I paint to evoke an emotional response — to appeal to all of the senses — sometimes even taste, touch and smell. I think it’s possible when an object is captured visually with such physical ‘realness’ that all of those associations come alive. It’s more information than a flat photographic realism can elicit: I’m trying for a visual reality that will evoke the experience of that thing. That’s a lot to hope for from a viewer, but it is what I want to happen.
      Even if only for the immediate family and close friends, the act of painting involves the anticipation of an audience, so there is a question that happens for the artist: what visual information am I painting, what are viewers going to experience, how will I know? For example, the beauty of a flower is about so much more than beauty, it’s the siren call of pollination, it’s about fragility that prevails in spite of overwhelming odds against it, it’s about the quality of life itself, and then, finally, it’s also about capturing the attention of an audience of bees. When I paint a flower, I want bees and humming birds to respond, as well as wonderful, thoughtful people who love art and ruminate on the possibilities of what it means.
      Your social commentary on an emotional level tells me that I got something right. Thank you for letting me know that.

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