My Third Novel's Conclusion, My Heartbreak

My heart begins to break when I think about completing this particular book -- because this narrative has sustained me like no other story I've known. It's both more personal and more universal than my other works. But beyond memory and archetype, it's a cri-de-coeur about needing to become the person one is destined to be. And in the writing, I have met my own life's work, my own fated journey -- having the sense all the while that the pages are suffused with a resonance, an energy, an electrified field that defies explanation. Writers hope and pray to be overtaken by a work in this way -- to be conscripted into passionate service of a profound story. To experience it even once in a lifetime seems a great privilege. I still have several months before this novel is complete, and this constitutes my reprieve. Because I'm not ready for the beauty to end.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Winner of the Icon Prize

Miguel Martinez' painting, Mi Corazon, spoke to the judges compellingly. They returned to view this work again and again -- in a desire to fully appreciate this magical portrait of wisdom, serenity, hope undiminished. Surely Anna de la Senda would view the world through a gaze such as this. Bravissimo.

(Mr. Martinez is represented by the Michael McCormick Gallery in Taos.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

The White-throated Lily

Here sits Mariela, brought to wise, contemplative life by finalist Monica Vanzant. Our subject grasps the white-throated lily -- yet, at the same time, she herself becomes the lily -- removed from us in her reverie, other-worldly, eternal.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Icon in the Garden

In seeing this work from Christy Boyer, Icon finalist, I immediately feel the sense of otherworldly peace pervading Anna de la Senda's garden. From the doves in her arms to the luminous rose, the blue tears of sorrow to the glowing carousel, the painting becomes one of miraculous discovery for me, rich with the secrets of a narrative I once imagined. Jewel-like, faceted, the myriad elements of this work flow together with a stunning confluence and harmony, and I find myself, quite simply, transfixed by this portrait of Anna's bountiful kindness.

Ms. Boyer offers, "I made the painting heavy in redemptive imagery, because that is what I loved most about The Unfastened Heart. This painting went through many changes as I struggled to integrate the rich metaphors of Ms. von Herzen's writing. I enjoyed the entire process immensely."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pale Revelation

Something iconic is happening within this photograph -- a mystery, a revelation, a secret about to be told. What does this young woman know that we don't? Does she know the narrative of beauty in which she is taking part? Is she readying herself for a wedding, a waltz, a lover, a debut? Whatever the answers, we lean in to decipher them. With a beauty bordering on the sacred, this interpretation of Mariela exists as a timeless testament to a woman's spirit -- her translucent hopes, her fragile preparations, her fate.

Mariela wore white like the template of her soul.

What a privilege to have these words translated into this shining image.

The artist, Lina Brazauskaite, lives in Lithuania.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Wise Innocent

Icon finalist Mr. Ken Min created this revelatory portrait of Mariela as Mona Lisa, a classic redefined by a landscape both lavish and whimsical, with birds escaping the borders of the frame. Surely, this wise innocent will transcend her two dimensions at any moment!

Mr. Min was born in Seoul, South Korea -- and now works for Lucasfilm as an artist. He created this oil painting on a cryptic panel, with vintage victorian fabric and an old door hinge and frame.

Thank you for this beautiful piece, Mr. Min!