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Making Sense of it All

Making Sense of it All Chanan Mazal @2017

Oil on canvas, 100 x 110 cm

כי האדם עץ השדה? דברים כ:יט
For is the tree of the field a man? Deuteronomy 20:19.

Using trees to portray human soul and destiny, is as old as art and psychology itself.

I choose particular species and shapes to symbolize my state of mind or big life questions. Trees may be steady or rebellious, wise or impetuous. mature or potential, spiritual or carnal, and Hebrew or universal.

Why this particular childlike tree shape?

Its fluffy, cloud like foliage sits top-heavy, upon the slender trunk with its graceful Gothic slouch. Well, that upper part obviously is about my/our air filled thoughts:
Head in the clouds. Spirituality for the masses. Fuzzy thinking.
All of that air sits upon a delicate, flexible trunk of decisiveness and actions.

I completed the painting while listening to online lectures about the psychological symbolism of Genesis. Symbols like The Creator carving meaning out of the primordial chaos and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil – teach us so much about creating sense in our personal life path.

Those green serpentines of confusion and attention deficiency, were painted before listening to the lectures. After completion, visitors to my studio shouted, “Ah! That’s the serpent tempting Eve to eat from the fruit of self knowledge.”
Smart visitors.

India Ink

Ah. So much fun. I do my best, most evocative works when drawing fast.  With inaccuracies, but true impressions.

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Working on wet paper, creates unpredictable spreading of ink. Delicious serendipity.

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And quasi soul searching. What did I really mean?

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And fun

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Shaar HaGai, 2015

שער גיא 2015

Gouache over ink and pencil, on clay coated panels.

Somehow, I never posted this work, that touches a deep spot within my soul. Calming the storm.

Trente Triangles, 2017

Trente Triangles 2017, ©2017 Chanan Mazal, Jerusalem

Thirty Triangles. Gouache, 46 x 61 cm. (18″ x 24″)
שלושים משולשים, 2017. גואש 46 * 61
Inspired by the “Crazy Quilts” traditionally made by African American women.
The composition, with its two, not quite balanced halves and with arrows pointing all over, defies all logic. But it works.

Lost My Marbles

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Still Life with Marbles, 2017. Gouache on paper, 46 x 61 cm.

Once again, I revisited an old old theme, with new knowledge about colors.

Inner Tempest

The Tempest #1, Painting by Chanan Mazal, Jerusalem 2017

The Tempest #1, 2017. Gouache on Claybord. 46 x 91.5 cm.

Good friends with good eyes are important. I painted this pair a year ago (the work on the previous post as well). But something prevented me from showing them.

I had wanted to capture the contrast between the interior tempest that I/we often feel, and the cultured, refined and well tempered face that we present to the world. Both facades are truly representative. Neither lie. My goal was to allow them to live together, on this board.

A few weeks ago I invited my art teacher and friend Orna Milo, to the studio. She recommended that I stop listening to other noises focus on that story. After a mere half hour of eliminated extraneous sounds, the pair were completed.