Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mary Bourke

Do you remember how a place looked the first time you saw it? Places we visit stay that way in our minds, while the places we live morph into something a little grittier, more every-day and utilitarian. I moved to Cape Cod 20 years ago and I love to think back to how it looked when I first moved here. The shape of salt pines, my favorite bike path to the beach, the checkered tablecloths at the Land Ho. These are things that stick in my mind.

While Mary Bourke doesn't paint scenes from Cape Cod, her paintings have the same essence as my early impressions of life here.

"Staying at the Cabin" acrylic 18" x 18"

Different paintings make people think different things - from "that would look great in the guest room" to "will you just look at that light?!?" Mary Bourke's paintings make me think I am the girl in the red bathing suit.

I look at the painting and feel the water on my feet. I can hear the voice of my first Cape Cod cottage-mate - who talked me into buying a large, inflatable raft instead of getting my brakes fixed our first summer here.

My memories are not painted in egg tempera with a squirrel-hair brush. They are patches of color surrounding and creating the barest of essentials.

"In a Moment" acrylic 24" x 24"

Mary's paintings are cool and open. Depending on your starting point, they're either a jumping off place or a landing place. Like visual writing cues, they launch waves of memories and stories. They are a flicker of deja vu

"I know that we cannot foresee or choose our future," Mary says, "but we can search through our past and collect our treasures. These are mine."

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