I usually see something beautiful then paint it. But this time I only saw it in my head, which is very hard to photograph for reference. It was quite a struggle hauling it up from the depths; from the Land Below the Waves.
Turns out it is an allegory, but that shouldn’t be too surprising since we do most of our thinking in symbols: life is a journey, he’s ‘on top,’ a rocky romance… I was worrying about young folks-not that they are going to Hades in a hand basket like old folks have always said about young folks since the ancient Greeks worried that this new-fangled writing thing was going to destroy their kid’s ability to memorize.
No, I was worried because life is harder now than it was when I was young in the Golden Age of America. There were jobs aplenty. If you went to college, you had it made. It is not like that now. These times will require creative solutions and I wish life was easier for them.
The horse symbolizes our physical life, the girl our spiritual life. She looks up toward the light, the horse just wants to fill his belly. Those are both aspects of human nature. The path is narrow and many stony obstacles lie about. She might take the side path to the left: maybe it leads to those distant valleys. But the road less traveled just might land you in a peat bog. She is surrounded by hard things and beautiful things, but she alone must make her choices.
The setting is the Moors in northern England. I always thought they looked primeval, gouged by glaciers and swept by the wind. I was talking about the Moors to a well-traveled lady who asked, “Have you been there?” “In my head,” I answered. If she thought that was a crazy statement, she was too gracious to say so.
I wish you well young people. You can do it.