Friday, May 14, 2021

Rainbows and Corita


What kid wouldn't find a giant rainbow swatch fascinating?

Growing up in the Boston area, my family drove by Corita Kent's painted  tank on a regular basis. I'd stare at it from the back seat, often making it a game to see when I could first spot it. I knew that when coming from a certain direction, it meant we were almost home.

What I didn't know was the story behind the person who created it. I wouldn't know her story until I was in my 20's, living in Los Angeles and teaching  art. Forever on a quest to improve my own skills, I stumbled upon the teachings of Corita Kent, the teacher nun who painted the Boston gas tank, the Love postage stamp and much, much more. Her words and images have stayed and resonated deeply within me over the years.

“There are moments in the creative process when one is aware of great things happening, but I never feel that is the Creative Process. It is only a punctuated moment of excitement in the larger process. The hard times, too, are part of the creative process; for example when I can’t sleep at night or lose the meaning of what it’s all about.

It can be a time of drudgery–a dirty, collecting time when I sharpen pencils or clear work space, but we know that somehow these things are necessary . . .”

Whenever I visit my family in Massachusetts, I am still very excited to see Corita's Rainbow. If I close my eyes, I'm sitting behind my father. Next to me are my crayons, a pencil, notebook, paper, a book and a doll is in my lap. I hold the doll up and point out the magnificent rainbow to her. My Dad winks at me from the rearview mirror. My mom is talking to my sister who is sitting next to me. I am home and have found what waits at the end of the giant rainbow.

More Posts on Corita Kent here.

Supplies used:

Journal I made using a discarded, hardcover book with 100 lb Accent Opaque card stock size 9 1/2 x 13" 

Acrylics: Holbein, Sennelier, Utrecht, Charvin and Golden (heavy body)

Painting knives


Princeton Catalyst Tools

Water based Paint Marker (Molotow)

Stabilo All Aquarellable Pencils

Looked at:

Corita Kent

Edvard Munch

Enrique Martinez Celaya


Enrique Martínez Celaya: Collected Writings and Interviews, 2010-2017

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