Blogs, new artwork, and other updates from sculptor Douglas W. Merkey

Musings on art, beauty, culture, aesthetics, and the spiritual life by wood wall sculptor Douglas W. Merkey.

O sea! My blessed color thief! How I adore you!

O sea! My blessed color thief! How I adore you!

You melt my heart with your reckless disregard for the common conventions of lesser thieves. You do not wait for the concealing dark of night. You take first light as a daily summons to rouse yourself to your nefariously delightful vocation. You orchestrate your most spectacular heists in the revealing light of day. You do not rest as the day retires. Indeed, twilight seems to revive you for fresh color-crimes that delight my soul.

Like a fluid shadow, you slip undetected into your neighbors’ hue-boxes and shoplift to your heart’s content. Sun, moon, stars, clouds, dunes – all are distracted with your long, wet, disarming kisses. Just as Solomon was charmed by the adoring Queen of Sheba, giving her all she desired and asked from his treasury,* your rich, love-struck friends freely offer their tint-treasures to you with reckless generosity.

I love to watch you, my blessed beauty-grabbing bandit. In the morning you show off the deep blues and green-grays stolen just moments before from the newborn morning sky. As the hours drift by, you wash and rework your watery canvas with the colorful and translucent gems of mid-day - quartz, emerald, aquamarine, sapphire, amethyst, and blue topaz - all pilfered from a blazing sun, a clearing blue sky, cotton ball clouds, and the sandy beach. Like a sailor caught up in a blissful storm of color, I must tie myself to my beach chair and bury my toes in the sand as I behold wave after wave of your felonious color-craft.

It is with a strange mix of relief and ecstasy that I bid farewell to the heavy riffs of bold mid-day color and welcome the more subdued hues that you’ve burglarized from your twilight-time neighbors. Like a woman taking her time in preparation, you mix your evening hues without hurry or shame. When you finally emerge from your chamber, you are draped with a hypnotizing gown of rose-petal pinks, dreamy tangerines, creamy yellows, and fiery crimson stolen from a retreating sun and blushing clouds. With coy confidence, you show off your dress in a relaxed, soul-calming dance that soothes my heart.

Our evening dance is all too brief. I’m left with breathless longing as you, my beloved color-thief, slip away to pilfer once more. Memories of your evening dress drift through my mind like a watercolor dream from which I do not wish to wake. Just before I give way to the bliss of color-dream unconsciousness, you appear once more in a silky black night gown studded with diamonds and pearls lifted from the moon and the stars and a salty night sky. Enchanted once more, I whisper to you, my blessed color thief, “Good night, my blessed sea. Good night, my blessed color thief. Good night.”

*1 Kings 10:1-10, 13 When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions. Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan-- with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones-- she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the LORD, she was overwhelmed. She said to the king, "The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. How happy your men must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Praise be to the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the LORD's eternal love for Israel, he has made you king, to maintain justice and righteousness." And she gave the king about four and half tons of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for, besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.