Saturday, September 14, 2013

To Thine Own Self Be True.

 The Reconsideration of the Mike Davis Situation, acrylic on panel, 24" x 24" 2007

Mirthless Laughter, oil on canvas, 16" x 20" 2013

My paintings have changed a lot over the years. I know, visually, there seems to be a big jump between those two paintings up there (though I know they are surface and that the similarities outweigh the differences). Sometimes I think the paintings I made a few years ago are stronger than the ones I am making now, and that's hard to swallow. Then I remind myself I am making the paintings I need to make right now. This is what's happening. I feel I am moving forward and that is important. 

I told my dad the other day that I struggle with how dark my paintings have become, but that using brighter colors (and I have tried) makes me feel like a fraud, and that in using them I would be trying to trick people, or myself. It's just not in me right now, what I am doing feels right. His response, which I am thankful for:

Mother heard an NPR discussion about F. Scott Fitzgerald today.  One of the last things he did was list the works of literature everyone should read before they depart this life.  One such work was "Sanctuary" by William Faulkner.  I read it last year and it was one of the darkest, most depressing works of literature I've ever read.  Hemingway's masterpiece, "Farewell to Arms," is of a similar genre.  And I'm currently about a third of the way through "Richard the Third" by William Shakespeare, hardly an inspiring bit of upbeat drama, and it isn't even among his tragedies.  And speaking of tragedies, there are the Greeks who set the stage for all the literature that follows.  So my conclusion is that whether you're a visual artist or a verbal artist, you can't be perceptive and honest and still portray the world in bright colors.  On the other hand, Shakespeare, and the Greeks, and William Faulkner, also wrote comedies.  So unless we can also see or imagine a bright side, the world would become unbearable.

Back to Shakespeare:  "This above all else.  To thine own self be true.  Thou canst not then be false to any man."

Love ya!

Preach it Dad. 

This was good for me, maybe it will be good for you too?