Monday, July 14, 2014

Wonder and Serenity

Farm Track Near Wheat Fields
  oil on panel   14" x 18"

"The purpose of art is the gradual, lifelong construction 
of a state of wonder and serenity."
Glenn Gould

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time."
Thomas Merton

One writer called it "absorbedness" and maybe that is the perfect description of those moments when one's process eliminates awareness of time or self. Those feelings are addictive because the artist escapes from the abstract, man-made constructs that cause concern (measured and limited time and self-ish concerns) and enables an existence of almost childlike exploration and acute sensory awareness.  When coupled with dedicated and focused practice and an understanding of appropriate method and material, this state of "absorbedness" is a powerful pathway. I've always thought the true measure af art may well be its ability to bring about the same experience for the viewer - something to be measured slowly. Enjoy!

"Far from being merely decorative, the artist's awareness is one of the few guardians the inherent sanity and equilibrium of the human spirit we have left."
Robert Motherwell

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Exquisite Struggle

Cut Wheat Field
oil on panel  8" x 10"

"We shall not cease from exploration / And  in the end all our exploring / will be to arrive where we started /And know the place for the first time."
T.S. Eliot
"And I will have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
and evening full of the linnet's wings."
William Butler Yeats

The act of making a painting depends on a happy and difficult alignment of heart and occasion - earth and sky and place thrown against physical frailty and limitation; mixed with hope and memory and a vision born of recognition. This is what Eliot writes about and Yeats experiences (and where the difference in their poetry lies) - the exploration that strives to see and recognize things familiar made new. This exquisite struggle has another seductive aspect, as one becomes lost in the exploration, an awareness of having "some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow" - descends around the painter - like the light across a cut field as the day approaches a glorious end.  Enjoy!