Passage, Bears Den
oil 9" x 12"
"Therein lies the enormous aid the work of art brings to the life of one who must make it - that is his epitome; the knot in the rosary at which his life recites a prayer."
R. M. Rilke
"If we could say it in words there would be no reason to paint."
I sometimes wonder at the way I feel compelled to paint every day. Indeed, if I don't get to messing around with my brushes and paint I'll soon become hard to live with (just ask Paula). Is it born out of habit already established so it is missed like other daily habits? I don't think so though the habit does reinforce other feelings. Is it a part of enjoying placing new limitations and visual problems and finding visual solutions? Yes, that is part of it.
I knew a smart and fine painter who cautioned to always leave a little something left to do so one got back at it the first thing the next day. Good advice but I haven't purposely done that in years. I think the answer lies in each of the quotes above; each one reflecting the personality of the speaker. Hopper, in his dour manner, has come at it from a limitation - we paint because we cannot otherwise capture and express our notions or feelings. Rilke has the metaphor that best describes the outward, reassuring nature of painting - "the knot in the rosary at which ones' life recites a prayer." It is a kind of wordless statement, a meditation on the wondrous discoveries made when one commits to non object driven seeing - a process of joy and difficulty that draws one in always, each day. Enjoy!