I find myself making art. Feelings arise when I do, and when I don’t.
Making art may offer purpose. When we are without purpose, we may feel we are merely taking up space on an already crowded planet.
Why did people paint the walls of caves or ornament their tools and weapons? Did these perform better when thus embellished? Surely caves provided equal shelter without images on their walls. For some reason we do these things. We make art.
I have been making three types of art:
Landscapes influenced by nineteenth century Romantic and Realist painting in Europe and North America. Minimalist abstracts emulating Agnes Martin, Robert Ryman, Bridget Riley, Gerhard Richter and others. And, most recently, works featuring the human form.
The landscapes are informed by nineteenth century artists who sought to find the heroic in the mundane. Uncontrived, and subtly subversive ‘point and shoot’ image making. Encountering nature with an emotional substratum in paint. For example, JMW Turner explored the boundary between the seen and understood, and the hidden and inferred.
Working on the minimalist abstracts, feelings that arise guide me. At times a meditative dimension opens. The effectiveness of this work derives in large part from its capacity to give rise to feelings, chiefly of serenity. The paintings’ purpose is to act as kiosks for those beholding them to reconnect with their original nature, something I have recently heard referred to as ” pristine mind”.
Works featuring the human form are more diverse in influence and purpose. Painting can feel solitary, and making images that include the human form may, on occasion assuage this feeling. While introducing a narrative dimension, these images tell a story through symbol. Our interest is magnetized by the human form. These pieces are attempts to form sentences using the human form as a surrogate for words.
At core is an aspiration to peace, love and understanding through the transmutation of their opposites. Base metal into gold. Alchemy. Appreciation for life, the environment, and whatever intangible entities Earth may play host to. Perhaps peace is not boring, drama not interesting. Can we be, breathe, look, see, feel and understand? If so even the need to make art may fall away.
Art, in the meantime, might catalyze the rediscovery of a saner way of being in the world- individually and collectively.