Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Everyone forgets...

Realism, as a personal form of expression, hasn't held interest for me since I was a teen. Drawing realistically yes, or photographing sure—there is need to document, to capture, to refine one's skills, to be able to literally transcribe what one sees.

But paint?

With painter's tools in my hands, paint demands not to be constrained. I love the luscious, juicy, transformative nature of paint too completely! I become enraptured by it. In a single stroke, a painter can travel beyond the purely physical. A painter's brush can reflect back and bring forward what cannot be seen: the movement of light, the order of texture, the emotion of the line, the essence of life, the radiance of insight, the depth of human hope.

Should it be surprising that even our words for imaging have duel definitions: reflection—as in a mirror or as in examining deeper meanings; vision—as in being able to see clearly or as in being able to see what cannot be easily comprehended by many.

As a painter I go to art museums and constantly get scolded for getting too close to the paintings, even setting off alarms. But to take in a painting one must move as close to it and as far from it as the painter does when painting it. When in Spain it is the only way to see Picasso's Guernica. I could have stayed with that painting all day, much like when I was in the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi, Italy and first saw Giotto's vision of truth. It was painful to leave that place—that was my heaven!

So tonight the paint enables a found wing to fly, and I separate out the reality of my vision from that of the vision of my heart. I sacrifice colors, lines, details, and luscious paint that have not adequately reflect back some deeper truth I am in pursuit of.

"Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist."

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