Wednesday, September 05, 2007

No Such Thing as a Quiet Revolution?

"In art, all who have done something other than their predecessors have merited the epithet of revolutionary; and it is they alone who are masters."--PAUL GAUGUIN

... and then there is always the back-handed inspiration of Graham Greene:

"In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo de Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock."--GRAHAM GREENE

I have always heard the art world is only a faithful mistress to young artists. I look back at other, more successful, artists I have known that burned-out… “You had a good run, thank God you were young before it passed you by, too bad your youth didn’t allow you to enjoy it.” Or maybe that’s just my jaded opinion of what I saw.

Sunday, I tossed more logs on the fire, barely refreshed after completing, crating and shipping twenty-eight paintings to the Morris Graves Museum, last Friday. I was once again stretching canvas and painting into wet gesso, without the patience to even formulate a coherent thought before I drug my roller and brush over the surface, disfiguring the clean white with abrasive combinations of red, yellow and violet. Starting and finishing a bottle of a French cerulean blue-colored concoction called “Hpnotiq”; like water in the hundred-degree heat matched by true southern humidity. I’m beginning to wonder if my painting process will ever relax to a slower pace. I’ve read that even Pollock couldn’t slow down, he either painted feverishly or he didn’t paint at all. Looking backwards, through the bottom of a bottle, at an unbelievable ten-year-run gone past, it’s said that Pollock didn’t even paint for the final eighteen months of his life.

I often daydream of returning to my Hi-line home in the northern Rockies, spending my days hunting pheasant and evenings quietly painting my distant neighbors from the Blackfeet reservation or half dozen Hutterite colonies. My painting style would either be repugnantly dismissed or unique enough to merit the regular occasion to attain models and practice my craft. Like most opportunities in life, I can only assume that it would fall within some middle ground of acceptance. Someone, just this morning asked, “Do you get bored easily?” “My God, Yes!” I wanted to declare… and here I am later, daydreaming of my northern home and still wondering if it’s possible to slow my near-rabid painterly pace. – DN

1 comment:

Benji said...

I have often contemplated that boredom is the intellectual's worst enemy.

I am going to post my own blog on this issue. You should read it.