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Sunday, March 6, 2016


I’ve pondered the question, why do I create.

I’ve talked about losing – a longish but temporary state – the ability to paint worth a damn after I lost my hearing.

And then there’s been my experiences at the Draw the Nekkid Model sessions at the Boston Figurative Art Group.
Art is a language, albeit visual. It is all very well learning to draw like Leonardo or paint like Raphael, but if you can't communicate anything more than technical ability, then your work is dead.  (source)
The paintings that my fellow scribblers create, at these Friday morning sessions, are technically proficient and classically beautiful but they don’t do anything for me. They all strike me as still lifes—lovely, innocuous, will look great over the sofa—but the subject’s a nude woman instead of a vase of begonias. Their work feels static – decorative.

Mind you, there’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with decorative art. Decorative doesn't always equal static either. In fact, I dearly wish my own visual language (paired with an actual ability to market my shit) was more along this line. Why? Angst ridden and/or scar covered nudes aren’t big sellers to say the very least and, ya know, the mortgage isn’t gonna pay itself.

And then there’s Banksy, Basquiat and Fairey.

Banksy does fabulously witty, social commentary and indictments.

Basquiat started as a Brooklyn graffiti artist/poet, before becoming a brill fine art type.

Shepard Fairey, most famous for his poster of Obama, which the campaign saw and adopted, began by plastering 8.5”x11”s and small stickers of a posterized portrait of Andre the Giant’s mug with the word OBEY underneath. In the ‘90s they were EVERYwhere in Boston and New York.

One of my deeply profound bunny doodles
These three have made deep, important statements that speak/spoke to a wide audience AND they've been paid well for it too. *sigh* ENVY!!
I know that art doesn’t need to be all profound, substantive and Guernica-esque to be MEANINGFUL and IMPORTANT. Significance and profundity are in the eye of the beholder AND it's a matter of scale.

My friend Michie paints beautiful scenes from her home in Maine. They give her and the folks who take her work home great joy. That’s important!

Holly paints gorgeous Chagall-esque images onto the mugs and tiles she crafts out of white stoneware. Important!

Brenda makes the coolest, colorful lamp-worked glass bead jewelry (and housewares). Important!

Their work brings me peace, beauty and happiness. This is important and good.

 So where does this leave me with my own work? Dunno. I'm still in a materials transition phase – going from oil and oil crayon on stretched canvas to Crayola and water based paint on paper. What do I want to say though? Do I even have anything to say? I'm not sure.

I've been doodling on the computer a lot lately and that's been fun. In fact, I'm enjoying the hell out of it. Maybe I should just fucking chill and see where this leads?

Huh, there's an idea!

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