Monday, August 9, 2010

Where I'm at

I guess I've been doing too much thinking again...I really try to avoid that, but it's a constant battle...especially when it comes to my art, and Art in general. 

Of course, I have more than my fair share of the requisite self loathing and the mental chaos that generally accompanies that, but I have chosen to corral that, to reign it into the manageable rather than the debilitating, and with that, stick to benign subject matter, and go from there.  Kind of like sticking your toe into a pool to test the waters rather than just jumping in...and finding it to be be boiling or freezing cold.

Initially, I swore off of painting people, since as a bartender for many years, I found I began to loathe the human race, and all of the insanity that surrounded us.  The chaotic karma that came off of people in general tainted me like a drop of poison in a martini...initially the martini felt and tasted good, then it turned to death.   I stuck to landscapes, in the manner of a person that would knit or garden...a very lovely distraction, where I didn't have to have a true deep emotional investment...yet after a while, I did start having that slant, that bent, that initial taste of blood, and then inevitably, I hungered for more.

I found that I couldn't stay away from the emotional investment, like a cat with a mouse.  In this case, I see myself as the mouse, and not the cat.  The emotional attachment and hunger for more stalked me...it lurked in the background waiting to pounce at any given moment...and so, I began to cave in in small increments, a series of small compromises.  At first, I would only paint people at a very far distance, then, with no discernable features, then, only intimate features of those I love, and then, like a drug addict who finally can restrain themselves no longer, I just blasted it all to pieces and went ballistic and didn't care.

My thoughts are, now that the glass menagerie is in shards and splinters, I must be honest with myself, and accept that my period of isolation is over.  So, where do I stand?

I had aligned myself with the Impressionists in a sort of fantasy of thought.  I loved their dreamy use of paint and color, and I longed for their Bohemian "innocence" with a nostalgia I had no vested interest in.  So, as I painted away...I was living in a protective coccoon--trying to keep safe my last shreds of humanity, which the rest had been stripped away, layer by layer, by the world itself. 

But, in going away to nurse my wounds, like most wounds, if they are not mortal, those wounds recover.  Now, I realize, I must choose which road to travel. 

I would say I most align myself with Social Realism, except for one glaring problem.  I am NOT A LEFTIST, NOR A COMMIE, etc.  I feel that the LEFT has become the new enemy of the people, in a sanguine way.  They try to appear to champion the little guy, all the while despising him.  It's like sugar coating a cyanide capsule. 

So, what genre am I, a person who is certainly a "little person" (and I mean more than just stature), who paints the perspectives of the little people, and lives the life of an average Joe?  I am going to be bold and break rank here, and still say I am a Social Realist.

I am painting and recording the lives of Average Joes in our Middle Class, from their perspective, not from an Elitist one.  Not from a position of disdain masquerading as concern, but from an indifferent point of view as a person who is in the barrel with the rest of the squirming masses.  Not looking down, but looking around.  One who knows.  One who is here in the midst...not one who must foray out at night in disguise, to see what it's like to be "one of them."

And so, here's where I'm at.

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