Making it real

Sea Watch

Getting it right …

Hmmm … it’s just not good enough. Doesn’t come close.

Going to have to put some serious thought into how to properly photo­graph my paintings.
Their dynamic range, gamut, whatever it’s called, is too wide to grasp with my DSLR. We do have a big white gazebo‑y, tent‑y thing that might do as a giant lightbox in lieu of monster strobes. But that’s going to have to wait for the rain to stop so … who knows … it is entirely possible that there might be a dry day next year … some time.

I’ve tried to put up some pics on Facebook and Instagram as well but I’m not sure how well they work and as these things take anywhere between 2 and 6 weeks to paint, they’re not exactly going to be frequent posts.

It’s weird: social media totally baffles me. It’s not that I’m anti-social, don’t want to share … don’t get me wrong — after all: it’s what I do all day.

Maybe I’m just more comfortable monologuing like a psychopath in a third rate super hero movie. Or communing, wordlessly like a shaman.
Or that once I’m done, I’m done in. Nothing much left to say.

Strangely, in the past couple of weeks I have heard two singers talking about how important it is to take your instruc­tions from the outside.
One of whom was a shaman from the Amazon talking about the importance of performing the ritual absolutely correctly or the gods would be displeased and punish him.
And the other was a great Sufi singer who said that, when you get it right, you do not sing, you are sung. I loved that: by the song, by god, the universe, whatever.

And I’ve always been very uncom­fortable about tradi­tional crafts being shown as “Art”. Masks and statues and fetishes. Their making so often absolutely precludes self-expression of any sort — the god cannot come and inhabit the form if it is not exactly right. It is almost the opposite of what we usually mean by “Art”.

The weird thing that happens when I’m painting, so close I can’t see the image, often upside down, so I can’t see what I’m doing, is that the line seems to draw the brush, not the other way round.
It’s not when you step back and see that it’s right, it feels right as it moves, as it heads off wherever it wants to go. And the fear goes and the doubt and you trust … believe. Or not.
And I love to paint them so much because vectors and Bézier curves on the computer, rock and flex and rotate so elegantly but they have no intention, no destin­ation, no purpose, no reason, no meaning.

The feeling of being sung is beautiful indeed.

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