13 October 2022

Pan Am and Stravinsky, a contextual conundrum

Pan Am,  September 18, 2022 Myocum N.S.W. oil on plywood, 240 X 120 cm

Here is a new curiosity done a few weeks back that I propped up in a corner of the studio because I wasn't sure if it was finished (or was I not happy with it?). But after a while I quietly realised it was both OK and finished. Regretfully, it does not photograph well because the scale reduces it to almost nothing to look at.

I suppose it has as much in it for me to be happy about as it has for me to regret, for perfectionism runs too deeply within me for it to be otherwise. And yet, I am happy that I have decided not to go back in to 'make it better, more perfect'. This is progress, not perfection as they say.

Yes, (and though it is unfashionable) I am after an expression of Joy and Wonder in these things even if I don't consider myself joyful or full of wonder though I might show these things to the world. But then, Art is about invention, imagination, the possibility of success, maybe even rising to a place above one's talents despite all odds. And doesn't the same go for us in our daily lives, this marching through life as such terribly fragile and imperfect human beings?

I guess this series Pan Am is really about the invention of joy. They make me think so much of Stravinsky's entire oeuvre. But I wouldn't make reference to that in the title because then viewers would be looking for it in the work. That can be an awful contextual conundrum for an author.

What actually does pre-occupy my painterly intuition is to create pictures as full of as many relationships as I can pictorially utilise in a work. And this aspect of painting is crucial, it's almost the whole point, it seems to me. To create a whole, a unity of expression, as fully realised as one possibly can, this is the raison d'etre of Painting, indeed, of  all Art.

And though this image may look loud in a certain rambunctious and colourful way on first view, it sinks back into discreet corner like a Labrador after a big run outdoors.  

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