13 April 2020

Brokenness, and the hands of Theloneous Monk

Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 11 April, 2020, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

To convey an emotion from one human to another, it seems to me, is the whole point of Art. Of course, I live in the world of Contemporary Art, an age of political science and sociological precedence in all things artistic. This is a world wherein Art has been fused into an engine fuelled by philosophy, advertising, and irony.

I am no longer an emotional man which basically means that I don't rely upon my emotions to make decisions in my life. But I used to be.

But in saying that, I am an extremely emotional painter, and in fact passionate around all things artistic. I love Elgar's Nimrod, and Brahms' Intermezzo's and I love both Monk and Jerome Kern, and in another life Tim Buckley.

I love the sensuality of oil paint, I always have, and sometimes I wonder if I should have been a pastry chef. I love all of Piero della Francesca's work. But I retreat from the overly ambitious and exuberant passion of Jackson Pollack, ditto for de Kooning and Twombly, but only after a brief seduction. Safe to say that I am uneasy around too much exuberant emotion. And yet, in all my paintings I am decidedly in favour of a sensuality and unabashed feeling. And I have always been this way in my work. 

In the painting above I realised that the fierce red cloud had been started with a stab of the brush and continued leftward because I do have a habit of working from right to left in this series. 

I liked it immediately upon making the brush stroke. That I left it thus means that I was happy with the abrupt, discordant addition it made to the painting. On another day I might have easily re-worked it to make an ordered and more symmetrical unity to the picture. Thankfully I didn't for I like the brokenness of it. It says: 

"This is a painting made from a human hand"

It's 'brokenness' cuts any pretence of the desire for a perfection which seems to hang  over a creator's life like a sword.

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