14 July 2023

Tourists and paramours

Evening Prayer Brunswick heads, 11 July 2023 oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

As painters and writers, we're not tourists when we look at pictures or when we read books, we investigate like private dicks all the squirrelly squiggles on paper and linen surfaces.

Of course, everyone has an opinion these days about everything including what artists and writers and other creative folks put out for the world to devour, but writers read books differently than tourists just as painters look differently at pictures. It's not a big deal, it's just the way it is. It's a bit like the way a certain mechanic will look at a Porsche type "C" built in the 1950’s which might be parked on a random street somehow. He sees all of it, but through all its details, and all at once.

The lovers of books, paintings, and cars among so many other things have a vested interest in the objects of their desire. Gardners too, don't see just an empty field, they behold a garden. 

Evening Prayer Brunswick heads, 11 July 2023 oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

And so, Art is a formidable love affair. It is not, nor should it be, just a question of liking, preferring, or coveting an art work. It's about a whole world of mystery, craft and obsession, because it's about love. Proust wrote somewhere in Swann's Way 

"We no longer love anyone else when we're in love". 

Maybe in the world of the human heart this makes sense but in the world of art I would  say that a painter might forget everything else when he is working yet still, in his imagination, in the off-hours, he'd be sleeping with Goya's Marquise de la Solana. In fact, everything he's ever seen is at his fingertips and like on his smart phone it can be called up instantaneously. His imagination will relentlessly tempt and taunt him as he looks out for his next conquest.  


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