I hesitated before posting this painting, as I hesitated when making it. But I think a log of paintings should – unlike an exhibition – contain both high and low points. It is, after all, this that makes the tapestry of a life.
The concept in this painting was the same as in my previous one, and it was based off the same source photo. But in this painting I tried many things and the version shown above is the last exasperated gasp. The painting is worth something for me because it is a testament to my emotional state – probably worth more than an index card pointing to my level of skill.
I have gone back to reading Helen Vendler’s book The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar. In the introduction, she writes:
The arts are true to the way we are and were, to the way we actually live and have lived— as singular persons swept by drives and affections, not as collective entities or sociological paradigms.
This book is tough going in parts, but it is worth slogging through it to get to the high points. A poem by Langston Hughes, I found, resonates with the theme of my blog:
Wave of sorrow, Do not drown me now: I see the island Still ahead somehow. I see the island And its sands are fair: Wave of sorrow, Take me there.
Vendler points out the progression in the poem – the poet moves from a state of resisting the state of sorrow (“Do not drown me now”) to one where he recognizes the value of the dark – it carries him like a tide to the fair sands on the other side (“take me there”), where one hopes he emerges with increased wisdom and understanding.
This is also a constant theme in mindfulness meditation – witnessing what IS, and being with it intimately – even if it happens to be doubt (as in my painting attempt above), depression or chronic fatigue. In my own experience, most of these can be endured with dignity – it is the voices of our own judgement (“why do I feel like this?”) that makes it unendurable.
Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you are happy and content.