as you may or may not be aware, i love art. from where i’m sitting in my room at this very moment, i can count ten paintings either created by me or my brother. additionally, there are several stashed under my bed from my college painting class that are laughably bad and too embarrassing to be displayed.
before definitively declaring art history as my concentration at northwestern, i had three majors: spanish, italian, and international studies. with credentials like those you can tell that i’m fascinated by other cultures and the people who are part of said groups. but how in the hell do you define yourself as part of one group or another?
you may be from one country but speak the languages of another – can you not also be a part of that culture? but who the hell cares?? similarly, i love art because of the universality and its contrasting uniqueness. anyone can understand a piece, but they might not understand it in the same way. much like language, and culture.
i have a notebook filled with quotations of things i once read, or heard in lecture, while trying to understand. in those pages there are also hundreds of titles of paintings, and silly sketches that look nothing like the actual image that they were derived from. additionally, i love a good quote by a fellow museum visitor.
‘i could’ve done that.’
but you didn’t.
however, i generally prefer to play my ipod as i go through museums. but i’ve gotten into hot water on more than one occasion for taking photos and not realizing i was being yelled at because of those damn earbuds.
alternatively, sneakily taking illegal photos of paintings is one of my favorite pastimes.
but i digress. i love art, but painting is equally fulfilling and frustrating. see that painting up there in my banner? that mess of an apple? that took me hours in the studio to create, but i did it. and when i left the studio i understood that i used to just assume colors instead of actual seeing them. i found that i understood how to see that and how to paint it, yet i had (and have) a complete lack of confidence in my ability to make art.
with a little prying from my brother, however, i started painting again. today, in the 80 degree, overcast day, clay and i quietly and independently painted over coffee. i painted something and i painted nothing. but mostly i mixed color, because gathering pigment to an unsure end is the best feeling.
‘when i am painting i have a general notion of what i am about. i can control the flow of the paint. there is no accident, just as there is not beginning and no end. sometimes i lose the painting but i have no fear of changes, of destroying the image because a painting has a life of its own – i kind of let it live.’ – jackson pollock