Saturday, April 19, 2008

I refuse to be Sisyphus

"In the depths of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
~Albert Camus

This is a pretty uplifting quote from Camus, who had rather bleak view of the world and our place in it. Camus believed that all life was fundamentally meaningless, and thus was a constant struggle until we shuffled off this mortal coil.
He advised us to revolt against this meaninglessness by living a life as full as possible, whilst knowing that the inevitable creeps closer each day.

I agree with Camus in the sense that we must embrace life to the fullest, and I do agree with his opinion that life really is a happy struggle, but I try not to dwell on the tomorrow, only on the today, on the here and now. I disagree with him that life is meaningless though. It seems as though he thinks that the end point, death, is what defines life...what gives it meaning, like some finished product at the end of an assembly line. I say that even if there is nothing after death, a meaningful life can be distinguished by what we do each day between birth and death. Not to get too cliché here but isn't it the journey that counts and not what lies at the end?

I was thinking yesterday how frustrating it is when areas of darker valued paint dry is infuriating. When I apply the dark value initially it has the value that I want, the colour as well (I mix each black every time I apply the paint to canvas), but then, two days later, it dries 1-2 values lighter...the only apparent remedy is a nice coat of varnish....four months later! I do love mixing my own blacks...painting with black and very dark paint is like painting snow...there are so many colours and nuances found within that it is never one, solid colour. I like to mix each dab of black every time...many artists premix and get large amounts of one, consistent colour...but I prefer the variation of looking at a section of "black" and seeing blues, reds, greens etc within that darkness. I suppose they do it to save time but I much prefer mixing it as I go.

I have attached a wonderful little segment on Lucian Freud, my painting hero. Charlie Rose interviews two close friends of Freud's. They talk about the artist and his creative process. Quite interesting.It is about 35 minutes long.

Film I am currently watching: The Thin Red Line. I know, it's older, and I never got around to seeing it...who ISN'T in this film? It's like The Breakfast Club of war movies. Terrance Mallick is all about the sweeping, long shots in The New World so we'll see how he handles this one.

Listening to: Recycled Air by The Postal Service
Painting: The lovely Jade. Two paintings, one study, one larger.

"Paint as you like and die happy".
~Henry Miller

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The soundtrack to The Thin Red Line is amazing.

Also, I just learned of you four days ago. Your work is fantastic, and I look forward to reading.