What moves men of genius, or rather what inspires their works is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.
I know. I posted that same Delacroix quote last night, but it has remained with me throughout this day, and I cannot let go of it just yet. Though it has been an art history day filled with 20th-century architecture and Abstract Expressionism with the A. P. classes and Henri Matisse with the Regular Art History class, my mind throughout the day has gone back to Andrew Wyeth and the legacy he built until he died at the age of 91. I was saddened the day he passed away, realizing his last watercolor sketch had been created, and nothing more would come from his fertile mind or sensitive eye. But today I realized that I cannot let go of the land or rural structures he explored. I lived among such places, and I still carry them in the best memories of my life. Once realizing that, I could not wait to get back to my studio and go back to work on the piece posted above, not realizing I was actually going to finish it today. Now I need to move on to something else. I’m very absorbed with the notion of rendering the raw land that engulfs us, and Andrew Wyeth remains my muse in that endeavor.
The day is just a blur to me now. Three sections of art history over two eras kept me occupied enough, but in every free moment, I was pouring words into my journal, re-thinking things we covered in Thoreau in yesterday’s philosophy class. One of the students, during roundtable discussion, read the following from Walden:
It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour.
I was moved at how long the students lingered over this text in discussion, musing: “how does one live a creative, artful life?” How does one begin to answer such a question? Indeed, it is much easier to make beautiful things than to live a beautiful life, simpler to bless others with your creations than with your behaviors. I was not able to provide an answer to the class, and I’m not sure who could.
As I moved through the day, I resolved to continue chewing on this one, and, once home again, pick up the brush and attempt to make something beautiful. While painting the above watercolor, I listened to a DVD of Ken Burns’ documentary on Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the archtects we covered in A. P. Art History today. Luckily our public library had the disk and I’m delighted to listen to his story as I work.
Thanks for reading.
I paint in order to remember.
I journal when I feel alone.
I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.