what is the purpose of art?

 

Painting Depression

This painting is unusual for me as it comes from a darker place than I am accustomed to recognizing.  I started it after a meeting during which my  colleagues were discussing depression and explaining in clearer terms than I can remember hearing previously just what depression feels like.  I started painting as that’s what I do and found the meeting influencing the painting.  It seemed dark and ominous.  There seemed to be a weight suspended and a glimmer of light smeared and confined. I decided this painting  was about depression. Maybe that’s what screwed me up because I’m stuck now and I try not to decide what the painting is about until after it’s done.  I had defined the bottom right dark area as the confusion and mindset of depression and I can’t seem to resolve it with the rest of the painting.  I am thinking now how appropriate but still it’s not gonna be finished till I find resolution.  Until balance arrives.

 

work in progress

work in progress

My purpose

My purpose is greater than making paintings, omelets, or peace.  My purpose is to move from the dark to the light by recognizing the dark and asking for help to see beyond it.  It just so happens I am a painter.  One of the symbols I chose to represent the passage from dark to light is painting,  I can’t deny that symbol and undertake a passage bereft of symbols. I can’t find my way in my own head under a tree in meditation. It’s not the way I got here and it’s not the way through.  The art world, the brush I forgot to clean, the stubborn image all contribute to my journey.

 

So what’s the purpose of Art?

The finished art reflects my journey and provides hope.  Hope that there is more to this life.  Hope that there is a process through, and hope that I can engage in that process.  It is easy for me to forget.  I see tasks and obstacles, injustice and despair. I can easily forget there is more to life than the levels of a game toward death.  Then I catch out of the corner of my eye something that makes no sense. Something that doesn’t belong in this concrete scenario.  Why would someone make that?  It serves no purpose, I cannot cook with it or use it for shelter.  Art is like a window in to another world.  A world where sense matters less and the stain of color on canvas can trump the day.

So I keep making art.  I find when I deny myself the practice things get worse.  I don’t know that I think more but there seems to be less escape from thought.  Artmaking is a prayer.  I lose myself there and find a glimpse of hope that we are all more than I previously recognized. For me that is the purpose of Art.

meanwhile…

 

never one to waste paint and following in the trend of twin paintings we have the alter ego of “Depression”, “No Depression”.  Built using the same paint and canvas dimensions “No Depression” washes away all doubt and cleanses the doors of perception.

No Depression

No Depression

No Depression

 

 

 

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