On Seeing

I am determined to do 30 paintings by Nov. 11.

In doing this exercise, I am surrendering to the notion that I have any control over some big issues, which trouble and affect me today. Such as, the economic problem, the healthcare system, our wars, religious and racial strife, natural disasters and suffering.

My world is quite small now and I have the inspiration to examine it in detail and on a very personal level. After all, I am an artist and that is my job.

In a way, I am reminded of the cartoon image of Nero fiddling while Rome burned. This makes perfect sense to me.

I don’t know what meditation is like for the Buddhist monks or the highly enlightened but painting these is like this: there is a time and a spot to work in the house, that is predetermined so that when the time arrives I simply go to the spot and the tools are there. The subject for that time has already been chosen so I don’t have to decide or think about it, I just look at it. Maybe I turn it around a bit in the light to see what it looks like. I may have thought about what it looks like before but now I see what it looks like.

Then I begin to paint it and spend the next 4 hours or so wrestling wildly back and fourth between being in control, and being out of control of my ability to make color look like what I am seeing. Nothing else enters my mind.

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