I think Pasternak (author of Doctor Zhivago) is really spot on with with this terse definition of art. Art at its core is, for me, an attempt to affirm our existence and the existence of that life force within us.
I really like that term that Pasternak uses here– ray of power. That description of the force that drives all living things jibes well with that animating force that I try to find in my own work, that indeterminate quality that makes a static thing seem to take on a life of its own.
How and if it comes through in the work is the interesting thing for me. Sometimes, despite my extreme efforts, I cannot find that life force. Maybe I should say because of my extreme efforts instead of despite. Sometimes it seems as though trying to consciously find that thing prevents it from being found. It often finally appears when I don’t focus on that aspect and lose myself in the process of actually painting– the colors, lines and forms before me.
It’s as though you don’t find it. It finds you.
I chose the painting at the top, Foundling, to illustrate this post before I wrote that last line but it fits so well with the idea of that ray of power as well as the idea of it finding you. This painting, a 24″ by 36″ canvas, is, of course, from my upcoming show, Home+Land, opening July 17 at the West End Gallery.