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Posts Tagged ‘Boris Pasternak’

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Art is interested in life at the moment when the ray of power is passing through it.

—Boris Pasternak

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I think Boris 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 I can’t find force this because of my extreme efforts instead of despite. Sometimes it seems as though trying to consciously find that thing prevents it from being found, as though the energy expended in searching creates a cloud that somehow obscures that which is sought.

It often finally appears when I finally let go of the search and don’t focus on finding anything. I just let my mind wander free and lose myself in the process of actually painting– the colors, lines and forms before me.

And suddenly there it is.

It’s as though you don’t find it. It finds you.

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The bit of writing above is from five years ago but I thought I’d share it along with a glimpse at a corner of my studio from this morning. The 18″ wide by 36″ high canvas on the easel was started yesterday and reminded me of this post. It is obviously a work in progress not nearly close to any sort of finish. But even as it was forming in its earliest stages, it was displaying a strong life force.

That is not always the case. Sometimes a piece takes days, going through several frustrating stages where it flattens and has all the life force of a dead fish before finally bursting to life.

Bit in this case, it came together quickly and without a lot of thought or wringing of hands. It just pushed itself onto the canvas. Maybe it is the slashing strokes that make up the sky. There’s a lot of energy in those slashes and the way their colors react to one another.

Maybe this piece will be called Rays of Power?

We’ll see.

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GC Myers-Foundling smArt is interested in life at the moment when the ray of power is passing through it.

Boris Pasternak

******************

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.

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