I may be new to painting, but I’m not new to art. Nor am I new to honesty. I haven’t always used them appropriately, but I have appreciated them my entire life and know there are merits supporting the expression of them in different ways. Depending on the message, sometimes it is best to deliver it with graceful finesse and other times with stark brutality.
Because my birth as a painter happened so recently, it should come to no surprise that I don’t have the training, experience, nor talent to pull off anything graceful. I rely completely on the brutal instinct of my simian forefathers, my animal subconscious, my compulsion to fight or flee. When I’m splattering paint I am no longer human. I am an event. I am a verb powered by intuition.
I may never be a good artist, but I’ll always be an honest one. I paint what’s really happening to me at the time. I don’t have the discipline to try to capture something recognizable. It takes all of my energy just to keep whatever it is that I’m expressing from busting out of my skin. And perhaps that is what I find so attractive about the abstract medium I’ve chosen. It does not pretend to be anything but the “great yawp” it is — a manifestation of creative energy that I will not even attempt to rationalize for fear of diminishing it.
I always tell my children that they will never truly fail anything as long as they are honest; that the act of honesty itself is redemptive regardless of the outcome.
There are already enough lies in the world. There are plenty of half-truths we have to contend with on any given day. Hell, each of us is probably responsible for our fair share of adding to the pool of deception. And some people may have even convinced themselves we must cheat in this way to survive in today’s world.
But those people are wrong.