Thursday, June 2, 2011

What's Wrong With My Paintings

Is it just old bods like mine that resist change? It’s a given that whenever I return from the European continent (ha, don’t I sound cool?) it takes me about four days to recover from jet lag, and then it is another week before I’m in synch with the western world. As delighted as he is to have me back Kodi stares one wolf blue eye at me as I carefully detour around his otherwise slumbering torso between 2 and 3 am each morning.

The first thing I did in the wee hours today was make a list of to-do’s: wash the rest of my travel clothes; prune the roses if it stops raining; do the pool chemicals; unpack my paints; clean up email on my computer; shop for vitamins; call friends; try out a new WW meeting; pay another installment to the tree company who removed my beetle infested pine; etc. The list took two pages. With luck I might get half of one page done. Then about 4pm I’m ready for shut-eye. I still haven’t looked at my paintings from the trip knowing they are not memorable. Everyone but me did sketches for their travel books but stubborn Bonnie sticks to quarter sheets. Another manifestation of resisting change. Above you see the only travel sketch I did---an olive tree at St. Remy---using the tombo pen Catherine gave me. I did this while eating lunch last Friday as I realized, with awe, that the stone bench on which we spread bread, cheese, and other goodies may have been hewn in the 11th century. I am stirred in my groin.

I can’t stop thinking about Van Gogh. I hadn’t known before that he was epileptic as well as bipolar. The absinth and bromides he took , while contributing to his insanity, were no doubt an effort at self medication. And if he had tinnitus, as is suggested, cutting off his ear would be a last ditch effort to find relief. Makes perfect sense. Perhaps every great artist, whatever their media, has to be a bit mad. Hey, maybe that’s what’s lacking in my art? I’m too sane.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Bonnie this sketch has real feeling and gesture, that comes only from being there. It is absolutely charming! Sometimes a sketch can free us from the need to be "perfect." And I think there is nothing wrong with your paintings! Beth