Friday, December 1, 2017

Portrait of a Marina Flooded by Sandy

Over Thanksgiving we visited Jeanette's cousin Paul, who owns a boatyard in Long Island.

I did a painted sketch of his shop and forklift, which he put back together after they were flooded with 11 feet of salt water. Paul Paolucci tells the story. (Link to Video).


Jim Douglas said...

"I find it very odd when they describe art as challenging, because I always thought art was meant to calm you like a lullaby, not challenge you like some skinhead in an underpass."
--Alexander Stoddart

James Gurney said...

Neither the lullaby nor the underpass-challenge metaphor describes my state of mind when I'm painting. I'd describe it more as a feeling of dissociation, as if the engine parts of my brain are unbolted from each other and laid out on the floor. There's a point when nothing seems to come together. If the painting starts to come to life (which is not always!), it's the result of a combination of good luck and dogged effort. The end result may be a feeling of neural exhaustion, sort of a calm feeling I guess, depending on whether the natural endorphins kick in.

Jim Douglas said...

I agree, neither description entirely resonates with me, but both are thought-provoking. I suppose every artist has a unique state of mind while creating. I appreciate hearing about your experience, and welcome other people to offer their descriptions.

My wife once asked me if I had fun while painting. I had to chuckle and admit, "Not really." I create to discover, learn, see, understand, etc. which are all rather exhausting acts. I'm less creating artwork and more crafting my future self.

But creating isn't always a process of accumulation. Jasper Johns once said, "I often find that having an idea in my head prevents me from doing something else. Working is therefore a way of getting rid of an idea." Something in there rings true to me as well.