Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Painter

There is something you should know about painting: it’s a declaration of knobs. Yaks. Conviction. The sag of a cemetery willow. The uncanny dialects of a woman’s arm. The insinuation of streets when they’re wet and the cars go by with people in them dreaming, talking, yelling, crying, laughing.
How do you paint that? There is always that question when I sit down to paint. I draw a snake. I paint the snake. The snake coils into a variegated iridescence and flicks a scarlet tongue.
Then I get into density. The volumes of things. Houses, forklifts, cows. Animals with horns. And sometimes something small, a fingernail, a pin in a map, a pickle.
Or a screw. I admire the machinery of the screw. Such a simple thing. I can feel the truth of its existence in the torque of its threads.
Art is a matter of experience not principles. The clarity of any given moment.  There’s so much reality in a moment. But then, as we are all wont to ask, what the fuck is reality?
Reality is the activity of consciousness. It comes into being through interrelationship. Parables and paraffin and abalone and hills. The tea of incident, the brightness of valor. Bubbles rising in a ginger ale on a flight to Oaxaca. Sexual somersaults, injuries of the spur. Alligator gravity flying saucer soup a ghost hoeing a garden in Guadalajara.
I feel seized by a stunning translucence. My mind is a mass of fireworks. The stars journey over the prairie, ripping the sky open until eternity shines through.
My brush moves a flower into a woman’s hand and her eyes light the world on fire.
I include a cherry. A bright red cherry. So juicy it sings. So real that it expects my bite.
I love the thingness of things. Das ding an sich. The thing-in-itself. A knife that is a real knife. A wheel that is a real wheel. An eye that is a true eye. The luster of pain in a swoon of pleasure.
A saguaro sun drawing lemon from a gourd of carnelian and jade.
Alchemist holding a blue liquid in a careful measure.
Scarlet trumpet vine. Maidenhair fern. Night scented jasmine in a forest glade.