Figuring out the world one brush stroke at a time.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Ugh. As I sit down to write this
post Syria is going to war against its own citizens. Journalists have been killed;
innocent civilians by unknown numbers have been murdered by their own
government. There is no end in sight.
Our president is apologizing for
a boneheaded mistake by our military, and those who were offended are
themselves offending in retaliation.
A woman living near my town is
accused of murdering her husband. Someone left the scene of a terrible
accident. Children leave school with backpacks full of food for the weekend
because the cupboards at home are empty.
Often I wonder: Am I lame for painting pretty
pictures? As an artist, isn’t it my job to pull back the curtain and reveal to
the world the truth? Shouldn't I be bearing a harder burden?
Truth is life on this
planet can get pretty ugly. It is also true that we as humans are woven
together not just by tragedy, but by shared joy, by experiences of common
delight and wonder. The sun rises and burns through mist on the horizon revealing the earth patiently waiting on us humans to get our act together. Trees rise from verdant fields with arms that spread wide and envelope us under shared memories, worries and hopes.
If it is important that we
understand how depraved a human being can be, it is also important to express the
magnificence of our every day-ness.
During the opening reception for Land Marks at Stuhr Museum in Grand Island, Ne, many patrons shared warm feelings inspired by my paintings. Memories of kicking dirt on county roads, camping out in the pasture by the creek, watching the sun rise over a fresh new day.
I, and others like me, do pull the curtain back to reveal the truth, which is that while we humans can be a pretty nasty bunch, this planet is a place of wonder. HH just said to me, "your work is a time out, a precious moment to forget about all the ugliness around me and to enjoy a calm pause in my day." Thanks Sweetie.
To connect with another human being in an emotional way, to
thread experiences together of a kinder place, to share that truth, is
a burden I am willing to bear.