Sunday, February 26, 2012

Finding Truth

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.

©2012 Patricia Scarborough  Fullness of Summer 30 x 40 oil
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.


Hannah said...

Patty--this is an amazing post. The news this past week struck me particularly hard as well and I found myself asking and answering some of the same questions. I do think that we need respite,inspiration,beauty,joy and imagination. Those of us who provide these qualities create breathing space for others to go ahead and come up with the tough answers for the world's problems. Thanks for these thoughts.

Patty said...

A kindred soul...I'm grateful for those who are willing to deal with difficult world issues so that I can paint my pictures. Thank you, Hannah, for your contributions to the world.

Nancy Teague said...

Meaningful thoughts. Wonderful painting - inviting and lush with life and peace. A great visual reminder to come away in the midst of chaos remembering that there is always a place of rest, peace, and hope in the Him.

Patty said...

Thanks so much Nancy. Your paintings do the same for me.

Karine said...

A beautiful post. If I wanted to see how depraved the world can be, I'd watch the news. I like your art, and how it lifts me and reminds me of beauty.

I only hope that my art can have the same power. xo

Patty said...

Karine, your art has immense power! The world is a better place when you create. Thank you.