“Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
I carry my old delicious burdens...
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.”
Song of the open road pg 46
Process over product. Product over Process. To which is that which I am called art? Is it the sporting action in making art, the life of my work? Or is the leftover marked up paint scared canvas?
Is my artwork nothing more than a dead shell? A bloody carcass which is dripping colourful blood droplets of my former thoughts and slowly congealing shapes in a picture frame. Doomed to be framed, aggregate dust, possibly, my fill full my COVID growing wishes that many gawkers and a few books to a plethora of written arguments will be made upon its honour.
Or is this gawking gremlins in galleries and a witty white man’s written words the piece’s second life? The life in which it no longer matters my artistic reasonings for killing the white canvases innocents. Like a virgin bride on her wedded nicked, thrust up white foamed lace skirts into womanhood by her husband’s desperate one-eyed need to be repeatedly hugged. The canvass faithfully surrenders to my hopes and my misshapen ill shaded failures. I continue to come to the canvas. Until the work is complete, regardless of the surfaces feelings.
When the canvas and I near the end of our time, I feel pregnant, and we are in the lust of labour. I am gentlewoman casting her newest generation into the world-a wet gasping canvas fish. I am like Any artist. I feel such a joyous pain in which the cord of thought is cut from my current painting. The babe is no longer one with the mother vessel.
In the same way, the artwork is no longer my work. My thoughts turn to my newest artistic child as I sign off the old JCML in a mixture of dioxazine purple and three quarters ivory black- “Will my former concern make it?” “Will it be loved or lost?”
Now, to the joy of my bank account, the piece is adopted; Like a squalling low cast black Indian babe in native dress; Picked from all the other of my flat foreign children. To be reared in the western viewers’ mind, or the imagination of a broad audience with alligators’ bloody gnashing unwashed teeth. It sits in the home of a rich man, then a public place like a doomed zoo animal to which it will rot until it’s next Instagram photo or a national exhibit where it grows into an idol, a holy thing. Each time it becomes a place the viewer travels like an inspirational corporate poster quote.
An area, which to my most earnest wish, an audience member can have unspoken feelings, and dreamings left on a bench next to a stranger. Emotional baggage departed happily unattended next to a work of art. A moment I hopefully want to be repeated by a few of the masses passing by my art- It’s made for the general public’s health, their significance.
Until the art no longer is looked at with awe and loses touch with the current culture’s feelings. I, at this moment of insignificance, will experience my second death. It remains and becomes the baggage, to be doomed to a cupboard somewhere in a whitewashed Georgian building- where it will be gathered by another grey garland of dust under a gipsy embroidered cloth losing its former significance.
So, should I make it anyway?
Yes! My G-d. Yes. Without the telling, I cannot give worth-ship and find yellow-green’s purple pigmented trail to inner peace. How will my G-d accuse me of my ill deeds and call me for better doings at my easels alter of justice and judgement? For without the feeling of paint on my fingers, my thoughts are dead flowers—fingers which lay sagging folded dropped off broken petals like the corps hand bones lost in the graves rib cage. Without orpiment’s, I feel like an undesired plague. I am unworthy of life without a device in staving my hand, carving with pens pigments brushes.
I want to tell an ink a story that has the guts to make it generations past my lifetime. So, to my great love, and the Elokim’s glory, I will craft after my creator to sing visual praise. For as long as I live, I will visually pray. And maybe, just maybe one day. Someone will have a moment—only one. My work will be a part of their path to inner peace. But my work will not be remembered. It is not significant—just some emotional baggage left happily unattended by a piece of art.