Do you love the mark of the artist?
The sweep or lilt of liquid colour on canvas?
There’s something about
seeing the hand’s gestural traces.
This visceral sense of an actual alive artist forms a chunk of my gut/heart response to van Gogh. There is an entry point into a creation otherwise distant in time and place. You enter via a whole-soul, whole-being, embodied perception that this artist really did make this mark with his hand, a brush and some juicy pigments.
It helps bring me present to the artwork.
It helps bring the artist present to me.
We directly communicate as much as we can, while separated by skins, beliefs and eras of existence.
I went a-Googling for van Gogh still life and found Still Life with Pears.This feels in keeping with my unrolling theme of flaws and fruitfulness. And continuing the theme of Imperfection from last week, how about these drips and drops?
I visited the recent ‘Margaret Olley: Painter, Peer, Mentor, Muse’ exhibition in Sydney.
Olley, as far and deep as she could manage, lived a sensual artist’s life.
The drips and drops, direct evidence of the artist’s hand, speak to me.
Another artist might have noticed paint slooshing down the picture … and panicked. They might have gone ‘Oh no! A mistake. Freak out. I can’t have this’. They might have scrubbed and scraped to repair the accident, manically trying to create an idea of perfection.
Now, I don’t know whether the driplets and droplets, the streaks and splotches in this painting were deliberate or accidental. I don’t know whether Olley welcomed them or whether her eyesight was failing in later life. It seems to me that they were surprise markings and that she embraced them. She incorporated them into the overall wholeness, the bigger picture.
Can you spot the parts of the painting that the earlier drippy details come from?
How fabulously enriching to literally go with the flow. Perhaps you can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Perhaps you can say yes to the blotches and wrinkles of life and turn them into art.
Feel free to share examples of your own or other’s creations – the ones that incorporate the accidental drips.