Thursday, November 15, 2007

Excerpts from Paper Four

Blessedly the Friday night angst is over and writing won. It seems I have picked up on an ancient conflict between the one who paints and the one who writes in China. The best of both is found in the genius scholar-painter archetype.

Writer's who could write about art but did not paint well were considered "at home with theories but at sea with the brush". And painters who could paint well but not write were considered "uncultured"...Ouch! Quite the insult! The solution is to tactfully ignore the conflict. Easier to do if you can paint equally as well as write.

This paper is my favorite so far and I have relied heavily on excellent writers (see reading list). An except from Taoism and Ink Brush Painting reads:

Direct Perception
The intention of the painter is to create an interpenetration and mutual influence of scenery and feeling. The feeling is the scene and looking at the scene leads one to experience direct perception. Direct perceptions are thoughts uncolored by dogma, belief systems and philosophy, even Taoist philosophy. Landscape painting is not considered an intellectual, technical or formal challenge and does not require metaphor or symbolic interpretation. When the mind perceives and experiences nature directly selfishness and emotional preoccupation fall away. A painting provides the viewer with inherent meaning that is obvious and immediate. Inner feelings are not explicit (or exploited), but extend throughout the painting to create a general mood. As the viewer makes a personal interpretation by bringing their feelings to the painting, the mood of the painting takes on personal qualities allowing the painting to carry depth of meaning for each viewer. This is why ink brush painting has a universal appeal.
In the October 2006 issue of Discover Magazine an article written by Kathryn Garfield discussed Vincent van Gogh’s famous spiral brush strokes and his ability to render natural forms that closely match the famous Kolmogorov statistical model of turbulence in fluid dynamics. "The problem of turbulence is considered the last unsolved mystery in classical physics". This article raised the question; did Van Gogh’s psychotic mind allow him to perceive existing natural patterns that are generally unseen? A scientific study found bumblebees that had never encountered real flowers favored Van Gogh’s Sunflowers over the floral works of other well-known artists. "Van Gogh owned a large collection of Japanese prints and was deeply influenced, by implication Zen Buddhist views of nature". Van Gogh painted visionary landscapes with the principles of Yin and Yang related to the conjoining of sun and moon, clouds and swirls in “Starry Night.” Heightened perception is a prerequisite for intuiting nature, being crazy is not.
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Friday, November 9, 2007

Indirect Painting

Frankly, everybody I'm in freak out mode. I've been so straight out working I haven't been able to make time to connect or contribute to my fellow scholars on Flickr.

There is making art or production, writing about art and teaching about art. These are all separate activities, people! Hello! They each require separate skills. How can one do them all well? Seems to me, somethings got to give.

I know, I know I've whined about this before, but I'm stressed out. I like to write about art and talk about art and teach art. These activities take my attention off production. Production is the key to it all...AGH! No, must produce, must paint, must push through the desire to rest and regroup. I want to paint and gain expertise in the indirect oil painting style that I was luckily enough to see a demonstration of. A new door of knowledge opens, and I have to do laundry and...

I have another paper due next week; a fantastic topic, too Taosim and Ink brush painting.... What to do? Stop world, I want all the "have to's" to stop. It's going to be a rough Friday night...Help!