Thursday, March 28, 2013

The said and the unsaid

I went to the Sackler museum at Harvard a few days ago, thanks to my dear friend, Anna. What got me the most once again were the Chinese screens - their delicateness yet
simplicity. Every time I'm in front of those I'm amazed at how much empty space there is and how it makes perfect sense - it lets your mind complete the scene, there is no need to spell out every detail on the lace neckpiece or every wave in the endless sea. Don't get me wrong - the exquisite lines are also there to depict tree branches full of emotion and the vibrant garments of little soldiers, ane yet the silence is golden.

In Western tradition we're so preoccupied with perspective, form and shadows, that we give no credit to the onlooker at all, we leave no room for their imagination. It'd be so lovely to just be able to let it be - there's so much mystery and beauty in the void.

Anna mentioned in her post similar tendencies for importance of silence in Asian movie making, literature and music. I also wonder about plain conversation - do we say too much? Can the other person guess our correct emotions, moods and thoughts, even if they're masked by shallow conversation?


Friday, March 15, 2013

The ying and yang - finding harmony

I read today that caligraphers in China attempted for centuries to get away from interpretations of their lines as trees, clouds, pretty much any type of representational form that can be detected in their forms. When they finally accomplished this - they called it harmony in caligraphy itself. It's that strive for reality that constantly challenges a painting. If only I could see past it into the work itself, if I could shut down reality on the outside and access inner realities - that would be harmony.

The well known trick of turning the canvas sideways and upside down helps see more clearly. Then you can inspect every square inch in the piece and make sure it works. Or you squint your eyes and somehow see the whole message, not its multitutes of questions and realities. And if you stare into one random spot like the yogis and you search for that place inside that has harmony, that you can call home.

Enjoy the latest...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Judgement and Inspiration

Why is it so easy to look at a dirty palette and judge it beautiful? Or someone else's finished piece and immediately know where it's lacking color for perfect balance? And yet it's ridiculously difficult to objectively judge your own work? Every time you step back and attempt to see what's missing - it's like you're dumbfounded, blind to your own mistakes. Sometimes, at a very magical time, the work leads you places and that's one happy moment of ecstasy - but to catch that wave - it's so difficult. The inspiration fairy doesn't visit every time you're at work - it's a fickle creature. Its presence it what makes or breaks the work though - you know that if you'd succeeded at following it - you're golden, and if it never materializes, the painting is doomed.

Here's one of the latest favorites where the inspiration fairy had visited, a few times...