Have Fun [on Not So Flawed Wednesday]

I’ve been working on my painting, Train-Through-Trees. It’s been a while since I painted so I have one intention: have fun. I’m using big brushes and tools Master Miller sent so I don’t too soon lapse into nit-picky detail. It’s in the detail that I begin to take myself too seriously.

It’s harder than you might imagine to “play” after such a lengthy hiatus. Like all artists I puffed myself with fear-fog and wondered if the muse had left the building. This interruption was circumstantial and not a dry-spell. It’s lasted longer than any dry spell I’ve experienced and has left some doubt-residue. To play is akin to re-entering childhood. To not care about the outcome and follow the paint rather than try and control it. The tools from Master Miller mandate the equivalent of finger painting and help my “fun” intention.

Like all fog, fear-fog isolates. It’s a heavy blanket that descends and fools you into thinking that you are alone. It leads you the believe that the landscape is barren – that you are barren.

I am not alone. Master Miller is in NYC recharging his artistic batteries. He’s sent images, paintings of Lucian Freud and Nabokov’s synesthesia. Dwight sent a right-on-time-book. Rob shared his latest 10 minute play. Mark discusses with me what he’s writing and his movie ideas. Kerri wanders into her studio, sits at her piano, and plays; each time I am transported – out of the fog. Enlivened.

These people are like the sun to fear-fog. Their good hearts and dedicated artistry dissipate the wet blanket and warm me to the bone. They open the landscape and infuse me with energy. They remind me that there is really only one intention: have fun. And that is best done with others.

read Kerri’s blog about FOG

Reflect [on DR Thursday]

This reflection spiraled me into a fond memory. A long ago chance dinner in London with Jonathan Miller. He was kind and funny and took me upstairs to his studio to show me photographs he was readying for a gallery show. I could have talked with him all night. As I left he gave me a copy of his most recent book, On Reflection. Questions of reality and identity in the arts and beyond, explored through reflections. I had the book for years and lost it in a loan.

Reflections. I have crossed paths with many brilliant artists. Some, like Jonathan Miller, a single evening, a passing glance. Others, I had the good fortune to spend many years assisting and watching and learning from their work. James Edmondson. If I ever delude myself into the notion that my artistry is unique and truly individual, I only need stop for a moment and track the people who shaped me, who inspired me, who challenged me, who passed to me their traditions, who gave me an hour of their time to share their work and thoughts with me. I am a reflection of those many, many people.

My work in the world is made better by the reflections of Horatio and David and Master Marsh, people who give me their time by reading my work and sharing their thoughts. People who have jumped into my mad projects and made me and my work better.

I am the luckiest man alive. Each morning I get up early and sit next to my wife. We drink coffee and write. She edits my posts. We read to each other and offer advice or talk about word choices. I take her hand and bring her into my studio and ask, “Will you tell me what you see?” Lately, as I draw in pencil cartoons for work, she digitizes them, dumps them in Photoshop, cleans up my messes and makes them better. She makes suggestions. She offers reflections. She formats them for publication. They are transformed from my work to our work.

And, that is the secret I learned from my many master teachers. A unique perspective, an artist’s eye, is the blossom of many, many wise eyes coming together, expressing through a single moment, an opportunity. It’s all collaboration. Artistry is nothing more than a hologram of reflection.

read Kerri’s blogpost about REFLECTIONS

pax © 2015 david robinson