Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My painting XXI

as at April 8th 2008

I begin to suspect as I forge on eastwards that I leave too many worries in my wake; a mounting toll of passages which do not quite work. Some I will no doubt be able to nudge into life while, with others, I can lean on my favourite Zen mantra, These problems will tend to disappear. There are however one or two trouble spots that, in that fine imagined last westward sweep of revision and adjustment, might continue to prove intractable: yet my instinct (which may well be cowardice in disguise) tells me to move on.

Every picture has its puzzle-solving crises and needs, at some juncture, either a small but daring manoeuvre or a grand gesture (eg turning the whole thing upside down). To proceed unchallenged is as unsatisfying as beating a weak opponent at chess, or breezing through a Sudoku in merely the time it takes to fill the squares.

A good Sudoku however, will usually bring one to a point of exasperation, after which miniature agony one suddenly spots the critical move and all remaining numbers tumble into place. So with the picture I trust to the late intervention of the Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke to crack the problem.

It is not irrelevant to invoke Richard Dadd since this painting too has its lunatic aspect. Its dogged intricacy has much in common with the art of the mad, as Harry Birtwistle (himself only just released from the million-note labyrinth of a new opera) was quick to remark last week when he came to take a look at the picture.

In art you have a chance to repair the past so it’s forward ahead for the harmless artist self-sectioned in his studio and clinging to the words of William Blake… If a fool would persist in his folly he will become wise.


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Barney said...

very wise indeed. More Zen of art than art of Zen.

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Rick L said...

will look at sudoku in a new light. not that the numbers have ever fallen into place for me but i live in hope. really enjoying the blog. thanks