I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful — an endless prospect of magic and wonder.
~ Ansel Adams
“A picture is a poem without words” — Horace
“Painting is self discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.” — Jackson Pollock
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” — Picasso
When I left France and got poor, I stopped painting. That was five years ago. Only now do I feel stable enough to start making art again, probably modest things with modest means, but art all the same. Exciting.
I learn something by stopping for the first time in fifty years. I learned that making art keeps me healthy, it keeps me in balance. It comforts me and releases inner tensions. It resolves personal contradictions and gives my life a sense of meaning and coherence nothing else can.
It’s therapeutic and soul satisfying to create art, but also to simply have a piece or two on the walls. I see them like soul mirrors. I can’t view them in the same way anyone else does. They bring revelations. They bring memories. I recall my struggles with certain ones. Others came with ease from a place in me I didn’t know existed. They put out an energy that I am pleased to know exists in me.
And they call to me to paint again from that place of pleasure, love and heightened energy.
Henry Miller said that to paint is to love again and it’s true. That’s exactly what happens.
Now that I’ve been wordsmithing for long enough to see what it means to me, I know that it can’t replace artmaking. In fact the two activities seem somehow wedded and mutually reinforcing.
The carefully assembled pieces of my life were dynamited by circumstance, but now they seem to be reassembling themselves into another beautiful configuration. I am encouraged.
Here we are surrounded by beauty, with a language to learn, something I always crave. I write every day. I am rebuilding my health and fitness, which took a big hit. I live with the love of my life. My cup runneth over.
The strange thing is that there is a great sense of possibility. There are also waves of gratitude and thankfulness. How could I have gotten so lucky as to lose ten million and yet gain this?
This is a cause for celebration.
- Anima Fire is my publication