Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 6

PAINTING 23 – 2012
Acrylic on Styrofoam board
14″ X 14″

I’ve never understood the conflict between

abstraction and naturalism.

Since all paintings are inherently abstract

to begin with there doesn’t seem to be

an argument there.


Such is the way of the world!  In John Ralston Saul’s great book Voltaire’s Bastards, he states how the man-made image seems to revolve around fear, magic and ritual – three interdependent forces.

He further states that as, “…painters turned to abstraction, in denial of the image…  it seemed as if, in their despair, they regretted even having believed that technical perfection was the secret to bringing it [image] alive.  And yet, there had always been painters whose power lay more in their mystical strengths than in their craftsmanship. And despite the twentieth century’s romanticization of the creative process, these mystics were as far away from the modern idea of the artist as they were from the medieval profession of craftsman.”

Wow – pretty heady stuff!  The denial of the image?  There’s where the fear resides.  Perhaps more so from the viewer’s point of view.  But what’s happened to the magic?  The ritual or rituals still exist for what they’re worth.  But where’s the magic?  No!  It’s not in the “romanticization of the creative process.”  Where are “the painters whose power lay more in their mystical strengths “?

Posted on: 07/08/2012, by :
%d bloggers like this: