Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Why do I draw and paint

Why do I draw and paint? I have no choice. Its more than a compulsion, it's an addiction that comes with both the euphoria of success and the depression of failure. For me this emotional roller coaster is a way of life entwined within the artistic process and is unpredictable while at the same time irresistible.

The gift of creativity is both a blessing and a curse. There is praise and rejection; recognition and indifference. There is self-discovery and self-denial. There is affirmation and doubt. Everything internal and external is in opposition. My work, or rather my play is a reflection of myself. I have no direction and I ascribe to no particular school or style as I wander the wilderness of my own imagination. Yet while I am there I find the most remarkable things. My medium is the process and the imagery is usually fantasy. Anything that I create is significant only in that it exists at all. Above all else I have come to accept nothing seriously especially myself.

I do not desire to paint pretty pictures or pictures that most people would hang on their walls at home. Instead I prefer to paint pictures that are interesting to look at and are not easily forgotten. Sometimes I paint disturbing images that challenge the orthodox, the status quo and convention because for me there are no questions that cannot be asked or no subjects that cannot be approached providing that they are sufficiently tempered by art to make them palatable. Art is the mirror to safely view the intolerable and the incomprehensible. Medusa’s reality is a bitter pill and without the arts we would all turn to stone.

Growing up and working in the Midwest I learned to enjoy the outdoors, the land and the people that make up a somewhat overly idealistic rural and often irrational society. I also learned very early in life that orthodoxy stifles creativity; therefore, being creative, I had no choice but to learn how to reject those orthodoxies while at the same time not becoming self-destructive. I had to learn how to question everything and discard anything that has no practical value to me. I found sound footing in reason, enlightenment and science. I found solace in accepting constant change and living with frustration.

Discarding convention and exploring new ideas and finding new ways to visualize the world has always been heresy. Artists are heretics and it did not take me long to find out that the world is not safe for a heretic. I took refuge in solitude. Still I cannot turn my back on 5000 years of Western Culture. I see it all around me. I see artistic inspiration in the democracy of Athens and the great republics of Rome that continue to live on in our nations soul. I see the waxing and waning of freedom with each new rebirth that comes alive in the arts. I see Michelangelo’s Florence, the European Reformation of Rubens and the revolutionary Spain of Picasso.

For me, my only freedom is drawing and painting. It’s my world where I can explore ideas by drawing lines around them and let images emerge on their own that are unique even if I am deliberately trying to copy someone else. Every creative hand has its own unique voice. When I draw and paint I have a voice, a small voice, like a child scratching lines in the wet sand on the ocean shore.

Most of all its fun.

2 comments:

erikatakacs said...

Patrick, you're speaking to yourself, but you're speaking to me as well. I don't believe mankind will ever find absolute freedom, but we can all search for and find our personal freedom, let it be art, family or whatever soothes our soul.

Robert said...

Your history is not unlike mine; discouraged is putting it kindly!

Keep up the good work and well done with the United Creators award.

Best wishes from Dorset.