Self-Inquiry for Painters


All artists are frustrated… get used to it…

0:01 I understand that your drive to for
0:06 instance succeed in the art world may
0:10 have largely disappeared because that is
0:13 an egoic impasse to be successful to be
0:16 recognized at centro so I completely
0:18 understand that that would fall away as
0:22 it’s not necessary for your love of
0:24 painting to fall away because painting
0:29 is an activity that lends itself so
0:35 readily to what we are speaking of here
0:38 I mean if you were a painter to mention
0:50 I don’t my lesson of the button tall
0:56 retreat last year and I said something I
0:58 can I’m sure nobody here watches
1:01 professional boxing on television but
1:03 then i gave an analogy about boxing and
1:05 it turned out there were three
1:06 professional boxes in the audience so I
1:13 was just about to say well imagine for
1:15 instance that you were that you and I
1:19 were a butcher or you worked in a
1:20 slaughterhouse that might be a
1:23 profession that was a little difficult
1:26 to align with this understand but then I
1:28 thought no don’t say that because you
1:29 never know they’re there maybe
1:31 somebody’s in here that works in a
1:33 slaughterhouse on so so arrays that and
1:40 i won’t give any examples but there are
1:42 some activities or professions that it
1:46 would be lets say challenging to align
1:49 them with this perspective whereas as an
1:53 artist being an artist e is it is so
2:02 rude so easy to align the activity in
2:05 your case being a painter with with
2:10 what we’re speaking of here
2:16 my sister is a painter youngest a very
2:19 good painter I gave him a commission
2:23 recently actually was awhile ago and
2:26 she’s a very very good landscape painter
2:30 and still life painting she paint with
2:33 oils very always very smart so i gave
2:35 this commissioned to paint three
2:37 paintings of the same landscape of the
2:42 first painting I asked to paint the
2:49 landscape as if it were from the
2:52 conventional perspective it is a
2:53 collection of objects made a staff
2:57 called matter so i just use it
2:59 paint the landscaper and see the
3:00 landscape as one would conventionally
3:02 see it and paint what you see and then
3:05 in the second painting recognize that
3:09 all you are actually seeing his light
3:10 not really seeing objects you just seen
3:16 light and paint the light that you see
3:20 and then the third painting was
3:23 recognized that the only experience you
3:26 are having is seeing all you can be sure
3:31 about you don’t know that there’s a
3:34 landscape there or a world or light to
3:36 all you know is the experience of seeing
3:38 paint the experience of seeing so that
3:45 was like a kind of self-inquiry for
3:50 painters
3:52 ok the same landscape of the same
3:54 landscape or in your case the same
3:56 portrait of the same still life or so
3:59 and this is what says and was doing
4:01 exactly what it says and was doing he
4:10 said everything we everything we see
4:14 vanishes voice of the world vanishes it
4:16 falls apart by which he meant or we know
4:23 of the world’s perception and
4:24 perceptions are always disappearing
4:26 everything we see vanishes falls apart
4:30 nature is always the same and yet
4:32 nothing in other appears to us last so
4:36 then he presents this problem at nature
4:39 is always the same and yet at the same
4:42 time
4:44 nothing in her that appears to us
4:46 nothing in nature that appears last
4:50 therefore what can be always the same if
4:56 everything we see disappears and then he
4:59 said our art must render the thrill of
5:01 her permanent the thrill that that which
5:05 is always the same along with her
5:07 elements along with that which always
5:10 changes so he’s saying as an artist you
5:13 take that which always changes and you
5:16 use it to indicate that which remains
5:19 the same and then he said hard most are
5:28 must give us the thrill of her permanent
5:30 along with her changes along with other
5:32 elements along with her changes it must
5:34 give us the taste of nature’s eternity
5:37 that he was keep Sam was unusually
5:42 explicit for an artist he said what I’m
5:44 trying to do in my paintings is to give
5:46 people a taste of nature’s eternity of
5:50 that which is eternal in nature that
5:53 which doesn’t change and art is a
5:56 painter is such a such a beautiful
5:59 medium to do that with you don’t have to
6:01 give up your your love of painting just
6:03 make yours painting sir
6:05 of your love of truth but in my case I
6:08 often feel that I never can arrive there
6:12 I never succeed notices and felt the
6:14 same thing he was frustrated all artists
6:16 are frustrated with you you’re an artist
6:22 is never never happy because because you
6:26 always feel I can do it better
6:28 I can get closer I can see there’s
6:32 always this sense that confuses me
6:36 because that’s not just better get used
6:40 to it it’s the state that an artist live
6:41 saying just that you’re coming closer
6:45 you’re trying to see you are trying to
6:47 in the same way that I’m trying to speak
6:49 about something which is unspeakable and
6:51 I always feel that I fail to a greater
6:54 or lesser extend I want my words to come
6:57 as close as possible but they never
7:00 really come close enough so you as an
7:06 artist will are trying to make it in
7:08 your case it’s a not a verbal
7:10 representation it’s a visual
7:11 representation of something which cannot
7:14 be represented because it has no form
7:16 you are trying to give people a taste of
7:18 nature’s eternity knowing that you can
7:21 never put it into form and yet for some
7:24 crazy reason there is this impulse to
7:27 keep doing it to keep trying to put into
7:29 form that which is formless and you’ll
7:33 never succeed but don’t let that feeling
7:36 of never succeeding prevent you from
7:40 continually trying because in the
7:44 attempt to express the formless what the
7:49 objects that we make the words we speak
7:52 the paintings we make whatever ative
7:54 somehow contain this magical quality
7:58 they they have this potency this power
8:01 and this is the power of a crew work of
8:03 art that although it can never represent
8:05 reality it has the power within it to
8:07 evoke reality as citizens had to give us
8:10 the taste of nature’s eternity
8:12 so don’t worry about being frustrated
8:14 just keep going
8:16 how was it for you you as an artist it
8:19 was frustrating it and it was
8:21 frustrating i never did you laugh for
8:24 create creation in the material
8:27 yes what you did did it disappear know
8:31 it transformed it up because it as you
8:34 at you probably know i was making bowls
8:36 and to begin with i was spending days
8:39 and days and days drawing with a sharp
8:42 needle not regularly depositing sharp
8:44 enough a sharp needle drawing lines like
8:47 this over these huge balls they would
8:49 take several days at a time and one day
8:50 when I was drawing these lines the at
8:53 just the idea spontaneously can start
8:55 writing instead of just lines start
8:57 writing so the next balls had poems
9:00 written all over them front of it and
9:03 then so I then started writing words and
9:05 unborn and i had the idea this naive
9:10 idea came to me a couple of years before
9:12 I stopped making parts as i was writing
9:14 on the board the boys were getting wider
9:18 and more I was pushing the bows to the
9:20 and often they would collapse either in
9:23 the making or in the kill and I was
9:24 pushing it to the limit making them as
9:26 fine and open as possible and then
9:29 covering them inwards and I wanted had
9:32 this idea it just came to me one day in
9:34 the future I would like to make bowls
9:36 just out of words i would like the balls
9:41 to I wonder the balls to a nice saw this
9:44 beautiful exhibition in London over
9:46 seven Spanish can try can’t remember his
9:48 name who had taken the song of solomon
9:52 do you know that song of solomon in the
9:53 Bible beautiful poem and he had made
9:56 letters of three-inch letters stand out
9:59 of aluminium and he drilled a hole in
10:01 each one and he had he suspended these
10:05 letters just letters suspended on
10:08 invisible why’re you will walk into this
10:10 huge gallery on the south bank and there
10:12 were sheets of words just letters
10:18 suspended suspended turning moving that
10:23 like sheets of work
10:24 birds suspended in space and I remember
10:27 going there were enormous they’re half
10:29 the size of this wall and the over each
10:32 sheet was a different plane and the
10:34 light was hitting them so you went in
10:35 there were just they’re just letters
10:38 words floating in emptiness and I went
10:42 into the Gary and I thought that’s what
10:44 i want to do in my boys I would like to
10:46 make bows just out of words i like that
10:49 the material and materiality of the bowl
10:53 to evaporate and for the just the
10:56 contents of the words to be the form of
10:58 the ball and strangely that’s what I’m
11:01 doing now I didn’t notice it to begin
11:05 with I had this thought two years before
11:08 ice stopped my studio and that in the
11:13 end the but it just it kind of
11:15 evaporated and i started writing and
11:18 speaking and then then a couple of years
11:22 later is ok i am making forms out of
11:25 words was a so there wasn’t term there
11:30 was just a there my love of this truth
11:35 just dictated the form of my work it
11:41 changed it from the inside
11:43 so from the outside people said our
11:46 roots no longer working as an artist I
11:47 never had that feeling I had the feeling
11:49 I was always doing the same thing and
11:52 still do and still and you have that fit
11:56 did you say you had that feeling you
11:58 know
12:01 sorry guys i say you still do and I yes
12:04 yes so just find a way to marry your
12:09 love of truth with your love of beauty
12:12 they are the same love and painting is
12:18 is very susceptible to the love of truth
12:22 it is so it is relatively easy to
12:24 impregnate your paint your work as a
12:27 painter with your love of truth so just
12:31 infuse your work forget about the art
12:34 world and being successful in the
12:3512 h it means nothing that’s the
12:39 difficult part nobody foot for an artist
12:48 that the the the real success is is when
12:54 you is when you feel that what you make
13:00 comes clothes to the reality that you’re
13:04 trying to convey and that for an artist
13:08 gives you such exquisite pleasure
13:11 it’s better than sex it’s better than it
13:17 it’s the foreign artists it’s them to
13:20240 00 lat what you’ve made to see that
13:24 what you make somehow somehow conveys
13:28 the taste that you are trying to evoke
13:32 is is your reward as an artist it’s not
13:36 recognition in the art recognition in
13:38 the art world means nothing it’s nothing
13:42 compared to this to this exquisite
13:47 exquisite pleasure you get from from
13:51 making something that you feel gives
13:55 people that taste of nature’s eternity
13:58 so I would encourage you to keep going

Leave a Reply