Yet -I’m making a case for following this year. Artists already know the power of following. Follow inspiration to see where it leads. Allow ideas to unfold and evolve. Watch your creativity and ask how you can help it. Rather than ironing intention into a sentence to stick on the mirror/fridge for future castigation. Balled up and crushed in the trash by March.
Resolutions are limited by self-judgement – powered by self-discipline. People who are good at judgement and self-discipline profit from the model. The rest of us must follow – our passions, our ideas, our “what if life was like… this?” I’m for drawing a picture in your head (or paper) of what you want, and following that.
If you have an ambition – what does it look like? If you have a joy, find its color and keep close. If you feel trapped, cut out a door. If you are aimless, craft an arrow.
To pictures of a new year and a long swig of champagne. Cheers friends!
He sat solid, on a stump near the porch. Bare-hand paws tugging at fishing line. Restringing a pole, the net at his feet collapsed in a gnarled rope heap. A cable sweater, slightly yellow, stretched over his shoulders, wide hunched. His mother’s hands knitted the sweater for him last year, the same year he laid her to rest on the upper hill. On the ridge where the pines laced the sky through their fingers.
The rough planes of his face fell placid as he worked. The sweet-brine smell of the morning water pressed his lips. Now soundless, a wash of waves pulled and pushed at the gravel shore.
He caught women like he caught fish although he wouldn’t admit to such. He put on his charm like he strung a night-crawler. They saw the power in his body, even now at sixty-two. His fourth wife left several months ago, and the calendar on a nail was just passing pictures. She wasn’t a sailor and he was too like this sea, same tides, both changeable and stubborn-constant. Whittling her away a little at a time. She tired of tacking back and forth through each bluster gust.
His fingers knotted the way his mind used to. But lately his thoughts lay blank as his fingers worked. He liked that, not thinking much. He feared getting stuck down at the dead-end of his reason. Alone.
He turned, the whisper ping of his cell phone surprising the silence. Only lately did he remember to plug it in when the battery died. Probably his daughter texting to wish him a ” Happy Father’s Day.”
“I don’t text,” he scolds the brightening sky. He couldn’t be bothered now. Not till this was finished at least.
Surprise! Near the end of his career, Lichtenstein turned his dots to breathtaking use in a series inspired by works from the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Several are on display now at the Art Institute of Chicago as part of a sweeping retrospective.
He abandons his traditional primary colors in favor of a sky blue palette. Transforms his flat graphic style to meditate on depth, distance and the illusion of spaciousness. Eternity floating before our eyes.
Stripped down, the tight pixel pattern harmonizes with the spare eastern aesthetic. The graduated dots, fifteen different sizes, create scale and distance. With the tiny orange philosopher as the only figure to give us a non-dot reference.
Clouds, mountains and plunging gorges implied with staccato points. Forces your eye to connect them, read in between them. Merge the black space; eliminate the white space. Feel the tension between form and formlessness.
I enjoy the knurling tree, floating rootless, just as much as the orange seed speck of a philosopher. I wonder if together we contemplate his smallness and impermanence in the face of epic mother nature. Maybe that craggy mountain holds both our fates.