Saturday, 1 August 2015

Bathed in sunshine...

...this morning. Every morning is a rebirth!

The Fellini quote in the page description was in my online postbox this morning  and I had to believe that it hits the nail on the head, though I rather hope it doesn't in my case.

How can I tell people that it doesn't? I'm writing crime stories - i.e. at the moment it's a crime story that is almost a love story except for the criminal interludes. Since my experience of crime has only been on the level of hearing about it (and writing about it), and my romantic involvement extremely sporadic and often poverty stricken, I'm not sure I qualify for my 'artpourings' (forgive the elision) to be included. But then, I think the label 'artist' should be awarded by someone else. Putting any label on oneself is a bit like putting oneself in a stamped, addressed envelope.

So where does that leave the hundreds of paintings and thousands of drawings that reflect many hours of thought and action on my part. And what do all the poems, stories and indeed books I have written signify? Anything? Nothing? A pack of lies? Subconscious truth? Boredom?

What Fellini does not consider is that in committing one's autobiography to paper, canvas or indeed, musical score lines, one is obliged to enter the world of fantasy. If art is reflected life, it is still larger than life itself. Of course, it could be a microcosm of one's life experience. That could explain why people who consider themselves non-artists take to art like ducks to water. Some people even say they have no innate talent - which is patently rubbish, according to experienced artists such as Pablo Picasso.

A child does not know what art is, but creates it from an early age - as a reflection of self or just to pass the time, for which it also has no concept? The first tones a baby utters are sung. Voice itself come's from the seat of the brain - the oldest part of the brain where the scream sits that we utter when shocked or frightened.

I am a musician. I can admit that much because my musical history is evidential. I've been a musician since I can remember. As a very small child I was a musician. I spent hours trying to work out cadences on the piano. I can still remember being puzzled by the way music resolved itself. And I always wanted to sing and sang for many years as a professional. During that time I was irate that a difference could be made between the singer and the musician, so I always made sure I was first a musician and second a singer. Unless you are one or the other you cannot know much about the difference, since singing is an art in itself  - or must I correct that? Is singing merely instinctive?  The art of singing starts when composed music is sung. But you will rarely find a singer who claims to be an artist. Most actors are happy with that label. The term  'artist' is often reserved as a prerogative for the fine artist, and that is not the person who creates digital art. In fact, until quite recently only paintings done in oils were art; the acrylic medium was not acceptable. That has now changed, fortunately. The skill levels of all mediums are variable. How can a medium be judged by its material and not by its application and usefulness?

Poetry and painting have close affinity because both compress ideas and thoughts into sense-making chunks. Though prose uses words -  the tools of conversation, argument and rhetoric - words are the tools of poetry (you should also add many of the tools of music, such as rhythm, melody, cadence etc). For me poetry has to start where prose ends and the music of words starts. A piece written in a prosaic way may sound relatively mellifluous, but it is never poetry.

Painting is more complex, I suppose, because of the visual skills involved. Even drawing a circle is a challenge. Matching colours by mixing them from other pigments (you cannot do that with primary colours i.e. imitate them because the mixing itself would deny them their privileged primary status) is a skill. I'm fortunate to be able to do that, but I know that most people can't. That does not make me an artist, of course, and neither do the hundreds of paintings I have painted, which are from bad to mediocre to good if I look at them critically, but in each of which I believed at the time.

So I am bathed in sunshine this morning. One of the greatest artists of all is nature. I am not a pantheist. In fact, I am an atheist as far as being religious is concerned, though my lack of religion is not in itself a problem for me - but a problem for people who think being religion or belonging to one makes them by definition better than me.

My real problem or is it merely perplexity starts with people who claim a religion but really have none. They use religion as a prop like a prop you can hitch to an old-fashioned washing line so that the wind can go through the washing more easily. They hitch themselves to the prop of religion for stability and strength - or that's what they believe. Does claiming a belief make them better - they think so. In fact, some 'religious' believers think it gives them the right to kill those who don't share their beliefs.

Let's go back to art. In art we are these days on safe ground, though that was not always the case. The word 'entartet' comes to mind - how insane must anyone be to think he or she can judge what is and what is not art, since there is no reliable definition thereof, any more than there is a reliable definition of insanity?

The sun is still shining. After days of grey skies and a lot of rain, that is a wonderful start to the day. But only because I live in a temperate climate. I do not have the sun pelting down on me every day of the year.

I do not think there is a god anywhere controlling the weather or nature or the stars, but there is art, if art is in the eye (or ear) of the beholder (or listener). Scientists are delving into the nucleus of cells. Atoms were said to be the smallest elements in the world, but now scientists are having to revise their theories.

The patterns of the cells, stars, leaf veins, flowers, feathers etc. are all highly satisfactory, but they were not magicked there by some god or other. The animals and birds that live now are at the peak of their evolution. They also go into extinction, sometimes voluntarily, but species have also been killed off by the human animal,that is, incidentally, also on the edge of extinction, if you believe Darwin's and other 19th century theories, simply because the human has invented tools that can destroy us all and is currently inventing thinking robots who could decide to press that famous red button.

And the sun shines on.....

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