vibrators make bad paintbrushes
(originally posted 08/07/12)
I have a few tips for the man who wishes to become a painter. Put down your brush and watch awhile. To really watch people is to find poignancy in the mundane. The body language of two mothers, both talking to one another and neither listening. The way an old man’s hand moves across the back of his equal ancient wife in a display of tenderness that only they can appreciate. The exuberance of life squeezed into a small child and dripping out in fidgeting.
Capture even a drop of it with your art and you are sure to go somewhere.
The best paintings of crowd scenes are always blurry. The details don’t seem important to the viewer, just show the number of heads. What might be going on inside any of them is irrelevant. Perhaps some hint as to why they are all there but even that isn’t that important. People gather like cattle for the strangest of reasons. To exalt, to mourn, to do nothing at all together.
My apologies to cattle for the unkind comparison.
A science fiction flick once had a character say “a person is smart, people are stupid”. Remember that if you ever desire to tell the truth with your paints and oils.
You will die penniless if you do. Lie your ass off with every stroke if you want to see a dime. Mirror costs less than canvas for a reason.
The last thing you should strive to be is a fellow artist. You must feel like an imposter at all times or every handshake and back slap will be an unwanted reminder that you are one of them. There are community colleges all over who are choked with ‘artists’ waiting to assail innocent bystanders with poetry and works of clay.
You can actually make the case that the ‘true’ artist is the one that resists the urge to capture these images and instead keeps them tucked away and perfect in their own head. If these thoughts will simply not leave you alone until you expunge them from your brain than at least aim for hope.
Paint your hope.
In the end there are no good paintings or bad paintings… it’s all just colors drying on a piece of paper. Really they are all bad. Some don’t suck as much as others I will grant you but in the end they are all just whatever we project into them.
Lastly. If you are a man I would forget the brush and just paint with your penis.
If you are a woman then I don’t know what to tell you. If you really need to create something then go create me a sandwich.
Of course you should have expected me to end this with a dumb sexist comment otherwise the point would be in danger of collapsing under the weight of the same pretension that I’ve been preaching against.