Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Quote of the Day
Consciously or unconsciously, artists are obeying Socrates' advice: "Know thyself." Consciously or unconsciously, artists are studying and investigating their material, weighing the spiritual value of those elements with which it is their privilege to work.
In 1998, I began a series of 14 paintings based on the Egyptian myth of Isis and Osiris, in one part of which the god Osiris is trapped inside a tree. This idea of god energy residing in helpless containment fascinated me, reminding me of times in my own life when it seemed that the potential I possessed resided deep inside, unavailable for the ego's use. At the same time, I discovered C.G. Jung's dictum, "containment precedes regeneration." This profoundly hopeful insight led to a series of both painted and sculpted seed images. Last evening, on my usual walk, I was snapping away with my camera at the light of the setting sun penetrating the now naked black oak woods. Suddenly, it was as if I were looking at one of my own paintings, from 13 years before. It was a surprising know thyself moment, in which the source of that painting, the god lying fallow in the surrounding woods, made himself known to me. Here, indeed, was revealed the spiritual value of the materials with which it has been my privilege to work!