Posts Tagged ‘emotions


the big one (and color fields)



it’s for you (ocean-speak)

nothing tells today’s story better than the two images i am sharing with you.


abstract: reflections of light from the lid of a pot on the stove

that is the reality. that is what i am telling you. of course, you may make your decisions regarding the veracity of the statement based on your own experience with the light reflected on a flat surface from the glass lid of a pot of water boiling on your stove. who am i to tell you any differently?

i’ve been reading about the emotions of pets and it got me to thinking about abstract art and the idea of removing language from the description of how an object makes you feel. that object may be a line, a color, a form that has no relationship with your language experience other than your ability to define it as a line, a color, a form. but what happens when the combination of those ideas create a feeling, an emotion inside of you? do you quickly assign a feeling to it using words from the language you’ve learned?

“that loopy line makes me feel happy.” “when i see black, it makes me feel confused.” “a triangle represents power.” can you ever divorce your intellect, your assignment of a word to an emotion and just feel? can we, as humans, experience an emotion without immediately identifying it as a word? what is the language of feelings? you know your dog is not thinking, “that feels good,” as you stroke their head, don’t you? can we do that with abstract art?

i have more questions than answers, but will consider this after more experimentation.


thorns (remembering the past)

there is a period of my life that i’m trying to reconstruct that isn’t as clear to me as other parts of my life have been.  there is a general feeling that i can remember, but the details are shrouded in a fog of forgetfulness.  it isn’t a long period of time, just four weeks and one day, and bracketed as it is by deep despair and complete elation, you’d think that it would reveal itself, but no.  i may resort to embellishment of the general feelings, knowing as i do my modus operandi during that period of my life, and perhaps that will provide the truth of the emotions from that time if not the actual day-to-day facts.


jealousy, (anger) & past lives

jealousy, anger & past lives, yup, that’s what i was thinking about when i titled this post, but before i delved into the subject matter i added the photographs & they put a stop to that train of thought, so they’ve sat here in my posts file for the better part of a week & at this point they’re a bit of an irritant, so to move on i will:

“there will always be people with more than what you have,” is what had really triggered the title.  my mother’s words, possibly tattooed on my forehead (backwards so i can read them when i’m looking in the mirror shaving–with a nod to da vinci & any hardy boys fans,) rise up in my throat every once-in-a-while, that sulphuric aftertaste of green bile spit out in recognition of the truth.

of course, in polite society, one does learn to control one’s baser instincts, after all if we didn’t just imagine… but i think it’s true that we are all tinged with envy; it’s an everyday occurrence, it can be so slight it may not even register, but we’re always sizing up ____  or  ___________ ________  & their ______  or how  ___ their ____ is & where we stand (or fall down) in comparison & oh how we wish, “if only i had that ___  of a  ____  i would show them how it’s used to better the world.

we want to believe we are the better person, even when we are lacking what it is we desire.  having it, of course,  is no guarantee of altruism, whether it’s us or them.  i will admit though, that as i age (& perhaps i am not ready to say this out loud.)

let me try it another way:  i am still a work-in-progress.  my past catches up with me sometimes (not that it is a bad past, but you know, you want to believe that you’ve moved beyond certain emotions) & i think jealousy is the one emotion i would very much like to see the backside of (but only if it isn’t as beautiful as mine.)


thoughts on composition (& other structures)

when you study the meaning of composition in a course on art & how it is made, you are instructed to look for lines, shapes, colors, the rule of three (and the rule of odds), the golden mean, horizon lines & how they are arranged; the organization but not the subject.  it seems to me to be so calculated as if there were some secret handshake amongst artists  (an evil cabal) that only they know about.  & perhaps that is true in a way; artists do inhabit a world separate from other people (when i use the word ‘artist’ i mean those with something to say–although as you may know from reading this blog, i do support beauty for its own sake, but beauty for its own sake is a calculated risk as opposed to art that actually confronts your own preconceived notions of whatever emotion or intellectual topic may be displayed before you, making you dig deeper, explore further, contemplate the differences between what you are looking at & what you are feeling.)

in a discussion about composition you must also consider chance.  the photo that i took yesterday at the flea market with the camera in my cell phone surprised me with its perfect design; together in shapes (parasol, hips, heads, tents,) lines, colors (that orange sherbet!), & contrast (cold blues, whites & hot orange.)

the shadow lines in the lower left force the perspective along with the movement of the three figures in the fore-to-mid-ground, but the photo’s composition was done on the fly with a tiny screen & while i was in motion walking behind them.   i have not enhanced or manipulated the photo in any way it just came together surprising me with its perfection (to my eye, of course, you may be looking at it & saying “robert, it’s out of focus, & you can’t see the subject’s faces & what does it mean?”)

but i look at it & think about the random quality of life, how sometimes it comes together in unexpected ways that are beautiful & unusual & breath-taking & how those moments completely surprise you later when you’ve a moment to reflect on the chances that life presents you, but only if you’re looking (how aware of you are of your environment.)  it’s something each of us has inside of us if we’ll only pay attention to its siren call.

& isn’t that the key to composition?  taking a chance & being aware of what it is you’re doing?    seeing & being–open your heart & open your mind.   (too ‘new-age’ for you?  trust me, it’s all true.)  let your emotions & your intellect have a conversation & composition (the actual structure of life) will come to you when you least expect it.    artists know this & you do too, if you’ll let it be.


what painting are you?

let’s say you’re being interviewed by barbara walters in prime time & not on “the view”  (it could happen.)  she’s asked you about your  success at/in/because of ________ & you’ve plugged your most recent book/movie/stage play/feat of heroism & then she pauses, looks you in the eye as she licks her lips (you know what’s coming, her publicist gave your publicist the list of questions ahead of the interview, but because your private jet was late arriving in nyc & your iphone/blackberry/android ran out of juice, you had just received them minutes before the interview, but you did know she was going to ask you this):  “wobert, what painting are you?”

it’s not “what tree are you?” & consequently it’s a much more difficult question to answer.  if you’ve any relationship with art, the answer suddenly becomes fraught with pitfalls & potholes.  there are  so many to choose from!  they each represent such diverse emotions!  if i say ______ by ___ _______ will i sound elitist?  but if i try to identify with my market share, & answer _______ by ____ _______, will i be perceived to be common by my peers?  but i like them both, you opine!

“today, barbara, i am _______ ________ by ______ _______,” you state, “but tomorrow or even later today, i might be ____ __ by _____ ______, because i am many different paintings & could not possibly choose just one to represent who i am.”

this is me today:

fernand léger 1881-1955 french, composition indienne, 1942, oil on linen, h 940 mm w 800 mm, signed and dated

atelier fernand léger, no. 134; galerie louise leiris, paris; perls galleries, new york; thomas gibson fine art, london

literature: georges bauquier “fernand léger”, le catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint.  maeght, paris 1998.  tome vi, 1938-1943, no. 1095



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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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