Sometimes, when painting is not going well, and more than one student is blaming me for their inability to paint like Sargent, and I realize I will never be a marketing genious and make money at this by adding bible verses to my paintings, and Bill annoys the shit out of me, I dream of the day that I never have to paint again.
Here, if you would, go to http://www.last.fm/user/Artist855, and search for Christopher Gunning – Lisieux to play as the perfect accompanyment for the following fantasy of mine. I did my best to add it to this post automatically, but it got way too complicated for my time and attention span:
I am wandering around a gallery of every painting and drawing I have ever done. No wait, that won’t work. I am wandering around a gallery of every GOOD painting and drawing I have ever done. (Fantasies cannot be nightmares.) Of course, picture me in a flowing Vera Wang gown please, and ballet slippers as I should appear to float effortlessly like a stylish ballerina. I go from painting to painting and as I pause at each piece, the memory of the time and circumstance in which it was painted dissolves in and out. Then, with a graceful tharpian wave of my body, the piece disappears entirely from the wall Oh yea. I move onto the next. Slowly my life unfolds through my work, and as I get to the very last one, I can’t resist picking up a paint brush and fixing one last freaking thing on it. The accompanying dissolve shows me sitting here at my computer with bed hair, and coffee breath in my jammies watching the clock going, “damn I need to finish this and get out of here”.
Finally, I move to the door of the gallery turning one last time to look at the empty walls. The room is now filled with people. On one side is people I have known in the past who have said things to me like “You call yourself an artist and you don’t know what figure/ground ambiguity is?” as well as every juror who rejected a piece of mine from a show. With one last salutatory gesture with my middle finger they disappear — into a ball of fire. On the other side of the room are painters like my beloved Odd Nerdrum, David Leffel, and Gregg Kreutz. With my smile tinged with melancholy, but hopes for a new future I blow them a kiss. They dissappear into a cascade of sparkling fairy dust as I pirhouette and with one grande jete I bound from the door never to be seen by the art world again.
And at midnight I am back in my ragged jeans and my paint stained shirt cursing the day I switched from pre-med to artist.