Where does Art come from?

art, artforum, artist, artreview, contemporary artist

2014-10-31 18.01.25

Where do paintings come from? Where does art come, the singular piece?

The above painting, Genesis, is not a painting I would have conceived or, once conceived, wanted to paint. Dark, disquieting, open to a variety of intetpretations I might find interesting, intriguing,  right or wrong though they may be.

Compared to the previous most recent work, Genesis would not be the first to hang on my walls. A woman, moribund, on  a table; a woman very near tears. No use describing it; the picture is posted for you to see, judge, dismiss, revile.

In fact, on the back of this painting, is another piece I had started sketching, near completed, a wholly different painting, one that would have been much less exhausting, and aesthetically pleasing, conceptually gratifying, the literal expression of a profoundly felt sentiment, but not one I plan on acting upon for the time being.

But Genesis, too, was a vision, not one that appeared in a dream, but in my waking hours – at that twilight zone of time of 3 am when I first awake, only to resume my journey towards the dawn.

From the initial vision, the picture expanded as I stared at the unprimed board.

Curled fingers, fingers, eyes, heads and legs generated themselves from nothing, or to be honest, the natural tones of pressed unsand-papered wood.

So where does Genesis, or more generally, art come from?

Not being a neuroscientist, nor a psychotherapist, I have no idea, but I do prescribe to the idea of Muses and visitations and divine intervention; that is often exactly how it feels, a curtain pulled aside, a tap on the shoulder, a word whispered, and everything is suddenly clear, not for nothing are they called illuminations, epiphanies, inspiration – to inspire, breathe in – what? The universe, human history, tragedy, comedy, melodrama, all of it, the human very personal condition.

Enthusiasm follows fast on the heels of inspiration, enthusiasm, being one with the gods, hence creation, Genesis.

Of course, there are electro-chemical actions, flux and reactions, a neural primordial soup, more like a swamp, full of life, one that would have remained a swamp breeding pestilence, no doubt, but for a new and external agent, an accidental spark, a freak bolt of lightning, and the given normal state is upset, disturbed, altered, the elements now in motion, reacting, twisting and gyrating, transforming and reshaping itself into a new body, new stuff, an entirely new thing, but not being gods, all we can do is create art.

Art, humankind’s imitation of Divinity, creating art, man’s mimicking the Divine Act.

I have not answered my initial question; maybe you can.

Me, I am just happy my beautiful muses come knocking; a slap to the head, a shout to the ear, a French kiss to the mouth, however they wish to spark life in this primordial mud of bone, gut and blood held together by pale sack, I welcome and take what comes.

Until the time prophesied by my next painting.

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The Private Study of Mr & Mona Lisa, or Six…

art, artforum, artist, contemporary artist
The Private Study of Mr & Mona Lisa, acrylic on wood,  106 x 96 cm. Gallery: Www.luigimonteferrante.com

The Private Study of Mr & Mona Lisa, acrylic on wood, 106 x 96 cm. Gallery: Www.luigimonteferrante.com

I started this painting with the idea of using the colors green and cream. And depicting a woman at a table. That’s all.

I carried the wood panel from the garage, put it down on the large outdoor table,  and started to sketch the table, the woman. A simple outline, but my eyes zoomed to one corner, followed the edges of another figure, and I set to tracing the personage waiting there, fully existent and cleary defined. I drew my pencil over the head and torso, fingers and hands, an annotation, or more a reminder to myself, or a fear that turning away I would lose it, the character off to some netherland, a character in search of an artist.

And so, my mythological muscular figure is firmly in place, cast in lines drawn by a pencil, no more than faint lines tying down such a powerful figure.

The gentleman on the left, he entered from the wings, in fact, unannounced. Mr Mythos has come and gone in a number of paintings, is indeed a member of an ongoing series entitled The Afterlife of Romans – I say ongoing now, only at his insistance, but the gentleman?  I know not where from he comes, nor to what purpose, but now that you are here, let’s make use of him.

Stand there, which is where he was in the first place.

The large portrait in what is a painting in a painting in, possibly, a painting, eyed me bashfully from behind the wall I had already built, that is, drawn.

And who am I to say: no, go away.

Oh, he or she might have gone down the stairs, stairs not so much an afterthought as a prime necessity even in my own daily life; always make sure you can go, leave the party, run, hide, even it’s just by holding up a book, and finding succour.

So, the stairs had to be there – and maybe with all these people, and who knows how many more were hiding behind the curtains, walls and panels waiting to, I don’t know, make their requests which may or may not be amicable.

With such a grand staircase, another picture frame was an obvious aesthetic choice, child’s play, but it required content.

Voilà! A new piece by Seymour Snowe, especially commissioned for the occasion. Thank you.

After I poured myself a cup of tea, and stood ready to begin, in jumps our little painter. A bald guy, barechested, not unlike me, for I shaved my skull for years, but my hair, albeit short, has long grown back, and I wear my usual autumn beard, so it is not me, but another imp of a man who has leaped centerstage. And, I suspect, is showing off for our Mona Lisa.

Or maybe he is her toy boy, as is the gentleman who, on looking closer at his hands’ expression,  appears to be directing or conducting – what, his own farce? With no one paying attention, not even the very clear object of his desire.

And Mythos, what is he raging about? Clenched fists, and bone-breaking strength, and unrequited love, a terrible mix! And jealous, too. I have no idea why he is upset and I am not going to stay to ask, in case he finds me guilty of being, well, guilty.

One thing I do know, though,  is I am going to descend those stairs, and invite you to entertain, ugh, explain the Private Study of Mr and Mona Lisa to our friends, while I go search for the artist.

Birth of Venus. And Victor.

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The Doscos, acrylic on wood,  106 x 96 cm. Gallery: Www.luigimonteferrante.comOn finishing this painting, I cried. Or more accurately, my eyes watered. It has happened with two previous paintings: Chemical Romance,  and Memory & Loss/Festa.

The latter was the first painting after my father’s death in January 2014. It depicts the parish festivals that would take place at the local park. It featured a bandstand with brass band, cyclists before a race, a boxing match, hot dog vendor, and in the foreground, a man in his Sunday best, Borsalino hat and Clark Gable moustache my feather wore; at his side, a woman sottobraccio.

Also highlighted, a young man climbing a greasepole, an effort to claim his prize. There is meaning in the struggle, senseless to us and our stuffed refrigerators, but in a time when food was scarce, a whole prosciutto, a string of salamis, and other foods and goods would more than supplement the household. The man in his Sunday best is, too, about braggadacio,  as are the sportsmen and community as a whole. The painting can be seen below, or at: Www.luigimonteferrante.com, while the original is in Perth,  Australia.

Chemical Romance, on the other hand, was not so much about its meaning, or fondly held re-evocations, but a significant technical progress.

I had been struggling hard with its composition and actual painting, but as if by alchemy, it all came together.

And it is about curiosity,  experimentation, a mixture of courage, bravado, and a healthy dose of foolishness, elements necessary to most endeavours.

But why did The Doscos, the painting herein, bring tears to my eyes?

Beauty, youth, industry, I celebrate.

My mother was a seamstress. I pored through fashion magazines, still do, awe struck by the beautiful women, clothes, setting, photography.

Beauty is Truth. Beauty is Power.

When I saw the original Birth of Venus in Florence, I was wholehear tedly moved, blown away. As for the males, I wish I was built like the Bronzi di Riace. Beauty, of course, takes on many, varied, and multiple forms, but sometimes, I would personally say always, Beauty is as perfect and indisputable as  geometry, math, physics. And a bit of a mystery.

Is there more?

The night before I had slept poorly,  uncertain about several features I was going to whitewash in the morning. I was sure of this during my nocturnal discomfort and amblings.

The setting. A factory, of sorts. My father worked in a steel mill all his life. A bit Victoriana, what with the copper and round boilers. I was going to obliterate the setting.  It had been fine in a couple of previous paintings, three to be exact, no use for a revisitation.

Why not do a blue sky, palm trees, ombrellone?

These are, after all, my natural settings. And of infinite appeal.

Or maybe I could rework the background, a chiarioscuro, and place my couple in a club, a disco. Hm, I am going to reserve a place or two for that when I go to London in mid-November.

I worked at it, literally face to the board. I often make this mistake. I don’t often step back to glance at the entire picture. I simply forget, absorbed as I am into and by the characters and place as if I am plodding away after and through them with the aid of a walking cane, my brush.

When I did step back, at the end of this journey, my tears.

I like to look at this painting,  this attractive young couple. I feel like I know them, always have. I feel like I am their father.

I am their father.

Attachment

Chemical Romance, acrylic on wood, 105x75cm.

Memory & Loss, acrylic on wood,  105x75cm.

Memory & Loss/Festa, acrylic on wood,  105x75cm.

Gallery:

http://www.luigimonteferrante.com

The Calvinist Clerk

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Through works, Salvation, the credo. Hence, following yesterday’s post, more work. I queried a few galleries in Montreal and London, proposing my work for representation; raced through Twitter, Instagram, FB, and poured myself a tea, quite emptied and exhausted after a day’s painting and this last session as my own secretary and clerk.

But instead of dying in bed with Flora or Florence du Mal, I started staring at a new panel, unprimed, a different approach, one I had not used in awhile ie instead of starting with an arbitrary Vision, or vision, or an equally arbitrary plan, I waited for the blank panel to swirl and swarm; lo and behold:

16 Chapel Rd, the party.

16 Chapel Rd, the Party, acrylic on wood,  106 x 96 cm.

This, too, is a summation of past time, people, places.

Now the question is: what’s next?

When I first started painting, a person once asked me if my work was Abstract. No, my reply.

I do not do abstract because I do not have the lexicon.

Oh, I have studied art history, but did not read reviews nor specialized mags. On a handful of occasions, I was asked to write a note of description for as many oeuvres, and if forced to, I could wear a guise and play-write a critique, or be, more to the purpose, my own PR officer, but my work was characterised by narrative, and hastily described as Figurative Narrations & Modern Mythologies.

The title included a large number of early works, but I had the need to step out of bounds and paint other pleasures.

I assumed a new identity painting bright geometric Abstracts as Seymour Snowe. I could run with Snowe, to answer the question: what next?

As Snowe, I am thinking huge colorful children’s lunchboxes that are soft, warm, and rubbery, or of hard plastic, boxes you can inhabit and hide inside.

Also, Urban Air Suits, spacesuit-like outfits for surviving the 21st Century Metropolis, and its deadly germs, viruses – Ebola anyone? -radiation – how else do we power our mobile devices, homes and offices? – and related airborne earth- and man-derived toxic wastes. The suits would be brightly-colored – pink, orange, yellow, highly visible and happy!

But for some persons and purposes, you might want to be less visibile, undistiguishable from pure dark night, hence more like Batgirl or Batman, of course.

And in this world, you don’t shake hands, or kiss cheek-ciao-ciao-cheek.

No.

And water is strictly bottled at home. Food is hermetically sealed and not exposed to the elements – impregnated with interbreeding viral pollutants that food so readily absorbs.

Intimate relations would be restricted to intimate relations. They, too, needed to be certified healthly on a regular basis, and only after a rigorous and  all-cleansing germkilling scrubwash could the acts commence.

Books, alas, would be banished, paper being absorbant, and so reading would be on our mobile devices, as would most everything else.

No more suburbs. We would all live and work in one huge building, combo mall, office building, post-industrial park with no or little need to commute, hence huge savings in time and energy resulting in increased efficiency and productivity.

We are all connected into this one System, one big bright System we feed and are ourselves replenished.

And all is well. I can see it all. And it’s not even new, original. Another utopia, dystopia, we already inhabit – except for the suits. Wanna order, what’s your size?

But for the piece, the oeuvres, we have to sharpen the edges, and round or flatten others, augment contrasts, and delete differences altogether.

These are the measures, parameters, prescriptions wherein we rise and fall, from dawn to dusk, day after day, until we are deleted.

Happily, we don’t know when the Big Server will black us out, or the AngelGeek will pull your plug, or your hearty batteries will just die, so what’s next, eh?

Seymour’s off to think about how to make and pay his Macropolis; as for me, I think I’ll have a scrubwash.

P.S. Seymour’s previous work can be seen at: Www.luigimonteferrante.com

Printemps en l’Enfer

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Printemps en l'EnferPrintemps en l’Enfer is a time, a place, a book. It is the Café of all the Cafés I went to where I would smoke my Gauloises sans filtre, read my Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Verlaine, Apollinaire and Sartre.

With little money to spend, I would sit reading or writing poetry, talk to the owners or the regulars, sometimes meet somebody new, order another espresso, and then head home to dinner in the suburbs only to often return downtown to what were my favorite clubs: the Beat, Glace, Vog. I liked the music, the crowd, the ambience.

I would be out most of the week, often staying home Friday or Saturday for semi-philosophical talks with a friend or two.

Of that time, the poems have all been forgotten, except Le Pont Mirabeau, novels and poems all but lost; yet, the curiosity remains, the thirst, hunger and lust to read, write, see, and understand more remain alongside the anxiety that time is never enough; hence, I paint to the exclusion of all else.

Relations are reduced to a minimum, the phone goes largely unanswered, and the idea of hanging out in the local bars holds little interest.

Oh, but I have to work, so the woman on the left with the busy hands seems to say.

Work, produce, study, create, move on without delay, without relenting.

Yes, true, true, true.

On the right, another woman, younger, taller, slim, more elegant, glamorous,  holds an apple. Eve tempting Adam to the pleasures of absinthe – notice her green glass – and other pleasures, friendship, love, conversation, a relationship, a walk in the park, dancing, breakfast at noon.

Our man remains seated, but for how much longer? And yet, he too must write, produce, make something of himself, and not be a mere idler; idler, no, he will be the bon vivant, rush off for alcool and love and… life.

And yet, might it not be possible to sit here, book in hand, finish this poem, and start another novel, be nothing but a reader in a Café called l’Enfer?

Bliss

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Yesterday I finished Critical Mass, the menage a’ trois set inside a parlor room of sorts on a dreary dull day, the large window opening onto what may or may not be a gallery. On the table before our threesome, a teapot and only two teacups.Critical Mass, 106 x 96 cm, acrylic on wood, Luigi Monteferrante, 2014.

I called it Hm, a hm of many thoughts, meditations, reflections, decisions, mostly murky. All interpretations welcome, and not for me to explain – unless asked.

As I always do on completion, I forward the picture of the painting to my oldest and dearest friend, an established artist based in LA, wait for feedback, and start fidgeting about what I am to do next.

It was already late afternoon. I had not gone out of the house in two days, except for a loaf of bread and to retrieve some cash at the nearby post office, so a walk to piazza was in order, a two km hike to Vasto’s centro storico I relish.

I paused. I had several cut-out from a weekly news magazine I  subscribe to on the table and I started to shuffle images, mixing and amalgamating a narrative.

I hauled a wood panel from the garage into my studio. I had previously primed the panel with a sponge for I’d been planning to paint a snow storm, but instead of braving the white maelstrom, my two actors were cozily tucked inside a glass-walled room looking onto a snow-blasted building.

As you can see, a man is typing on a tablet, and a woman is bringing a cup of tea. There is very little color, and imperfections I might have daubed over. More color might also have been added; to her dress, a red or blue color, or a wild floral pattern would have been appropriate especially against the white background; he wears a whitish T-shirt, and the best thing to have done would have been to cast him into the trademark black T-shirt, but white is as plain and expected as can be.

To the windows opposite their room, for a brief moment, I thought curtains, each a different hue, texture, and pattern, but I as quickly settled for no. It was fine as it is.

Sometimes painting, or writing a novel, a poem, a song, is about subtraction.

And so from a big, bright and colorful world of fiery neon lights and splashy tones, and tunes, I withdrew, closed the paint jars, washed my brushes, and sat for tea before this unexpectedly complete painting.

And then, pain, my gut wrung twisted and taut, and an explosion – my heart ached with expansion, and I felt simple and pure elation – and, oh so, rare.

I called it Bliss, or lover let me down I’m so high. And that’s all there is to be said.

Bliss, acrylic on wood,  106 x 96 cm,  Luigi Monteferrante

A piece of my heart are only words.

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What to write, what to paint?  This afternoon I started on a new painting I had been thinking about for days.

The scene: a long figure walking down a dark snowy street lined with duplexes, the man going to work early in the morning, still dark, a snow storm raging, the sky luminous orbs of the street lights.

I primed the canvas, three wood panels rather,  as another snowbound painting was to follow. I then outlined the row of houses, balconies and staircases, all heading to the vanishing point up the street where the man, whom I also outlined with a brush, would turn left at the corner and head for the bus stop. The bus would then take him to the Angrignon metro station; from there to school and a class of art students. Today, we’re going to talk about…

But something was wrong. What? The perspective was okay, as was the storm, and I even took a picture. Complete,  I could even judge it that, and walk away satisfied, but I didn’t.

I whitewashed the painting, grey and blue, and the outline of a young man emerged and the result is as below. I only understood what I had done when it was finished and I stepped back.

I know where this comes from, why the only name I could give it was ‘Us’, and what it meant. I was deeply moved,  marveled at how mysteriously the piece arose, emerged, appeared.

Exhilerated? Only a moment. The underlying and persistent feeling is humility, but also a sense of lost opportunities, or simply loss. And painting may well be a way to regain or re-present the loss in a literally new or different light.

Writers write autobiograpical some of the time, using bits and pieces of their past, rewriting personal histories, altering facts to fit the fiction to the author’s pleasure and, hopefully, the reader’s delight. In the visual arts, mining the past for elements assumes a different character, more ambigous, the approach oblique, the mixture abstract emotion rather than the hard rock-hard bricks of word upon word required to evoke what the painter creates with a brush stroke.

Only a brush stroke is not a word, the equivalent of a word.  Kcuf you, two words, in two brush strokes may be rendered by some more imaginative painter than myself, but if a picture is the equivalent of a thousand words, two words,  like the aforementioned, are the neat quick summation of countless strokes, presumably black across the scorned targets portrait,  or a tearing up or slashing of that same picture, performance art that, I suppose.

At the same time, if from the picture below, I were to explain the what and why, it would be take hours and/or fill a novel, and if I have had any success as a writer it has been as a poet, not a novelist, despite the time and effort in writing my novels.

Poetry, then, is more like painting. It strikes fast and hard, or it simmers and lingers with time, in time. Like one’s own past that I won’t let die for all the love,  all the hope, friendship, loneliness and melancholy, the expectation and curiosity, the thrills and mystery, hardships, work and frustrations felt and experienced on the way to becoming what I shall never be: satified.

And so I work with what I have, plasmate from within and without to present nothing more than another piece of the fiction that, forever incomplete, is… yours truly.2014-10-20 19.08.35

The End?

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When do you know you’re finished? You don’t. You stand back, observe, reflect, go for a walk, sleep on it, and in the middle of the night, you realize there’s something wrong.

An uneasy feeling, specks of dust that make your nose twitch, becomes a rock-hard punch to that same nose, each speck of dust transformed into a lead and concrete block, so heavy getting out of bed becomes a burden.

The eyes are all wrong. Not all wrong, but need a touch of paint here, three strokes there, more shade, less shade, more color, lighter, darker, more variation, but without spoiling the chosen palette.

It’s not easy, but nobody’s chasing you for results.

You’re your own boss, your own critic, and nobody’s watching.

But you know where it’s wrong, and where it can be righted.

So, out with your paints, brushes, cup of water, rag, and tea.

The problem is that essentially, you are satisified. It does look okay, and it can be improved, but the fear is that you overdo it, you alter the painting and make it worse or even: the painting is ruined.

If it were a geared machine, I am thinking Victoriana, one loosed screw, one lost screw, and the entire contraption starts to wriggle and shake and, ultimately, its parts loosed, the Gargantuan contraption shatters, its parts spilled to the floor.

Looking at this painting the morning after I finished, and judiciously thought to myself, I’d like to see what the colors are like in the morning, I can see that the colors are more or less satisfactory, but the x and y are eyesores as is the z. But compared to Girlfriend with Loft, for example, which precedes The Triangle of Circular Squares, where the girlfriend is a suggestion rather than a true figure, why am I after a more realistic depcition of these people?

I’m no hyper- or photo-realist. How could I be? I have trouble being a realist.

But in this painting, the mode was set, and I have to proceed within its own logic.  That may mean I have to repaint it. Time stops. And then action.

I suppose it’s like rehearsing a play. You go over the lines, the motions and emotions, scene after scene, act after act until you reach the end and you are satisfied. And the curtain comes up and it’s the true and final and first performance and there’s nothing between you and the audience and they laugh at the wrong places and don’t laugh at the right places and the critics will tear you apart and you mumble and stutter, forget your lines and oh, disaster.

Why I feel lucky to be in my studio, my paint, brushes and me – alone, except for the dozen or so paintings I see waiting to be painted before me.

I will make this painting ‘better’, but I have those other lives, characters, Actors caught within the framework, to save, resuscitate, unpack from their boxes, unleash from their beds, and so on.

After all, I bet that Mona Lisa smile was a mistake. I mean, nobody smiles like that, but Leonardo, being the frenetic Genius that he was, told himself he’d get back to it someday, then things came up, and he died.

So, perfection is fine, if  ever you are granted infinity, and a hyper-realist will tell you that it’s highly unlikely, but I Always think of Shakespeare. The  pressure was on, the fury of his Genius enraged, and who the hell has time for notes and folios when I’ve got put on this show, and give Birth  to this next child – and oh, let the Others bawl, dirty, scantily dressed, snotty loves of mine who now live, beautifully imperfect, accidentally becoming, yet complete, while this next cries for life and I cannot delay…

The Triangle of Circular Squares,  or The Importance of Being Earnest.  95 x 106 cm, acrylic and graphite on wood. About: www.arteluigi.wordpress.com.

Ambition

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Ambition, the painting I posted on my first twitter Yesterday, came to the fore. Of all the paintings I might have posted, it was not a painting I chose at random. It summarised how I felt during the period which led to this new series of paintings. What was I going to do? Paint? Paint what? Take pictures I would manipulate and publish in my photography portfolio at www.luigimonteferrante.com? I wanted to do something different. But how could I do something different – think, act, ponder, create anything different with these same hands, heart and soul? The solution: Ambition. A man holding a knife stands behind a man who is seated. The former will presumably murder the latter. Brutus/Caesar. CEO and his right-hand man, the CFO. Father and son. Buddies. A jealous husband. There are countless reasons for murder as we learn from history, literature, film, the news, TV drama. Nor are our own inner rage and deeper instincts immune to murderous conflagration, but in Ambition, the Ambition of late has taken on a wholly new meaning: murdering me, or killing one’s self to overcome one’s elf. No Nietzchean Superman, or comic strip here, but dying to become an Other who is one day stronger and better than Yesterday’s. No more, no less. At each sunrise/sunset, the maker of a new fate. And so we proceed as Merlo Ponti across Blackbird Bridge, working title of this Lasalle/Montreal series of paintings, singing Ridi, Pagliaccio. And laugh as we paint.

Ambition, from The Blue Room, 105 x 75 cm, acrylic on wood, LMonteferrante

Seven Days Seven Lives

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I have not read 7 Days in the Art World, but did order it this morning.

The title set me going on a train of thought. A commuter train, more than anything else.

In the life of the writer, or the poet, there was little else besides the physical act of writing. Morning writing sessions would be interrupted by the need to eat. More than the need to eat was the fact of having to feed my working wife who would come home at noon, and so I would cook a plate of pasta each. Off she went in the afternoon, and up I went into my room to write some more to dinner time.

The only variance to this routine was I would often go for a walk along the beach or in piazza just before dinner. After dinner, I would normally read until I would simply fall asleep. Routinely, too, I would wake up in the middle of the night. I would hook up to my earplugs and listen to a podcast until I fell asleep again. Podcasts were downloaded from BBC – Bookclub, Play of the Week, The News Quiz – and shows hosted by Leonard Lopate and Brian Leher on WNYC.

In the morning, same routine.

Write, eat, write, walk, eat, read, sleep.

As a painter, it became even more intense and more exhausting. The physical act was, yes, more physically and sensorially engaging and all-encompassing.

Sourcing and carrying the fresh-cut wood panels I normally use, hauling them into the garage, and then one by one, into my Ivory tower – a veritable turret that is mostly pink externally with Ivory White cornerstones.

Opening jars, smelling the paints with those fantastically strange names as if they were book covers from faraway lands. Filling a ceramic hand-decorated bowl-like glass with water, balancing that up the stairs so as not to spill the water, choosing a brushing, feeling the hairs, squeezing paint from the tubes, mixing paint and colors, painting stroke after stroke, wiping brushes, washing brushes, tidying up after the morning session to stumble down the stairs, cook,set the table, wait for wife, eat with wife, speak to wife, wait for wife to leave, run up the stairs to turret, resume work and painting until just before dinner when I would need to go for a walk by the seaside until dinner time when, again, I would cook, engagé with spouse, and lie in bed as if in state.

From November to the present, this was largely the routine – except for a weekly 2-hour art class I attended only half the time, busy as I was painting, and when winter turned to spring, I would go for an hour-long swim which I thoroughly and immensely enjoyed.

I also managed to go to Bruxelles and London to  see the art fairs, and as usual, found the cities more interesting than the art work presented at the fairs. (I also took a lot of pictures in London, in and around New Bond Street, some of which became paintings.) August I was on vacation and played full-time uncle, but as soon as my niece and nephews left, it was back to painting, back to the same old routine.

One thing I learned throughout this time and process: routine is good. Clear, well-defined, without alteration except for what this routine amounts to, its scope, aim, objective, produce: the painting, the art work.

Ah, two other significant kinks in the apparently seamless narration.

One, I mentioned in a previous post:  I spent off-hours emailing galleries.

Two, hoping to gain some real insight, I read two excellent  biographies: Patrick O’Brian’s Picasso and  Hilary Spurling’s Matisse, the life, and Stone’s novels about Van Gogh and Michelangelo.

You see, I had studied Art History in college, but my reading was pretty much limited to novels, so I had looked foward to a number of eureka moments when reading the aforementioned books, but what I learned is the artist is mostly concerned with producing art, hoping it sells so he can pay the bills and keep producing art, and when he or she is not producing art, some bacchanalian moments never hurt, but in the end, all they want to do is get back to  the drawing board to start again on that same old glorious routine, why the true no BS biography of any artist is no more than a book containing pictures of their collected works in chronological order.

Or the actual stuff, the art, the embodiment of every hope, dream, nightmare, heartbreak, anxiety, thought, sentiment, allure, love affair, shame, and secretion of the artist.

This is me. Questo sono io. Ca, c’est moi.

The rest is about you, mon lecteur.

Girlfriend with loft, acrylic on wood,  95 x 106 cm. From new series.  About: www.arteluigi.wordpress.com