May 12, 2017
Truth and Reality are constantly changing depending on my personal experiences and the knowledge I’ve acquired during my life. I have come to believe that there is no absolute Truth or Reality. My reality is based on what I think I see, or what I think I should be seeing. If I want others to understand what I’m attempting to communicate, I need to think carefully about what I choose to draw or the words I speak when in conversation. Yesterday’s drawing of Blue Waterfall Campanula cuttings drove this point home to me.
The sketchbook lay open on the table when I passed by with my morning tea. I saw the ambiguity of the drawing. I called the drawing Rooting Cuttings yet there is no water in the orange vase, nor are the ends of the cuttings inside of the vase. One would assume that the vase is being used to root the cuttings. That is not the case. The cuttings are being rooted in a glass along with an avocado pit that refuses to advance passed the stage of being a pit. I needed something about eight inches tall to support the cuttings while I sketched the blossoms. The orange vase satisfied my need. I was focused only on drawing shapes of various values and hues, not the message conveyed by the objects I was drawing.
My mind flashed back to my days in Boston, living in a seven floor walkup attic loft without heat. I ran out of oil paint except for white and yellow ochre and continued to paint more than a dozen paintings with various values of yellow ochre. Art historians could have a field day if I were to become famous and those paintings unearthed. Perhaps Picasso’s Blue Period was the result of a similar situation.
More than once, while driving late at night, I’ve seen a dead deer lying in the road only to discover that it’s a crushed cardboard box. Early one morning as Tom and I drove to the gym I thought I saw two bodies lying on a sharply slopping driveway. Were they victims of a hit and run? Were they really two colorful cardboard boxes crushed and blown into the driveway by the strong winds of the late night thunderstorm? They must have been cardboard boxes … but what if they were bodies, two people who were either badly injured or dead? We turned the car around with dread in our hearts. Turned out they were bodies, neither one was moving. I got out of the car … no blood in sight. I wanted to shout out to them, hoping they would move, but I felt weird shouting at lifeless bodies so I approached slowly … very slowly. The young woman’s eyes opened … then blinked. The couple had determined that, having had far too much to drink the night before, they should ride their motorcycle no further on the slick, wet road. The motorcycle was buried in a bush. The driveway was the driest place they could find to sleep.
It’s amazing where my thoughts travel when faced with an ambiguity.