The Color Spills Out
The problem is, I am not yet dead.
My paintings do not have the stench of a tragic death
or a storyline of misery and suffering.
I enjoy myself too much, enjoy
that mere act of painting, of experimenting,
Success or failure less important than the doing,
the finding what will happen if….
I hang them on walls, too bright, too garish
for this world of landscapes and perfection,
too loud for some, not bold enough for others,
not quite mad, a bit absurd.
No one is supposed to love their life this much,
treasure every mistake and wrong turns,
to ready to claim the error of their ways and
the stray brushstrokes.
I lack the pretension and promise of the dead.
I lack madness, frailty or a casket story.
I live. I love. I paint.
A few buy.
A few question if it is art at all,
dragging their children away as if I were dangerous,
a brightly hued disease that might corrupt their culture,
and leave them with exuberance that can’t be explained
and therefore cannot be trusted.
I would not trust me either.
Joy is dangerous stuff.
About this poem
Once, when I was doing an outdoor art show, a mother was walking past my tent with her two young children. Children love my art. It’s bright. It has lots of color. So her kids were pulling her towards my tent.
She took the hands of her two young charges firmly in her own and dragged them away. The last words I heard her say was “Come on. We’re going to look at the real art.”
Poor kids. Their art probably looked like mine, bright and colorful. And suddenly they were told it was not real art. We probably lost out on the next Rothko or Pollock.
PS – The painting in the header is one of mine, called “The Color Spills Out.”