Thoughts on art and meaning

pink green

To be honest with you I have been feeling pretty blue lately. I don’t really know why. Everything is fine. My book came out. It’s being received really well. I have other collaborations and projects on the burner and regular commercial projects are coming through. Still, I’m feeling the sort of existential void I think other artists must feel when big projects come to a close. I think it’s really hard to imagine how little of an impact we have on anyone or anything. We as humans are just tiny little dots on the earth among billions of others. I think as artists we have an illusion that we’re somehow speaking to other people through our artwork. Maybe we are but really it’s only for a minute. Sometimes I’m fine with nothing having any meaning and other times I’m trying to find meaning in small things.

I keep thinking about this poignant Faulkner quote I read on Brainpickings the other day.

Since people exist only in life, they must devote their time simply to being alive. Life is motion, and motion is concerned with what makes man move — which is ambition, power, pleasure. What time a man can devote to morality, he must take by force from the motion of which he is a part. He is compelled to make choices between good and evil sooner or later, because moral conscience demands that from him in order that he can live with himself tomorrow. His moral conscience is the curse he had to accept from the gods in order to gain from them the right to dream. … The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. Since man is mortal, the only immortality possible for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal since it will always move. This is the artist’s way of scribbling “Kilroy was here” on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must someday pass.
-William Faulkner on writing

Above is a piece I did this morning just to move the brush around.