‘Tis the season for piling on resolutions for the coming new year and eulogizing the outgoing one. Among, you know, other things.
I’m pondering changes for the blog. It’s been helpful to have a daily thing, but I want to do something different for 2020. It might transition into more of a daily art thing with an adjunct newsletter. I’d like to push writing into more long form things and get back to visual art practice as more rigidly daily.
As with everything, we’ll see how it goes.
(NOTE: the title is spoken by Timmy Lupus in The Bad News Bears after the team loses to the rival Yankees. The film is notable for its loose-tongued kid actors and heartfelt sports movie plot.)
More from the Mark Doty book: he regularly compares painting—and so art, in general—to poetry, in its evocative, metaphorical syntax and usage and the ways it affects us when we experience it.
In still life, it’s the same: these things had a history, a set of personal meanings; they were someone’s. The paintings seem to refer to this life of ownership, and to suggest something of the feeling attached to things, while withholding any narrative. What could we ever know of this cup or platter, the pearl-handled knife? Their associations are long since dead, though something of the personal seems to glow here still, all its particulars distilled into an aura of intimacy.
It’s only everything. Everything you were and are, all you’ve seen and heard. It’s all in the stew. It’s all past that fuels and lays the foundation for the future, and the act of making funnels it through a venturi tube of consolidation.
I’ve finished Mark Doty’s enthralling Still Life With Oysters and Lemon, underlining and line-marking as I went. A book ostensibly about Dutch still life painting from the 17th Century, it folds in an increasingly deep examination of art and personal experience bit by bit. It’s a lovely book on its own, but it’s also instructive on the ways art encompasses the things of the world and our inner interpretation of it.