Thursday, March 28, 2013

monsters under my bed

22 x 30, Sumi and charcoal on BFK
The feelings of desperation and unhappiness are more useful to an artist than the feeling of contentment, because desperation and unhappiness stretch your whole sensibility.   
Francis Bacon (1909 -- 1992)


William Cook said...

That was a powerful piece of music. Why is it that Santana is so distinguishable for all the rest. Even with that singer the music still has Santana's sound. I felt the monster in all the agonizing details, and right at the end he says there's an angle telling me I have nothing to fear. As for your painting, there might be a monster under there, but at least there aren't any dust balls. I like your idea of massing or patterning the composition like this. I've been thinking along similar lines in black and white. I'm glad you posted this! Best.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Santana's music matches my darker thoughts and takes me deeper. I don't want to stay there, but while we're there, it's lovely and smart and utterly frightening. Thanks about the painting. I'm glad you commented!

Ruth Armitage said...

Interesting quote by Francis Bacon. I don't mind being edgier or being pushed, but I don't think I would want to go as far as he did!

And I'm not sure that I agree that feeling like that is the reason we explore our limits. I think joy can take us there too.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Hi Ruth! Thank you for your comment and for the opportunity to engage with you regarding the quote.

Here's my take on it.

Bacon compared desperation and unhappiness with contentment. If I had a number line going from -10 to +10, I guess I would put desperation at -9.7 or so and unhappiness at anywhere from -5 to -10.

Contentment would go around +2 for me.

The way I read Bacon's quote, it is the extremes that push us to our limits, that stretch us to reach for something to solve the pain. When we're at a -10, contentment looks pretty sweet and pretty far away.

But, at +2, contentment doesn't really foster searching. Or even suggest much more than expressing it.

Joy, however, goes out to the +9 place on my scale. Again, on the edge, on the extreme.

And, maybe it is the extremes that push us to grow and stretch our sensibilities.

What do you think?