"Thoughts on Painting"

What Painting is About

Painting is a way of being brought closer to this reality:

"We define (and so come to feel) the individual in the light of our narrowed "spotlight" consciousness which largely ignores the field or environment in which he is found. "Individual" is the Latin form of the Greek "atom"—that which cannot be cut or divided any further into separate parts. We cannot chop off a person's head or remove his heart without killing him. But we can kill him just as effectively by separating him from his proper environment. This implies that the only true atom is the universe—that total system of interdependent "thing-events" which can be separated from each other only in name. For the human individual is not built as a car is built. He does not come into being by assembling parts, by screwing a head on to a neck, by wiring a brain to a set of lungs, or by welding veins to a heart. Head, neck, heart, lungs, brain, veins, muscles, and glands are separate names but not separate events, and these events grow into being simultaneously and interdependently. In precisely the same way, the individual is separate from his universal environment only in name. When this is not recognized, you have been fooled by your name. Confusing names with nature, you come to believe that having a separate name makes you a separate being. This is—rather literally—to be spellbound."

-- Alan Watts

Watercolor, Clear Spring Road 2016

Maybe paintings are grown, not made or created. Maybe paintings, like everything, are events and not things.

Stacy CaldwellComment