Affect the Things You Can

Progress on Creation, July 16, 2022

Newberry, Creation, wip, oil on linen, 64x48". July 16, 2022.
Newberry, Creation, wip, oil on linen, 64×48″. July 16, 2022.
Newberry, Creation, detail, wip, oil on linen, 64x48". July 16, 2022.
Newberry, Creation, detail, wip, oil on linen, 64×48″. July 16, 2022.

How do you stay positive? Especially when so much horrible stuff is going on? Ironically I’m doing some of my best work now. Romanticism is psychologically very difficult. It’s about love, passion, living an epic life, and caring so much it’s painful. For an artist it’s like a marriage proposal, except it is a public declaration. The pitfalls are horrendous and sting so deeply. The rewards are a profoundly felt exaltation.

The light on them is intense. And I didn’t anticipate the Renaissance feeling: the lines, and rounding the human forms—a kind of a Botticelli or Michelangelo feeling.

My biggest disappointment has been to be born in the postmodern art era. Since the early 70’s, every contemporary museum or famous gallery show Iv visited was filled with snarky mediocre stuff. Meat grinders for humans, and etc. That’s 50 years of horrible art in notable places. I would be excited to see the shows hoping to see great art, but it was always so awful that I couldn’t paint for days—it was like my blood had been drained from me. And yet, I would fortify myself and go back into the studio, bring my A game, and paint subjects that were meaningful, inspiring, and living an existence that I would like to live too.

The moral is though you might not have power to immediately change the world, you have the power to affect the things you can.

Michael, Idyllwild, July 16, 2022

One Reply to “Affect the Things You Can”

  1. Powerful and inspiring, Michael, not just what this painting is becoming but your words just as much so. What you are painting TRANSCENDS whatever crap is going on in this world. In this painting, as in many of yours, I see the ideal. We NEED ideals. So thank you. Ric

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