|*Esther Ritz, "The Wedding", acrylic|
|l.w.roth, The Ticking Clock, pen and ink, 1986|
This quote hit home. For a while now, I've been wondering why have I've been trying to achieve a high degree of skill in portraiture I really don't have the time to achieve? It's true, I get a kick out of capturing likenesses. Portraiture is satisfying, but it's no where near as much fun as letting go with the paint with nothing more in mind than seeing where the marks will lead. Seeing Esther's incredibly original work reminded me of that freedom, the fun of playing in the paint--and that the clock is ticking louder at seventy four than hers did at fifty five.
It's hard to be original. We are a herding species. Originality takes guts and a devil-may-care attitude. The only way to originality is to not give a damn about what others are doing, to not care what they might think about what you're doing, to stay away from museums and art books and art classes and just do what you do. I forgot that these last years while intent upon gaining skill in the traditional ways of painting and lost the love I felt holding a fresh jar of my favorite color of the moment facing a pristine white canvas brush poised in the air ready to make the first strike without a clue to what the second would be. I lost my child. I got old. Stodgy. Ho-hum boring. Became no one Picasso would spend ten minutes with! The hell with that! I need a breath of fresh air.
|L. W. Roth, And Snoop Dog Too, Acrylic, 2010|