Today I had the fortune of having a meal with a new friend. What a remarkable thing that is; to be 48 and making wonderful new friends. One of the subjects we discussed was the power of art. When something bad happens in the world, she said, artists need to get out there and make and sing and do, to bring beauty back, a tidal wave of beauty to wash over the sadness and negativity. I couldn’t agree more.
When I was painting, my soul aim for my work was to bring a bit of joy into a room. I love the Impressionists; Matisse and Monet especially. I love their colour and light.
But I also love darkness. From Durer, to Hopper, and back to Freidrich.
I love Sibelius’ The Swan and Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata but I also like listening to old Hole albums and Amanda Palmer. I love The Sound of Music and Get Out!
Writing fiction is a strange past-time. I sit here for hours everyday (note to self, get a better chair) making up stories. I like writing romance and sweet stories about Paris, but I also want to finish the story about the ex-child star who murders her husband in cold blood and gets away with it in a dystopian future where fame and money are all that matters. Can I justify bringing that kind of negativity into a world that’s already bubbling away on a rolling simmer? If art truly has power, is that the right thing to do? And if not, why do I so desperately want to finish that story?
“I don’t think that you have any insight whatsoever into your capacity for good until you have some well-developed insight into your capacity for evil.”
― Jordan B. Peterson