We live in an age now where just about any information we want is at our fingertips. We can simply type in our browser any query and get an answer in seconds. Whether we want to know a particular actor’s method of research for a role, a certain celebrity’s diet regimen, how an odd piece of music we like was made, recipes for 30 ways to cook lamb, how our universe was formed, or a painters technique; all can be found with a click of the mouse.

But having gained this instant access has also denied us the joy of not knowing.The mystery is all but gone. We seem to have an unquenchable thirst for information that we may or may not need to know. But the stream of our conscious thoughts that run through our heads inevitably fill our heads with clutter.I don’t need to know half of what I think I need to know. It’s okay not to have an answer to everything.

I may trick myself into thinking that if I understand the world of derivatives that I can better explain why the economy has slackened. Or if I know a certain diet and workout regiman I can have the same physique of some celebrity or athlete. Or knowing a certain artist’s technique will help me better understand their work.

I’m always hesitant to speak about how I came to make a painting because I’m afraid if the person is concentrated on the technique only, they wil see the sum of the parts as being less than the whole. In other words, they see the technique as opposed to the entire work. I can have to two different people come in to the gallery and be attracted to two different paintings.  They both wonder aloud “Wow, how did you do that?” And they may be happy enough to just stand and wonder without an answer. But if I explain the technique, I’m afraid their wonder may deflate.

Though the style of the two are as far apart as possible, what I really enjoy is that these pieces interact with these two people differently. Even though the technique is diverse in these two pieces, they both follow one principal. They were manifested thru the same channel; namely me. And the fact that both people respond to the whole; namely the painting itself.

Some people need to see forms. They need to see something that may be definite but also suggestive. On the other hand, there are people who prefer to see the different planes of color and material. It may be blurry or smudged but they see a depth in the piece that they like and that appeals to them.

These two pieces are like that. They are a far cry from what I produced in the last year but they somehow needed to come out. I know it sounds esoteric but I believe sometimes my intent is shaped and even hijacked by something I don’t understand that needs to make itself manifest.

The one at the top is a recent one that I entitled “Caged” as an homage to Gerhard Richter and his series “Cage” that was inspired by the music of John Cage. I don’t know why I did this. I know Richter and I share similar views as to the process of how each of us go about painting. But again, this piece is not my normal choice of creative work.

And that’s okay. I’ve accepted the mystery. I can talk about the subconscious choices and philosophize until I’m blue in the face. It won’t change the fact that I really don’t know and don’t understand why I did this piece.
The same goes for an earlier work pictured here called “Tripoli”.

Not my normal aesthetic but I let it come out anyway. I could have painted over it having not understood its significance but I allowed it to be. I accepted the mystery.

It’s important to understand that not everything in our lives needs to be explained and put into a box or category. We don’t have to understand why people do different things or make different choices. We don’t have to understand everything that comes into our paths. Sometimes it’s better to smile and just  say “I don’t know!”

Enjoy the mystery. Embrace the mystery! It’s what enhances our lives and makes it rich.

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