It’s all been done before

Yesterday, I determined to finish Woman in White-stripped Dress. Even though I failed, I was excited to get back at it again today. This afternoon, I ran out of gas before finishing it. Oh well. Sometimes I can force myself to continue after I’m gassed but there is a chance I’ll spoil the work when I do that.

What’s the problem, you might ask? OK, the problem is seeing. When I’m fresh and ready to strike, what do I see? Something I’ve never seen before. It’s like I discovered the entire world. This might puzzle you and strike you as affectation No!  Seeing is the beating heart of realism.  Maybe I can explain it better this way: when my eyes are poised to see the beauty hidden in the world about me, things are transformed from the merely mundane into the wildly beautiful. Scientists look at the world with new eyes too. What’s the difference? Beauty is what makes seeing art instead of science.

Is beauty real? Beauty is as real as the discoveries provided by science and few question the reality of science. So, yes, beauty is real. For science, the book of nature awaits discovery. How much of the book has already been discovered? Most sober-minded scientists believe that only a vanishingly small portion of what awaits discovery has been discovered. It’s the same with art. The mysterious book of beauty awaits discovery. Realism begins here.

This is why I don’t have patience for the theme song of the post-modernists–“It’s all been done before.” Save your sympathy for such beauty-deprived souls because they’ve convinced themselves that their opinion is cutting edge. On the contrary, look around and you’ll see Duchampists celebrating Duchamp as if it’s current news. But Duchamp exhibited his urinal in 1917–over a hundred years ago! In reality, the “It’s all been done before’ crowd is not new. In fact, from the beginning of time people believed that what is currently known is the sum of all that can be known.     

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In the middle of discovery, I follow my eyes. I don’t put the brush done until my eyes let me.

What isn’t done in Woman in White-stripped Dress? I don’t like talking about this stuff (it’s personal!) but, among other things, the redhead’s sunglasses aren’t finished.

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