Sunday, January 6, 2008

Lynda's Statement

While as a painter I feel I have in my possession the means of moving others in the direction in which I myself am driven, I doubt whether I can give the same sure lead by the use of words alone.

Paul Klee
From On Modern Art

This quote from Paul Klee illustrates quite clearly my feelings about my ability to communicate my feelings on the subject of art using only the written word. To put it more plainly, I think painters ought to paint and not talk. This does not mean that I have not given much time and thought as well as many hours of reading to the subject of art. This craving for a small piece of insight that will fit into the human mosaic has been with me the whole of my intellectual life. And yet, I ask myself while reading about chaos, heresy or the history of myth: What has this to do with painting and drawing? Well it has everything to do with the chase for the nuances in my art.

Klee says it more eloquently when he observes that, "The deeper [the painter] looks [into the world], the more readily he can extend his views from the present to the past, and the more deeply he is impressed by the one essential image of creation itself, as genesis, rather than by the image of nature, the finished product."

How does an artist trace the roots of creativity? From whence comes the impulse to take up the brush, pen or chisel? I speak for myself alone. I feel as if I have never spoken of this or even allowed myself to reflect on it. But I have. This need and the longing to take up brush and pen was such a strong impulse, almost beyond my control, that I must acknowledge that I have been talking about these feelings for more than twenty years on canvas and paper.

Often I am asked, as I am sure most artists are: What does it mean? Do you just splash a bit of color about at random? What were you thinking about at the time of creation? Well, I answer this differently at different times, but essentially I answer the question with a question (or two or three): What does it say to you? What do you see? Can you enter into a dialog with the painting? With the person who can answer these question, I can discuss the feelings we might share. To the person who feels that the work violates the natural order of things and is offended by it, I say: Examine your reaction. If my work suggests to you more than you need or if it touches a delicate nerve, then look closer. You may see yourself all too clearly in the drawing from which you seek to escape.

I believe that my task as an artist is not to hold up a mirror that will be a slavish imitation of nature's forms and gestures. I believe that my art will reveal new forms born of the ancient tension between order and chaos. Listen if you can. Read my language in my art.Though all the years, deep inside, I have known that this is who I am and that this is what I want to do with my life. It is my first thought in the morning and my last at night. I dream ideas to fill the paper. As I look at the world with all its color, the nuances of a shadow on a tree, the clouds, the faces of children, all these images are stored in my memory bank to be recalled when needed.

I cannot here express the sheer pleasure of color that flows on paper or the shapes that fill the space. What happens to the piece after I am finished is of less significance to me than was the act of making it. This piece may be sold, stored, painted over or even destroyed. Nothing slows the pace. I go on to a new canvas and the process begins again.

Lynda Dubov
February 1999

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