March 20, 2012

what does a painting mean?


"espresso cup no.1" oil on canvas, 8" x 10" mark horst






































I do hope a painting means something. But it’s alright with me if it’s only a little bit of something.

Don’t come to me with the entire truth.
Don’t bring the ocean if I feel thirsty,
nor heaven if I ask for light;
but bring a hint, some dew, a particle,
as bird carry only drops away from water,
and the wind a grain of salt.*


Maybe the green light around the edge of a porcelain cup is all the meaning I need tonight. Maybe the generous curve of an eyebrow is enough.

*from “Trusting Your Life to Water and Eternity: Twenty Poems of Olav H. Hauge” translated by Robert Bly

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These studio notes are scraps of poetry and ideas that feed my work as a painter. I hope they establish a bit of context for the paintings and my intention in making them. Whatever I paint, I’m trying to create some space for us to sit with the questions that are not meant to be answered.

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