Monday, December 28, 2009

The Infinite Tiredness Of Ageing

Sometimes having less time to work means you get more done. Today I had about 90 mins of time that I could devote to my artwork so I decided to finish the underdrawing to a picture about being tired and old. It's based on snails, the gentle spiral of the shell seemed to exactly indicate time fading away, and the slow sluggish motion of the soft body seemed to indicate lethargy.

The fundamental scene is a sunset, a giant mountain that is also a snail sailing off into a yellow sky. I wanted to further push home the tiredness aspect by hanging a figure over the horn of the snail, so I added one today. This in some ways gets in the way of the purity and simplicity of the image, but it does help the meaning. Each picture has beauty, meaning and feeling, and increasing one can decrease another. It's a balance. Generally, I think sacrificing a little purity to make a stronger feeling or meaning is a good thing. It depends on the object of the painting.

This picture is a small simple one that I'll trace in January for painting later in 2010.


Kathy said...

Mark, You have great instincts when it comes to making design decisions. I like the spiral very much. And, you need to express what you actually feel about aging. My perspective is a little different, which is something I should express in my own work. Aging has liberated me. I'm now 58 years old and have long since departed from the cares and concerns of a young woman. Society has few expectations for me, so I'm free to do as I please without fear of judgement. This is probably the BEST experience I've had in all my years and I'm loving every minute!

Mark Sheeky said...

Hi Kathy. So pleased that you're having the best experiences you ever have! 2009 was perhaps my best year too. I'm not sure I'm qualified to comment on ageing BUT the feeling was tangible on the day I sketched the idea for this, a day of feeling tired and out of energy, out of life, drained. Even if on the cusp, using that real feeling for dramatic effect is an artist's job. So, the picture is "true", even if like you I'm not physicially old enough to be "old and tired"...

Perhaps the cares and concerns of a brilliant artist are more important than those of a young woman? :) I know what you mean though. The freedom to express anything to anyone is more empowering than almost any life experience.