Lachlan Goudie’s thoughts about painting

Yesterday evening I watched a programme on cable TV about Van Gogh and was struck by a comment made by the (Glasgwegian) painter Lachlan Goudie. I jotted down what he said on the back of an envelope, to share with you. I may not have this word perfect as a quote but it certainly will give you the gist:

Painting is a difficult, troubling and enormously frustrating activity. Everyday, when I stand in front of my canvas, I will expose the gap between what I want to achieve and what I can achieve. Painting exhausts you if you are doing it as a conviction or a passion. That’s no lie, it’s for real!

In the programme it was explained that Van Gogh was largely self-taught to begin with. He worked from books on technique and so forth. I have sometimes felt that I suffer from autodidactic polymathitis.  I hasten to add that the syndrome does not appear within any scheme of diagnostic categories I have come across, it is merely a term I invented for myself. So, the comments made by Lachlan Goudie about painting can be extended to cover music and prose writing, as well as art, as far as I am concerned. Indeed, I think they apply generally to all acts of creative work.

I say this without any implications of self-aggrandisement since I am highly critical of my own paltry attempts to create works of art, music & songs, and works of fiction. I think that creativity, however small, however modest, contains within it a tendency for the artist/musician/writer to experience bi-polar swings of mood. I hit a down swing over the past few weeks. At such times it is not infrequent to be hit by a block, too. I suppose one  might think of writer’s block as the prototype, but I recently had a sketching block lasting for a month. Fortunately,  this has now been broken. I have three new songs with the sets of lyrics completed in full, yet I have not been able to bring myself to practice them up to performance level. I can’t understand this; it has never happened before in this fashion.

I do sometimes search for evidence that I might be on the right track, whatever that might mean. Perhaps I am looking for a modicum of feedback. Here is the problem. I have maintained a website for many years. Nobody downloads my songs from links I provide on that site; nobody buys my novels or my art books; very few people listen to the live music shows that I play each week, streamed on the Internet. It is true that these are primarily played for people with avatars in the virtual community known as Second Life on the Internet, but I give clear instructions on my website as to how to listen to my stream ‘live’ should anyone who is not in that community wish to do that.  So, basically, I sometimes wonder why I bother. It can’t (given the time and emotional effort required to create and perform all this stuff) be for the joy of knowing that it is widely appreciated. However, I do have a small but loyal group of fans within my Second Life audience and for them I am truly grateful. Without them, I do think I might just quit and settle down to a life of watching soap operas on cable TV channels!

Oh, one more thing. The bipolar down swing curbed my enthusiasm for moving more deeply into the phenomenon of vlogging. I am not saying that I have given it up, but for the time being all is quiet on the vlogging front. Speak to you later, my dear blogophiles.

Tags: , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Lachlan Goudie’s thoughts about painting”

  1. adewils Says:

    While it would be nice to think hundreds of folks are waiting on their inboxes to be advised as soon as our latest posts have been released, it probably isn’t going to happen. But at least we get a warm and fuzzy feeling after we’ve created something and published it on our website, don’t we? And I believe creating is a cathartic experience which outputs (for want of a better term) our emotions, yearnings and makes us ultimately feel better than before. Carry on, is my advice!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: