Friday, January 8, 2010

Square One

Chant I, oil on canvas, 12x12 inches, © 2009 Diane McGregor

"Art in everyday life seems to be our destination. The question is, how do we begin? Our main purpose is to develop an understanding of life and art. If we don't have a life of our own, we don't have art of our own, so we end up discussing the question of what is life -- which is art, naturally. Life is based on various concepts and ideas, such as life being a big drama, a fantastic showpiece, an absolute torture chamber, or just gray. We have all kinds of ideas about it. But there seems to be a problem when we try to reshape the world. We don't reshape the world haphazardly, of course; we reshape it in accord with our beliefs and our dreams. So the world is reshaped according to our own ideas and the way we want it to be....

"Obviously, we must think first before we do. But the question is more complex: how to think, what to think, why to think, what is 'to think'?...The thinking process has to be directed into a certain approach. That does not mean that your thinking process should be in accord with certain dogma, philosophy, or concepts. Instead, one has to know the thinker itself. So we are back to square one, the thinker itself: who or what thinks, and what is the thought process?...


Chant II, oil on canvas, 12x12 inches, © 2009 Diane McGregor

"Any work of art is expressing ourselves in particular terms and concepts....What convinces you, if you are uncertain, that a work of art is a real expression of yourself? Or is a work of art something to make sure that the rest of the world is convinced about you, so that in turn you yourself find ground to exist?...

"Back to square one. That seems to be the starting point of any genuine expressions we might express. Genuine expressions have to be self-existing, born within one. So if you are going to express such genuine expressions, you have to get back to genuine ground. And so far as we are concerned, at this point the only genuine ground we have is back to square one."

The above quotes are taken from True Perception: The Path of Dharma Art by Chogyam Trungpa (Boston: Shambhala Publications, 2008, pages 137-140).

4 comments:

Leslie Avon Miller said...

"Our main purpose is to develop an understanding of life and art. If we don't have a life of our own, we don't have art of our own..." Another way to talk about authenticity. I'll be pondering this.
These two paintings in particular are very compelling. I like the hint of earth colors, and the dark contrast with the light. Yes, I like them a lot.

jacob said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Claudia

http://paintingdrawing.net

Diane McGregor said...

Thank you for your comments, Leslie and Claudia!

sukipoet said...

Wow. I was being so impressed by how articulate and buddist sounding you were. I didnt see the quotes. Well I have read a lot of CT. Practiced with a sanga on the Cape and in Boston and have been to Karma Choling in Vt. Interesting. Having read this one though.

Your paintings are dreamy clouds that can take one into contemplation. Be well, suki