Sun, Moon, Stars : a series

I’ve been feeling incredibly inspired recently… it’s a happily pensive kind of mood. Like the world is bright, whole, clear, and is charged with possibility. I typically live through alternating states of focus and lucidity– from feeling a visceral attachment to the earth, to feeling as though I’m floating somewhere above reality and my physical body. Around summer time, I felt as though I was in a strange period of dream-like incubation, so unaware and dazed. And now it feels kinda like I’ve woken from a long sleep, that the sleepy grit of film has been removed from my eyes, and now I can see so much beauty again. The last time I felt like this was probably December 2012-ish, and I know I definitely get a bit ridiculous when I’m in this kind of mood because I posted this to facebook:

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But whatever! The obviously ideal state is the one of happy lucidity and engagement LOL. I like feeling alive, so I’ll do so unapologetically!

So yeah, recently the world has seemed so clear and beautiful to me, and after a string of beautiful sunsets and sunrises, it was as if the sky kept managing to match my mood. Which made me want to paint it, and so I did. These were all done in studio on little gallery style canvases I bought from Dollarama. They were painted from a mixture of photos taken from my cellphone, and from my imagination (I don’t really like just directly copying photos, it’s kinda like… what’s the point? haha). They were also painted with only 4 colours, titanium white, ultramarine blue, cadmium red, and cadmium yellow!

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I really, really hate acrylic paint with a passion, it’s so shallow and thin compared to the richness of oil. But since I don’t want to deal with the mess of oil paint at school, they had to do. The limited colour palette is because I didn’t bring many colours, but mostly because mixing without both warm and cold versions of the primaries is a fun challenge. It’s like how I don’t use pencil when I sketch and go straight to pen, I feel like by challenging myself by making things harder, I grow more.

Each of them took roughly 1.5 hours :)

Sun, Moon, & Stars

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After painting them it was interesting to see which ones my classmates liked better! It seems their preferences went in line with their personalities.

I finished my last exam/final project yesterday, so winter break has officially started for me. Hopefully I’ll get couple more substantial paintings out before the next term starts.

Fragment (ix – ownership)

No one is going to do what you love for you. Paint like you mean it, play like you mean it, learn like you mean it, and live like you mean it. To be idle is to commit a huge disservice to yourself — the time you are wasting is your own.

(I want to live truly, genuinely, and whole heartedly.)

Fragment (viii – affairs)

There’s something exquisite about knowing there’ll be an end. With beginning and end determined, we are left to savour the journey, the scenery on a ride heading to its inevitable stop. With no anxieties about the future, we simply exist. Treating the time between like a drop of candy – short, brief, intense, sweet. A feeling that is almost sublime.

Fragment (vii – stories)

As we discover truths, work out things about ourselves and the world, we do so with the yearning for conclusion. The way the pieces fit together, the end to the means, the ending of the story.

But more often than not, there is no neat resolution. Narratives trail off and fade into nothing.

We are left with directionless bits and pieces, confusion and tired thirst.

The trouble with growing up (recap, hindsight, an attempt to make sense of it all)

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My writings and sketchbook pages for the past couple months have all overwhelmingly been centered around understanding. The past ~3-4 years, my motivations, the world — it’s become somewhat of an obsession to try and put the pieces together and solve the ‘puzzle’. It’s only natural to try and figure out what has happened to you after the fact, after the fog has cleared enough for you to see what remains.

One thing that I have realized is that growing up is really fucking hard. When you’re a small child, most of what you’re exposed to is fluffy, safe stuff. And then when you go through middle school and high school, all the unsavoury aspects of humanity and the world start to show themselves, and it’s so much to take in. When I was in middle school I thought I knew it all, I was irritatingly cynical but honestly I didn’t know shit. It all seemed so clear to me, everything was in their respective categories and boundaries and that’s where they stayed. Now I realize that nothing is that simple, the world is just a swirling mass of grey. The more I learn, the more I realize that there’s so much more to learn out there. The days when questions could be answered with simple ‘yes’s and ‘no’s are quickly passing. What the fuck is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’!? You can’t live in a state of absolutes anymore, it just doesn’t work that way.

The challenge  now is to reconcile everything, the paradoxical everything that makes up our world. They’re all like you, yet still unlike you. They’ll do this, when they mean that. There is incredible beauty, but also incredible sadness. You cannot possibly survive by caring completely, you’ll get crushed by the inevitable negatives. The question is: to what degree of apathy can I operate on, but still remain passionate and alive?

Everything is about balance, but I don’t know if that’s something one possesses inherently, or if it’s something that can be learned. In some ways depression was just the easiest way to go.  It was a knee jerk reaction to a reality I didn’t want to accept, the wild thrashings of an animal realizing belatedly that it was trapped. (I suppose it’s kind of like having your immune system mistakenly attack it’s own body, instead of the foreign substance.) By the time I noticed, it was too late. Reality moves in slowly and then it reveals itself all at once, leaving you with no room to run away. You’re surrounded, cornered by something impossible to reject except through death. (And I’m not the type to give up.)

Today I realized that in trying to figure all of this out, I had been relying on absolutes again. The urge to categorize is so strong… but of course it doesn’t work like that. Not even a Venn diagram would work, a mess just remains a mess.

I don’t even know if any of this makes sense for whoever’s reading it LOL.

I’m being purposely very vague about the concepts I’m struggling with because the idea of explicitly writing them out freaks me out like no other. It makes it too real I guess. (haha)

Fragment (vi – doppelganger)

There was a similarity between us, the same sort of melancholy that made them into distorted mirrors of a seldom acknowledged self.

“You bother me because I see you in me, and me in you, and I’m not happy with either”

Were you threatened? Surprised?

Bothered, annoyed?

There are others living and existing just as you are.

Fragment (v – self)

All art is, is self portraits. The reflection of the author through infinite mediums. The experience of the artist expressed is just the expression of the self: you are the sum of all that has happened to you and all that you have done after all.

You aren’t creating when you’re at the canvas, you’re creating when you live, when you build yourself. The physical piece extracted at the end is just a shed exoskeleton, an excretion of old soul.