Sunday, November 15, 2015

Standing with France

an early painting by Alson Clark in France 

I was going to write this post about what to do with paintings you're less than happy with. But the horror in Paris on November 13 makes it necessary to pause in solidarity with the grieving people of France.

As artists, we're a world wide community connected, through art, with even the past and future artists. We are -all of us- also one one body of humanity on this earth. Friday's acts of savagery are against all of us who seek to live in peace and with respect for each other despite our differences.

The first thing I did on September 11 2001 after the attack on our country, was call my family members.In a world that had suddenly changed so drastically, the comfort and familiarity of family seemed the only antidote to the madness. In the weeks afterwards when the World Trade Center continued to burn, I found myself in a state of mind where painting was impossible. Creating art seemed like a trivial pursuit when so many people were dealing with overwhelming loss. It took 3 months to pick up a brush again. Later I learned that many artists had the same reaction.

Years ago, in elementary school, there was a children's magazine put out by National Geographic. I looked forward to each new edition fascinated by the articles and pictures of children in other parts of the world and eager to see how their lives compared to my own. What a joyous way to view the world recognizing the differences in other cultures but looking for the common ground! Its hard to understand how people who foster divisiveness and who promote rigid ideologies can wish to deny their own children this same joy. And how do the rest of us deal with people who can't grasp that we're all in this boat together?

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of France.

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