Museums are supposed to be the time filler or obligatory visit for trips, but I’ll risk seeming like a boring person to admit my personality clicks with them. The rush you get from sneaking cell phone pictures while your friend blocks you from the guard’s vision is the real deal.
When else is it okay to stand in one position and stare at a wall for minutes without people worrying about your well-being? You can be provoked and have conversations in your head between you and the stories in the paintings and walk away mid-thought or linger absent-mindedly while people think you must be pondering deep thoughts or “He gets it!” You can stare at naked statues giving your silent head nod with pursed lips, when you are really thinking, “that’s a small penis.”
And you can get an adrenaline rush from seeing an original Van Gogh knowing if you snatched this painting and ran they’d have to tackle you because it really is Van Gogh’s.
I did have an idea in a museum once. A picture came in my head of a painting that was not on any of the walls. I imagined a girl floating in water, but her face was small and her hair stretched out to the four corners of the painting so all you saw was her beautiful hair. It didn’t necessarily make sense, but I wanted to see that painting. I needed someone professional to paint it. So the idea slept in my head.
The other night my Uncle Clay asked me to paint with him, and I had made it a goal to paint a picture even though I hate goals. (Goals are great, it’s just for me goals mean ‘oh that thing I always forget to do.’) So since I had yet to commission a famous dead artist to paint this idea in my head, I decided I’d do it. I just started. It wasn’t even about getting the hair or water to look right, but it was about seeing it completely in my head until it was completely outside of my head.
I mean sure some people probably think Jackson’s weird –painting a dead lady floating in the water–(she’s not dead), and then they never think about the painting again. And I named her “Melisandre” because the red-head psycho lady on Game of Thrones who reads the future in flame bowls has weird boobs, and we joke about her boobs a lot. That’s all. It’s not a painting expressing a sexual fantasy or some inner darkness I’d like to share. It’s a vision I had and now it’s real. That’s all.
But now Melisandre is with us because I didn’t wait on someone else to paint it, and even though I don’t call myself a painter, my Uncle, who is a painter, gave me a blank canvas. So my point is we should give each other blank canvases in all parts of our life, and not be stingy in dealing out the right for someone to create. Seeds are buried underground first. So why don’t we water more what we don’t see instead of the things that are obvious?