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?
This is just beautifully written. As a museum frequenter I can relate so much to what you mean about the experience of being given permission to just be and observe and soak in the moment. I love that you followed your desire for this image to be painted. You share the heart of the great dead people you mentioned in this.
Thanks Evane you are the best. I wish we could go on museum trips together all the time.
WOW!! Both the painting and the written words telling the story. I am excited to enjoy and be a part of your story. Love you, Dad.
Thanks I’m glad you are too. Love you.
Somehow my ” comment” became, simply Caroline Sharpe so I am putting a “reply” to that “comment”. Not only did I really like your painting , I liked what you wrote. I think it is really neat that you didn’t lose the picture formed in your brain that day at the museum. I can’t tell you the times I’ve had thoughts form in my head and because I didn’t write them out soon enough, I forgot them. I’m glad you are the one you “commissioned ” to flesh out the picture you had in your mind. I’m glad Clay invited you over to paint with him and I’m glad you got something out of that experience you can now use in the way you approach life and the way you allow others to do so on their own terms. I like what you said about watering something that you aren’t even sure is even there but taking the initiative to do so could make a huge difference in others lives ( as well as your own). I look forward to you sharing many more of the brainchildren your artist’s heart creates. Too bad we don’t have a museum to protect and display all your works of art; realized as well as , yet realized!🎨📚🎼🎥💋
Yeah I think about how it is easier to me to hold a picture in my mind, but trying to keep a story together in my head seems too big. But I’m glad you liked it, especially the part about watering what’s not there. I was thinking about all the artists around me who only get support based on whether people like their work or not, but really that they need to be encouraged because the are engaging a creative spirit. So it helps you see the connection people have to their art. Anyways thanks for being there to support me always and then some.
I love the juxtaposition of the title to the profound contents of this post. Everything you’ve written about in this makes so much sense to me, especially the part about being a Van Gogh adrenaline junkie because I’ve TOTALLY been there. I think you’ve done just as marvelously as any of the famous dead artists would have, and probably you’ve even out done something they would have done just because you were the one to create something you imagined. This really was a wake up call for me too because a lot of the time I don’t attempt to make things because I feel like it would be a lot prettier/cooler/aesthetically pleasing if someone better than me would make it. That’s probably an unhealthy thought, but it happens. Anyway, to make a long comment short, your painting of Melisandre is amazing and so is your blank canvas you’ve inadvertently given to me with this post.
I love that you took something away from this. Lately I have been really experiencing some new thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about how to treat myself as an artist and how to treat others. This is exactly what I want when I share. I want it to make other people make art. And I especially want you to know you have so much art inside of you. And I know the struggle to carry around and need an outlet, so by all means please share what is inside of your creative heart and soul with the rest of us. Whatever blank canvas was put in front of you, I think that it will be loved and necessary to get to see.
This is dope…. You are such a good writer, Jackson. Your that famous person that I need to write my thoughts out completely and professionally. Your grammar is absolutely flawless and your ideas are like newborn babies. I’m rooting for your book. Did I spell rooting right? Ugh