Well, I was walking down the street the other day,
You know, and I said to myself, what’s all this hurry,
What’s all this hustle and bustle.
Why don’t I just stop, look at the pretty roses,
Smell them for one moment, take the time to see,
Take the time to smell, have a good time in life.
Don’t let everything pass you by, you’re only here once
And I’ve been here longer than most of you.
— Ringo Starr
I had an epiphany the other day.
I wasn’t my average, “Hey if I get the Tassimo ready the night before I’ll only have to press a button in the morning!” kind of epiphany either. It was an actual, deep down, eye-opening, life-changing, “OMG” moment.
I finally realized what I want viewers to experience when looking at my paintings. It’s the exact thing I’ve wanted them to experience ever since I started abstract colour-field painting, and it’s so simple I can’t believe I never thought of it until recently.
I want my viewers to stop and smell the roses.
Not literally of course. My paintings aren’t scratch and sniff (but how cool would that be?!?). I want the viewer to take their time and have a really close look at my work. I want them to SLOW DOWN and appreciate the small details I incorporate into my art that may not be entirely obvious at first glance. Even my artistic process itself forces me to slow down and appreciate the moment as I painstakingly work on these small details.
Now this is not an entirely unique desire. All artists want the public to really look at and appreciate their work. What is different for me is that I believe that we can (and need to) apply this sentiment to our lives as a whole.
Our whole society is caught up in the fast-food, Google-anything-on-my-smartphone, need-to-have-everything-yesterday mentality. When do we ever take time to appreciate the small moments in life anymore, without viewing them through the LCD display on our camera phone? When do we ever take the time to absorb everything around us without the buzz of a TV or radio in the background? It really only takes a few moments of our day to sit and reflect to appreciate the world around us.
I started using these little moments of time as inspiration for my paintings years ago, but it is only now that I am realizing how much this philosophy of slowing down and appreciating life applies to my art as a whole. This re-invigorates me! It gives my work greater context in society as a whole, instead of living in the bubble of Meghan it has for the past years.
Next step for me: Compiling this epiphany into an artist statement.
Also: LIVE IT.
It’s time for the Retro Art of the Week! The colours of this piece will be the jumping off point for the commission I secured earlier this week.
Spectrum II, Acrylic on Canvas, 39 x 68″, 2007