"We should be kind to ourselves. This body contains our existence."
As soon as someone tells me I should do something I feel am innate desire not to do it.
When I am told not to do something because you "cannot' do that I don't believe that person.
The things these well-meaning souls are usually wanting me to try are things which have already been tried and tested by other people who did what they shouldn't do but got away with it and found that it turned out okay. These same people will have fucked up many times before they found something that worked for them.
Then there are those who follow and enjoy and tell you you should do the same because it definitely works see.
In the art world such an attitude is akin to career suicide. Unless advertising illustration, elevator music, or TV reality shows is the path you wish to take.
Andy Warhol, you should stick to advertising, you were doing well in that.
John Lennon, you should stick to skiffle, we liked that.
Lou Reed, you should stay in Long Island and work for your Dad's Accounting firm, it's a secure job and for life.
James Joyce, write another Dubliners, you sell so much more when people understand the stories.
When I paint something which people say they like, I instinctively want to paint something completely different next time. It's not belligerence, it's to see what else there is to like. If I were to repeat a style or a method or a subject until people got bored with it where's the fun in that?
"Life is not all about fun."
It fucking is.
Get food, have fun.
If we get food and have no fun, we are no better off than plants.
From silent meditation to debating philosophical issues to reading every entry on Wikipedia to composing The Rites of Spring to Paragliding on Mescaline to seeing what else there is to write or paint.
So I wrote these poems
You Should Do Whatever You Want
"You should do whatever you want," she told me. Benevolently.
Which really got my goat.
She knows I don't know what I want.
"I won't do what you tell me." I told her.
"Then do as I say," she said.
So I did.
The upshot of the discussion was I stayed close to her. As close as I could. In case I ever needed to want. And she would put pay to that.
What on earth is stopping me
From standing up for myself
And letting her know I'd rather die
Than suffer so visibly for my wealth?
She's a motivator and a scout
She's a headhunter and a lout
She's drinking heavily and smoking
Her nerves are all out
Have I done this? That's never what I wanted.
I want her to be happy. She wants me to be free.
All this silliness works itself out.
She glares at me on the couch.
I stand up.
First question on the Marcel Proust questionnaire is 'What is your idea of perfect happiness?'
My friend answered "Being able to do what you want to do."
Marcel Proust in response to the question, 'What is your main fault?' answered "Not knowing. Not being able to 'want'.
Taking time out to know what we want should be an essential part of our existence. It's not though. We are too busy being told what we want and why we should want it.
So I wrote a poem
If I knew what I wanted, I'd want it even more
And I know that when I got it, life would be a bore
I want to not want
I don't care who I am
And I don't care who the joker is that put us in this jam
But when I shut my mouth and leave my words alone
I dig this nothing nobody in this nowhere zone
It rests upon its laurels and smug's it's definition
And it giggles like a stoner
At all the crap that you are wishin'
And no, I don't know who you are
Or why you'd want to save me
I'm already being lifted by the gifts that nature gave me
If I knew what I wanted, I for one would never tell you
Because you'd tell me how to get it and exactly what I should do
And if you know how to get it yet the world is still a mess
I'd rather you backed off and let me shine and take my guess
No one's hit the target of knowing what to do
So why the hell should anybody kneel down to you?
And the only time that anyone should pay attention to me
Is when I show, not tell, for everyone to see.
“If you follow the rules, you will miss all the fun.” Katherine Hepburn
“The end of all wanting is all I’ve been wanting.”
That’s Just the Way I Feel – Purple Mountains
“Life is a lucid dream.” Lusi Lu
"Do what thou wilt" Aleister Crowley
NOTE: I was watching a documentary on the woman who painted the Thoth tarot cards, Frieda Harris. Found out her first drafts for The Fool were modelled on Harpo Marx! There is only one thing I like more than The Beatles and that is The Marx Brothers. It is interesting to note also that she was quoted as saying that she could not draw faces. On this matter, Crowley had called her 'A coward." Many of the figures in the Thoth are facing away from the querent! Not Harpo. Love this to bits! He didn't make the final draft but just look at him shiiiiiine :-)
Hope you enjoyed all that. Follow me on Instagram, like me on Facebook and feel free to say 'Hi' to me on either one of those or even on the contact page of this very website.
Also follow and like our Alt*Art Society FB page. Also find me at Elpsis Boo Channel on youtube.
I am committed to making this blog as snappy, fun, experimental and accessible as I can. If any of what I post, paint, paste or print resonates with you, please forward to friends and colleagues with wild abandon!