Phong

I just thought of this and it happened a long time ago. I was painting and then I remembered Phong.
He is a Vietnamese young man who used to work at a beauty school near my house. One time I went there for a haircut just to see how it would be and Phong happened to be working when I walked in. He was very quiet and just kind of nodded to me. He did not ask what kind of cut I wanted. I just looked at me for what seemed a long time. Then he began to cut my hair. It was not like any other haircut I have ever had. It was like he was race cutting. Hair was flying all over and he just kept going. His hands flew over my head pulling and pushing my hair all over. He did not section it off like usual. He did not even use a comb. Just his fingers.
Phong could not have been more than 18. So young to go so fast.
When he finished he said ok and I paid him and left. My hair was so wonderful and it layed against my head like it was sculptured. It was fantastic. I think Phong charged me 10 dollars.
Naturally went back in a month thinking I would ask for him for sure but he was gone. He opened his own shop somewhere and I never saw him again.
That is what it is like when painting or anything else goes well. You may never have that exact experience again. when effortless and perfection meet there is a glimpse of heaven.

Truth and Beauty

Last night I had this idea. Everyone on earth seeks truth and beauty. Without those two things nothing has any value. Nothing. It just depends on what your idea of truth is . Your idea of beauty will follow your truth. That is why we have conflict. Not everyone agrees what is true so beauty will be different.

Liberals and conservatives both seek beauty through their truth. One person thinks if we just made guns illegal then there would be less deaths by guns and that is beautiful and worth fighting for. The other side says well if we all have guns the playing field is leveled against criminals so that is beautiful. People who think it is good to blow up others to please their god – that is beautiful to them.

Some people think Global Warming is a threat to survival so it is beautiful to fight to change other peoples habits. And those that pierce their body and do it even to an extreme think it is beautiful because it is truly different. Art is the same. the artist feels compelled to contribute work to society for the simple reason that it is beautiful. IT is true and so it is beautiful. I came to this conclusion after asking myself what truth does my work have to offer if any and was it even relevant enough to go on doing it. I really wanted to have a good reason.

And this is my conclusion: Beauty is always worth fighting for and striving for and seeking after. Truth and beauty are the only things that give any satisfaction to life. And because we are relational we have to share it or it is meaningless. This made me think about how we all relate to each other. We are coming from the same place fundamentally. We just disagree on what is truth and therefore what is beauty.

Original

People that do art should strive for a voice that is unique to them. If I taught art I would not copy other artists work and say this is art.
Art is what the artist says it is. Not a teacher . Someone might respond to your work and that is great but then again maybe they just don’t get you. Maybe somebody else will and will love your work and find something relevant about it.
Finding your voice is pretty important and what is weird is your voice can change with age. So you have to find a new voice.
I was looking at a Seuart drawing that he did when he was young. His voice was so unmistakeable and clear even at that point. He was doing something new. He was doing something profoundly different.
I am so thankful that he went ahead and did what he had to do.
The best way to be an artist is not listen to anyone else. Everything else in life it is wise to listen to someone else but the artist has to go down that road alone . Nobody can help you know your own voice. You just have to learn to hear it when it comes.