Friday, January 25, 2013

Kurt Vonnegut expresses in words how I express myself with paint

I can't stop painting her. It's become obsessive, in this same blue/brown mix that I can't put down. Since I returned from Newfoundland 17 days ago there is literally not a day that has passed that I haven't sat down with a paintbrush and painted. I can't sleep without doing so. And due to the fact that I only had a mere 20 minutes of painting before bed last night I could not sleep for ages and was haunted by nightmares of her when sleep did come.
There is a quote from Kurt Vonnegut, my favorite author when I was coming of age (and one of my favorites to this day) that has stuck with me for ten years:

"For my own part, though: It would have been catastrophe if I had forgotten my sister at once. I had never told her so, but she was the person I had always written for. She was the secret of whatever artistic unity I had ever achieved. She was the secret of my technique. Any creation which has any wholeness and harmoniousness, I suspect, was made by an artist or inventor with an audience of one in mind.
Yes, and she was nice enough, or Nature was nice enough, to allow me to feel her presence for a number of years after she died—to let me go on writing for her. But then she began to fade away, perhaps because she had more important business elsewhere.”
-Kurt Vonnegut, Slapstick

This stuck with me because at the time I was certainly making art for someone and hadn't realized it until I read that. I made art for that person for years. And then there came a time that I had no one to make art for anymore. And everything became stagnant and I lost my motivation for art.

Before she passed away she had written me out a Christmas card but had not put it in the mail. My other friend sent it to me upon finding it amongst her things. It was like words from beyond the grave, hearing from a ghost.

There were several things in that card that will haunt me but one thing will stick with me the most. She said "I love the new painting you posted. YOU NEED TO PAINT MORE."

And now suddenly I have someone to paint for again. Everything else seems trivial. Like Vonnegut said I feel her presence even after she's gone. And I cannot stop painting her, feeling her, trying to express that there is something behind those eyes that we could never understand and apparently didn't even see.

And here she is. The second in my still untitled obsessive series in the Blue period of my life.

May you all always have someone to create for. And may they always be alive and well.

<3 Lenore


  1. that is a wonderful post and painting and the quote is fantastic... going to pull out my Vonnegut and revisit I think... haven't read him since university... and the painting is fabulous... happy to have found your blog and look forward to seeing many many more paintings...xx

  2. a beautiful post and your painting is incredibly amazing-wow!! Yes, you must keep painting-what talent! Happy PPF

  3. A beautiful painting - the blue brown is very deep and haunting. Her eyes are so full of depth - what is she thinking? Wonderful post. Happy PPF

  4. Beautiful heart felt post and the painting is so beautiful, full of depth and character. Happy PPF, Annette x

  5. Stunning work...both art and much love here!!

    Hugs Giggles

  6. Your post is so full of emotion and inspiration. Your painting is beautiful and I can feel the emotional connection you have with it. I will be back often to enjoy your art♥

  7. Such depth this painting has, such feeling! Brava! HPPF!

  8. Fantastic painting, very expressive and striking! Very impressive post in all. <3

  9. Is that you? is very good .... well. saludos

  10. Wonderful post....a painting that is so very intriquing.....Happy PPF!

  11. Outstanding post and the painting is just so hauntingly beautiful. After having read the post, I felt I truly understood it better after seeing the painting. Continue to create, paint and inspire!