13 November 2006


This photo makes me smile.

It makes me happy.

And dare I say.....it fills me with joy.

And the thing is, you probably have to know a little bit about the subject -- Thom Yorke (frontman of Radiohead) -- to fully appreciate the sheer child-like joy that exudes from his face. I mean, even the fact that he's riding a bike, just speaks of that innocence of our childhoods. You see, its the tension of the paradox here that speaks the loudest, for there is nothing about Radiohead's music (or Thom's recent solo effort) that speaks of happiness or joy. His music is best described as hauntingly beautiful, melodic art-rock whose lyrics float around that invisible line drawn in our souls that says: "Oh my word...this is just too real, yet at the same time, so overwhelmingly foreign."

And it's a good place to be at certain times in our lives

But its certainly no place to live.

Thom Yorke . Harrowdown Hill [Follow link to MP3]

I've been in this painting-funk for about the past 5 months where as soon I go to sketch something or actually put some acrylic on a stretched canvas, the joy of fully knowing the truth rears in beautiful head and this peace overtakes my need lay down the shadowy dark areas and emotions of my life.

And you might be thinking....Well then, paint the joy.

To which I would respond, I don't feel like it.

Maybe its because I think people would think I'm too run-of-the-mill for painting joy. Or maybe its because I think they wouldn't believe the joy I painted.

But I think what it really boils down to for me is this: There is something deep inside of me that yearns to bask in the dark places -- if only for just a period of time. In this case, just long enough to finish a painting.

But I can't live there. Even if I chose to.

For the Light fiercely pulls at my heart, even more so than the darkness.

And although that may sound like a trite answer, I'm almost certain I can't explain it any better.

Maybe I'll paint it someday.


miller said...

you paint your joy with words on the canvas of this blog.

i love ya bro.


jean said...

Troy, just being in community with you fills me with Joy! and the "Light" illuminates your whole being even in the midst of darkness. The shadows prove the sunshine. Your life and paintings (those I have seen) also reflect the depth of your soul and heart.

Joanna said...

I think I got you here... Definitely hard to explain...
I think real joy never ignores the dark places, and good art never does either. But good art never ignores the beauty and joy that somehow creep, miraculously, into the darkness either. Because they both exist. We all know it. If you try to say the world is all good, it's a lie. You are Thomas Kinkade with flickery lamplight. Please never paint flickery lamplight. (yeah, I'm probably in much greater danger of that than you are) But if you try to say it is all bad you sound like a goth kid with dark eyeliner, drawing swords going through people's skulls. And that's not the whole truth either. I think the best artist learns to tell both stories.

Murder by Flickering Lamplight
Sounds good, I should write it.

And if you can paint this tension, go for it!