Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Empty Canvas

"For sheer excitement you can keep movie premieres and roller-coasters. An empty white canvas waiting to be filled. That's the thing." --Pam Brown (b. 1928)

Recently, I received several new linen canvases from my bosses at the Museum.

I unwrapped them and stared at them, almost salivating. I have always wanted to paint on linen, and I’ve been dying to get started on larger works for the Combat Art Collection.

I have always loved an empty canvas. It’s so clean, perfect and unblemished—it is full of possibility, and begs to be filled, worked and tarried over, until it comes forth an object of worth and beauty.

The empty canvas has always been a bit of a metaphor (and cliché!) for life. The empty canvas, like life, is full of promise and mystery. It is a place for creation and bringing forth beauty. Quality lives, like quality canvases, are best filled by passionate and well-thought-out effort.

I have been working on these canvases for the last couple of weeks (images to come) and they will soon be filled with depictions of my experiences in Iraq. Yet that is not the only reason I as a combat artist went about Al AnbarProvince, sketching and taking photos & video --I went so that artworks will be created which stand, not only as a record of a marine’s experiences, but also as representations of deeper, timeless truths.

Artists paint for timeless truths--- Marines live and fight for timeless truths.