Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Palaeolithic artist: part 1

A boar at Altamira
It had to be a boar didn't it? Look at the dark lines
that express shadow, volume and movement against
their absence at the back of the boar's hindquarters.
I have used that trick, too, in my own paintings. So
did Cezanne, so did...
So, my idea about doing something on Palaeolithic art has changed, somewhat. Last night I Googled some basic background stuff so I could provide you with a good summation of the various interpretations of "cave art". I found this one, and I think you should be fairly happy with it. It succinctly expresses all the ideas, and gives us an idea that it might also be a bit of this and a bit of that. It reveals the sorts of problems we face in such interpretations. It is good piece of encyclopaedic writing (which is surprisingly difficult to do, by the way).

Next, I noticed a name on the Google results: Dr. Ilse Vickers, and the phrase "depth psychology". Yes! We are in my country now. I was a little disappointed, too. My main thought about the topic was that I would like to take a Jungian viewpoint, but here it is, already. I do try to present as much originality as possible given this genre which does not give one much time to research before the write-up, what could I possibly offer that would add to what she already presents? What sort of time would be involved in attempting such? Then it dawned on me. I know what I have that she does not, I was a starving artist for years. To be truthful, I do not know for a fact that Dr. Vickers was not also a starving artist at some time, so let's just call it a likelihood. Commonly, students at a university will get some job to make ends meet while they are getting their degrees. I doubt many of them would pick freelance art, though. If you can make any living out of your art then you are one of the freaks of the universe.

But something was nagging at me. It was her first name. Ilse. Then it struck me: the name was reminding me of "Liesl" who took David Staunton deep into the cave in Switzerland in Robertson Davies' Manticore, part of his masterpiece, The Deptford Trilogy. Davies was a Jungian, too. This was starting to look a lot like synchronicity, and as you read more of this series you will see many more reasons than I give, so far, for this numinous experience. It will take on a life of its own (I know all the signs). There will be posts where the Palaeolithic artist gets no mention, but the theme will still be there, to be noticed, or sometimes to be revealed later. Unlike everything I have seen so far, it will focus on the experience of the Palaeolithic artist, and not that of his or her audience.

Tomorrow, how Robertson Davies wrote my life.

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