The Hollow Men

:::this is the way the world ends:::

Frightening II: The Bear (Tentatively Titled)

Here’s my newest painting. You can also see it and a close-up on my website. The Bear refers to the market and who actually pays for our financial miscalculations – a weight no one can really carry. The text is Wordsworth’s "Lines in Early Spring." If you want to know how Toby influenced this painting, I can tell you.

 The Bear 001

3 Comments

  1. Ned, this is fantastic, and I’m jealous of your use and grasp of color. I’m interested as to what text is in the word balloons. You’ve really done well with text in your paintings. I had many a discussion with my poetry and art professors about the difficulty of doing both without becoming trite, and doing both excellently.

    I have to admit, this is a more terrifying image to me than your first, although on the surface the other one is more grim…there’s so much that sets me on edge (and I’m interested in that effect) about this painting. From the Cthulhu-esque exposed tree roots (which I just realized are tree roots after staring at your painting for about an hour) to the juxtaposition of the ancient tribal to modern “refinement” being protected by a new sort of savagery. The “savage” here doesn’t seem that the “savage,” after all. And you’re always playing with archetypes, it seems, which I always endorse. 🙂

    Thanks for posting this, Ned.

    I’ve heard that the people Faulkner lived around were equally anticipant to appear in his novels and apprehensive that they’d actually be written into his works. Likewise, I’m excited that I could have somehow influenced your work, but I’m fearful it’s for all the wrong reasons.

    So, I guess the excitement and curiosity wins out. Tell me what I have to do with influencing this!

  2. When I posted the Three Explosive Disruptions to the Intuition (the exploding dragon painting), you mentioned the line by Wordsworth, “The child is the father of the man”. This produced a desire to go back and read some Wordsworth. I happened upon his “Lines Written in Early Spring”, and I decided it needed to go into the painting I was working on. I came up with this idea of the trees reciting the poem, thus the word balloons from the stumps.

    The original painting had the boy carrying a bundle of wood, as if that was all that was left to take from him, but it didn’t feel right. Maybe it was too didactic, though I think that may still be true. But I wanted him to be carrying some other weight – something more symbolic, a weight he couldn’t really bear. After all the talk of the market lately, a bear popped into my head, and I executed the painting in two days.

    I think this relates in philosophy to the Walter Benjamin quote I posted earlier too.

  3. Here’s the poem that is the text:

    I heard a thousand blended notes,
    While in a grove I sate reclined,
    In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
    Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

    To her fair works did Nature link
    The human soul that through me ran;
    And much it grieved my heart to think
    What man has made of man.

    Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
    The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
    And ’tis my faith that every flower
    Enjoys the air it breathes.

    The birds around me hopped and played,
    Their thoughts I cannot measure: —
    But the least motion which they made,
    It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

    The budding twigs spread out their fan,
    To catch the breezy air;
    And I must think, do all I can,
    That there was pleasure there.

    If this belief from heaven be sent,
    If such be Nature’s holy plan,
    Have I not reason to lament
    What man has made of man?

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