25 Oct 2015

Is art madness?

Vincent Van Gogh said” I put my heart and soul into my work and have lost my mind in the process”.

Art, like a jealous, demanding, manipulative partner will not settle for anything less than all of us; all of our time, all of our attention and all of our soul. It is no wonder that so many artists live in isolation and prefer it to company and many confess that they feel lonelier in other people’s company than they do in their solitude. Charles Bukowski wrote: “If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery--isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it”. 
The muse it seems will not be satisfied with less than full ownership of her artist; art can give the artist everything and rob the artist from everything.

For many long uninterrupted years
She was the friend and confidant of Art;
They walked together, heart communed with heart
In that sweet comradeship that so endears.
Her fondest hope, her sorrows and her fears
She told her mate; who would in turn impart
Important truths and secrets. But a dart,
Shot by that unskilled, mischevous boy, who peers
From ambush on us, struck one day in her breast,
And Love sprang forth to kiss away her tears.
She thought his brow shone with a wonderous grace;
But, when she turned to introduce her guest
To Art, behold, she found an empty place,
The goddess fled, with sad, averted face.

Ella Wheeler Cox