Future Perfect Now #293
I wonder why we doubt, so much of the time, that miracles exist. When I think about it, it’s nuts that we ever do, and even more nuts that we demand proof of miracles. All I have to do is breathe, and there is proof. All I have to do is open my eyes and it is all around me. The fact that there is anything at all is surely proof. And what is a miracle, anyway? For us spoilt creatures, it has to be a magic trick, because we have grown so accustomed to the myriad miracles that surround us every day that we can no longer see them. The challenge, I find, is editing them out. When I, in a moment of crazy illusion, think it would be a great idea to do some drawing outside, in the landscape, I really see the problem. There is just too much going on for me to be able to take part of it and make any visual sense of it at all. It’s a cacophony of shapes, beings, colour. Even one single square inch of it is overwhelming, whether it is a patch of earth, part of a plant, a section of sky, a small beetle. Whatever it is, I feel I cannot do it justice—now or even after 100 years of trying. In trying, I make sweeping strokes that ignore millions of details. I go for an aesthetic rather than exploring the intricacy. I expect that’s where hyper-realism sometimes wins out, forcing our attention to illuminated detail. Yet I know the answers aren’t in the detail, either. Because when I paint or draw, it is always an extended portrait of me.