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Caitlin R. Kiernan

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Yesterday was an utter waste. An artist, of whatever stripe, has only so many days, to write or paint or dance or whatever, and each one wasted is that much that will never be accomplished.
--
(20 February 2005)

 
Caitlin R. Kiernan

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A great many things are dying very violently all the time. The best days for violent deaths are Tuesdays. They are the yellow-paint days. Saturdays are second best -- or worst. Saturdays are red-paint days. The Great Death Game is therefore a contest between red-paint days and yellow-paint days. So far yellow-paint days are winning by thirty-one corpses to twenty-nine. Whatever the colour, a violent death is always celebrated by a firework.

 
Peter Greenaway
 

They are always asking a writer why he does not write like somebody else, or a painter why he does not paint like somebody else, quite oblivious of the fact that if either of them did anything of the kind he would cease to be an artist.

 
Oscar Wilde
 

The artist is the only one who knows that the world is a subjective creation, that there is a choice to be made, a selection of elements. It is a materialization, an incarnation of his inner world. Then he hopes to attract others into it. He hopes to impose his particular vision and share it with others. And when the second stage is not reached, the brave artist continues nevertheless. The few moments of communion with the world are worth the pain, for it is a world for others, an inheritance for others, a gift to others, in the end. When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others.
We also write to heighten our own awareness of life. We write to lure and enchant and console others. We write to serenade our lovers. We write to taste life twice, in the moment, and in retrospection. We write, like Proust, to render all of it eternal, and to persuade ourselves that it is eternal. We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it. We write to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth. We write to expand our world when we feel strangled, or constricted, or lonely. We write as the birds sing, as the primitives dance their rituals. If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it. When I don't write, I feel my world shrinking. I feel I am in a prison. I feel I lose my fire and my color. It should be a necessity, as the sea needs to heave, and I call it breathing.

 
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I really believe in empty spaces, although, as an artist, I make a lot of junk. Empty space is never-wasted space. Wasted space is any space that has art in it. An artist is somebody who produces things that people don't need to have but that he, for some reason, thinks it would be a good idea to give them.

 
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It would be a sad thing for an artist if he knew how to paint. Ė so sad. An artist paints because it is a challenge to him Ė it is like trying to twist the devil. If you overcome it, there is no sport left. I donít even like to talk about painting. It is impossible to talk about painting because I donít know what it is. If I knew what it was I would get out a patent and then no one else would be able to paint.

 
Arshile Gorky
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