Art of Living

I had never an education in art – as you can see. But I heard that students of art have to copy the great artists to become familiar with their styles, colors and techniques to learn from them. Later they have to find their own styles, colors and techniques to express themselves. They were influenced by different artists but they also have to become free of the tradition. At that point it shows who is a “real” artist.

Let me tell you something about these paintings of mine. When you click on one of them you can see them as a slight show. I’ve painted them between 2014 and 2017. When you click the tag “art” you will see more of my art.

Well, for me the best picture at that moment is “Raskolnikov”, the most embarassing one is “One World”. But actually I hadn’t paint “Raskolnikov” at all. It was an accident, that it came into existence. The linen was an old piece of rag, which I used to clean my brushes. At that time I painted in oil. Oil colors dry very slowly. When I sorted my painting stuff a half year later, I found this rag in a plastic bag. The linen was glued together and I unwrinkled it to see if I could use it for something else. You can imagine my surprise, when I noticed that this rag had become a painting. A painting that had painted itself. The only act of creativity, when you really want to name it was finding a name for it. I named it “Raskolnikov” according to the main character in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel “Crime and Punishment”. It’s about a student who lives in poverty and kills a female money lender. It seemed to me that I could recognize a dark person and a face in the middle of the rag. The painting gets with that name quite a lot of seriousness and it could maybe hang in some art gallery.

“One World”, my “most embarrassing” painting, shows the connection between heaven and earth. I imagined that heaven is not a separated world 1000’s of kilometers up in the earth, but is as invisible world right besides us humans. It was painted by my own child. I have no children but it was painted so to speak by the little boy, who has been living – and hopefully will always live – in me. This painting contains more of “me” than “Raskolnikov”.

But how can I actually speak about “best” and “embarrassing” at all? Isn’t it because I imagine, what a real artist is and how he has to paint? That I have created a role, an image of an artist? Isn’t it funny, that you can distinguish an artist, a singer of a rockband, an attorney and a banker at first sight? Why do we often limit us to our roles, how somebody has to be? Aren’t we aware, that we are not only much more than our roles and how we pretend to be, but that we don’t need to be something? That we are free beyond our roles, beyond our status in society? We don’t need to limit us to particular standards. We are who we are. And if I understand this, that is, if you absolutely want to give it a name, what I call the art of living: to be yourself.

Martha and Mary: Be and listen

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As they went on their way, he entered into a certain village, and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she came up to him, and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister left me to serve alone? Ask her therefore to help me.”
Jesus answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)

The hardest thing in life is to do nothing. To hear inside. To listen what’s next. Church and society have been burdening us with a lot of loads. In the old days with religious laws “You have to be this or that way to be alright. God only accepts you, if…”, these days with other words of society but the same meaning “You have to wear this brand of clothes, to use this mobile or to drive this car to be cool. If you don’t travel around the whole world you are boring. If you don’t look like Gisele Bündchen, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford or Kate Moss, you aren’t beautiful.

Nowadays we understand individuality and self-realization as the “freedom” of choosing between different outfits. But our real inner identity isn’t touched at all by the things we possess and which outfits we wear. Vice versa. Too often we are possessed by the stuff we have, too often we are possessed by our ideas of status, success and luxury. What makes us worthwhile, what gives us value, what makes us precious and lovable are not the things we are possessing outside. Is not a special behavior to fit in society and are not even special character traits too.

I live in an urban settlement where especially poor people live. Most of them hardly have enough money to scratch along. When they allow you a closer look behind their facade and they start telling you their stories, you would be astonished how precious and lovable they are besides their shabby clothes.

Don’t worry how you can please me. Don’t make any effort that I accept you. I know your true self. Come with me. My yoke is easy and my burden is light.