going nowhere really
April 13. 2000
Indolence and Lassitude, by Chuck
Today in drawing class we finally got to visit Chuck's studio. We had originally planned to go on Friday, but he changed it for some reason or another, and I was glad, because I was really not in the mood to draw on that particular day.
It's times like these I REALLY wish I had a digital camera, because then this entry would have been filled with wonderful pictures of his work and studio. Fortunately, I found a couple of photos on Tyler's website of his work. As for the digital camera, I am saving up, slowly. I have a diamond spring water bottle at home (you know, the ones they put on top of office water coolers) that I am trying to fill up with spare change. I figure if I can get that thing filled up, there will be close to the $500-$600 I need to get a camera. It's slow going, but somewhat satisfying.
Chuck's studio was an old carriage house before he converted it to a studio. The downstairs was large, airy and sparsely furnished. There were solid wooden beams crossing the ceiling, a hardwood floor, large windows and two garage doors on one wall that were used to lead the carriages in and out. Paintings, so many beautiful paintings, hanging on the walls, leaning against the walls. So many sizes, shapes, colors, subjects.
A small adjacent room revealed white shelves full of stuff...books, shells, glass globes, plants, dried flowers, small sculptures...everything you could think of that an artist would need. A small bathroom, which looked like it was rarely used, was next to that room, filled with small figure paintings.
Chuck is mostly a figure painter, and he draws a lot of his work from mythology and its psychological implications. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of Greek and Roman myths. He's maybe 5'10", thin and wiry with piercing blue eyes, almost always dressed in jeans, hiking boots and a polartec vest over a collared shirt. All sorts of things were tacked to the walls, slips of paper with phone numbers, names, sketches, business cards. A small CD player surrounded by stacks of classical music CDs. I watched as he jumped from painting to painting, explaining the myth or idea behind each one, seemingly oblivious to the fact that we were all dumbstruck by his work.
Well, at least I was. I don't know about everyone else in my class. I looked occasionally at the people around me, mostly all I read was blank and bored looks.
Something about people my age has always really bothered me. Which is why, I think, most the people I'm closest to are considerably older than I am. It's that apathy, that angst, which I always found really troubling. I hate angst with a passion, even though I was at some point an ardent practicer of it myself. It's stupid and childish and ultimately useless if you want to get anything done. Yeah, we think we're so cool with our tongue piercings and pink hair and notions of anarchy and changing the world. But you know what? We aren't going to change anything. Most of us will end up quite normal and boring, like our parents with nine to five jobs, a mortgage and a minivan. Who are we kidding that we're going to be anything special at all? That we would be any different from what we dispise now?
I don't know exactly where this rant is going. I don't even know what I'm trying to say, either. I just hate being a teenager. I hate all the assumptions that go along with it...unmotivation, sloth, apathy. We're all doing drugs, we all drink and have lots of sex and don't know what's good for us. We can't be taken seriously because we don't know what we're doing. I've never considered myself a teenager, for some reason, I just completely skipped over that mindset. And it irks me that when people see that I was born in 1980, they think "teenager" and form all sorts of assumptions.
I know I'm not the first generation to think this. My parents' generation was probably thinking the same things about their parents, politics and the world. It's not so simple. And there are no clear answers.