Thursday, February 7, 2013

Quietly flying

The upside and the downside of making art or being creative is that over time it seems to make you more sensitive to your environment. Sometimes I like this and sometimes I don't.

Every year “Fleet Day” comes to San Francisco and the Air Force spends a long weekend flying six Blue Angel jets super low all around San Francisco- even under the golden gate bridge. For me, these aircraft are unbelievably loud and somewhat frightening. 
I was talking to my friend and painter Adam Wolpert years ago on the roof of the Academy of Art in San Francisco the day when the jets were ripping across the sky. We were having lunch and it was  windy. Just as one of these near deafening jets went by a seagull spied a piece of my sandwich and did a double take and then a quick mid air cutback to scoop up the bread from the ground, all without breaking flight.  Adam remarked that he was far more amazed, far more stupefied with the grace, the nuance of the flight of this seagull than the 27 million dollar jets ripping the sky apart above our heads.  It seemed to exemplify the artistic preference for something more subtle, less showy and more poetic. It was an interesting preference, probably not one shared by most people, but I could relate.
  Having this preference for less jarring stimuli is not something that I have always liked –it lessens the kind of movies I can go to, it makes me choose more expensive food stores because of the better lighting, and it ends up making me spend absurd amounts of money on products mostly because I like the packaging. I have spent far more time in botanical gardens than at Nascar races.
Do you sometimes feel this way too? It can be burdensome at times, but happily, others seem to feel the same way too.


Sarah said...

Hello this is the first time I've commented though I've been following you blog for a while - I love your work. And yes I do feel like this, I've always been ridiculously sensitive, to stimuli, it can indeed be very burdensome at times. But I I think as well as being the source of my paintings, it's also the source of great joy because I notice and respond to many small things which many others seem not to notice.

Annie Coe said...

Yes and amen! I lived in SF for 20 years and I hated those jets. Maybe it has something to do with being an artist, but I am always the odd one out. I too love the quiet and subtle things in life. Lovely post.

Philip High said...

I can definitely relate. Movies are especially difficult at times. On the other hand,it is a pleasure to sometimes see "behind the scenes" into the compositions of everyday life. Part of the value of art I suppose.

Nicholas Wilton said...

Thanks for all your comments- after I wrote this I felt like possibly I might of come off sounding somehow more refined than everyone else--that there was judgment about others- after reading your 3 posts it makes me feel better! I just am saying what is true for me and happily it turns out for a few others too!

Gwen Buchanan said...

I so agree.