To the Unknown Helper #15: Reflections on Mahler

Forms and pools of light emerge: the Mountain is the third most important structural element: its friend is the little cat next to the child. The body emerges under the sari/chiton: note to self: be careful with this: I am such a pervert about the female form (which means I have the normal male attraction, which has been made monstrous in old guys as per Zizek) that there is a tendency to exagerrate and make the sari/chiton look wet.

Instead, there should be a body and the kneecap (a wonder of nature) should be the point of most tension, because the Helper has long English girl bird legs.

Miranda: O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there heere!
How beauteous mankinde is! O braue new world
That has such people in’t.

Prospero: ‘Tis new to thee.

Shakespeare, The Tempest

One gets into a State, whether running with (or without) an iPod or painting, like Count Tolstoy writing Prince Andrei’s death in War and Peace and calling his put upon Wife to listen to what he’d written: a recent biography of the Countess describes how she didn’t want him to put War and Peace into the public domain because they needed the money.

The question is whether the State is an illusion. I do not think so, for I do not need the iPod when running.

I take a picture with a crumby Web cam because the cable between my cell phone camera has died, but the low accuracy shows me where to go. Gotta fuse the strokes with a pig bristle brush. Talking to myself, about digging on swine, as I sweep across the canvas and forms continue to emerge, ever more rich and beguiling. Is it halal to paint with pig bristles?

I give cheapass printouts of the facial study to all my friends. This not a good time of the year to get crazy, since it is crunch time at work with lots of kids wanting lessons.

Ed Nilges “To the Unknown Helper as of 18 July 2010”. Pencil, charcoal, acrylic on canvas 50 cm by 60 cm.

I believe that the justification of art is the internal combustion it ignites in the hearts of men and not its shallow, externalized, public manifestations. The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenalin but is, rather, the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.

Glenn Gould

“Yes, it was death! I died–and woke up. Yes, death is an awakening!”
And all at once it grew light in his soul and the veil that had till
then concealed the unknown was lifted from his spiritual vision. He felt
as if powers till then confined within him had been liberated, and that
strange lightness did not again leave him.

Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

Edward Nilges, “To the Unknown Helper as of 19 July”, pencil, charcoal, ink and wash on canvas, 50×60 cm.

Details from “To the Unknown Helper as of 19 July”


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