Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Goodbye

Self Portrait as Painter, 2019, Oil on Panel, 48 x 36 inches
It has been 10 years since I started this project here.  Hard to believe that much time has passed, but thinking how much has changed since the start of 2010 in my life, and the world, it seems like a decade would be required to fit all those things.

And I think its a good stopping point.  A deliberate time to make this into an archive and not let it dwindle and feel unfinished.

When I started writing, I felt like the loneliest grad school student in the world, screaming into an empty internet abyss.  Now there are so many platforms that fulfill the need to connect artists and gather images in one place.  They all cropped up as answers to the way many of us felt 10 years ago, and now I feel a mirrored response to that I think -- I want to close up shop, reserve my most private thinking.

In one of my favorite contemporary novels, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, the main character, Nao,  is writing in a journal which she plans to throw in the sea to eventually be found by one reader.  She says she used to write a blog but when she thought of all the other people writing blogs, having no time to read each other's blogs it made her sad to picture all those people typing away in their lonely bedrooms.  So her journal was the anti-blog, made for only one special, random recipient.

I'd like if this blog became again as it was initially conceived, like Nao's book in the sea, a weird floating document, found only years later adrift and lost in the internet somewhere, found only by other desperate searchers.  I think that could happen, recently blogs have started to feel like something personal and necessary again.  A longer form.  It's like how my mom saved her ugly lace up boots through my childhood and they came back in style about 15 years later and I asked her if I could have them.  She had given them away due to my earlier comments.  So mom, if you are the only one still reading this in 2030, I learned something.  I'm leaving this archive here in case it makes sense in the future.

Painting is hard.  It's solitary.  I'm solitary.  I make paintings about the life I live, but then I don't want anyone to know much about that life.  It feels like an intrusion.  I just want to collide with people who nod and say yes I feel that way too, in my own life.  And this project has given me so many of those collisions.  I am so thankful.


Eric M. said...

Hi Aubrey! I will miss the blog I have been following it for many years checking in every few months to read the updates. I've found this blog really inspiring when I don't want to go into the studio or work. I am so impressed you've kept it up so consistently over the years, and I appreciate that you finished with a final post instead of leaving us wondering. Anyways thanks for sharing! This blog has been great!

Unknown said...

I'll miss your thoughtful musings and wonderful insight into the practice. Thanks for sharing your process and creating a terrific source of motivation for other painters. Best of luck to you!

www.k2art.net said...

Hi Aubrey,
Thank you so much for your thoughtful blogging over the past 10 years! I am a professor of Painting, and I show your work to my students every semester on 'Cupcake Day' - when we make multiple quick paintings of a birthday party setup. I always cite your lunchtime project, and how I kick myself often for not buying one of those little paintings on Etsy when I had the chance - a lesson learned! I believe we are near the same age, and our kids are near the same age, so I have thoroughly enjoyed following (and commiserating) with your journey over the years. Your work and observations have always left me feeling inspired, and less lonely. I also want to thank you for very kindly taking the time to chat with me on Instagram, after I saw your show in NYC. It's true what you way about these platforms popping up to fill a need. Thanks again, and congrats on a very generous and thoughtful blog.

Sup said...

Hey Audrey, I've always found your blog just as beautifully moody as your own work. Congrats on your gallery change, and looking forward to seeing new and exciting work filled with D-MER or whatever the disease you might have, haha.

Gee said...

Hello Aubrey! I have been a fan of yours though out the years and been so busy in the last few (really really busy crazy busy) and it was only recently due to the pandemic that I stumbled back as I saw you had a new show. You painting, your honest and open words are entirely different from anything I see online. It is inspiring, very inspiring. I never post comments. Never. But I feel compelled to just let you know , as Eric M. says, thank you for sharing and please keep up the good work. You are one of a kind.

Aubrey Levinthal said...

Thank you all. You have been more important than you know. Please feel free to connect through email in the future aubreylevinthal@gmail.com. Stay well in this difficult time.

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