This page is a miscellaneous collection of writings of an artistic or philosophic nature.






Artists suffer from self-doubt. It sounds irresponsible, but artists cannot respond to their own products as others might – in that way our art is ascetic. Our rôle is to participate in the work’s inception, motivated by a sense of insufficiency, though with a sense of significance in having done so. Orpheus can charm his way through the world of shadows, but is forbidden to turn and look upon the beauty he strives to bring to the light.

John N. Pearce © Jane Wildgoose The Wildgoose Memorial Library http://www.janewildgoose.co.uk

Why do I paint? AmI an artist? What is art? So-called “artists” and “art students” have an awkward relationship with the wider culture in which they find themselves, and there is no ready-made career structure. The arts are economically dubious. Their value in any other terms than their own is questionable. 

Should Shakespeare have spent time writing Hamlet rather than looking after his old mother? At the time, only he could sense what Hamlet might be.

Drawing, painting, dressing-up and capering about – self expression? People want art – it’s a form of public service; but what art?

We can speak about our works, but not for them. Art speaks for itself. If we want to understand an ancient civilisation or an unfamiliar culture, we look at, or listen to, their art. Is that how they understood it? We may never know. They, and we, may have valued the mystery as well as the clarity. Eurydice is poised on the edge of darkness. Fashions come and go. Yesterday’s truth is today’s deception.

Few artists have nothing at all to say about their own art, and about art in general, though it’s what they do that counts. Those who choose art-school rather than university may be attracted by the permission to study anything and everything as relevant to their art and life. That lack of definition and implicit anarchy appeals as much as the disciplined hours of drawing and painting,

Art is always about something – but what, the artist can only discover by engaging with it. Our attempts to justify or explain can be as ill-advised as a comedian explaining a joke.