by George Allen Durkee

Maybe I need to re-think what I think about the way people talk about my work. There is what I set out to express, and then there is what the viewer gets from what I've done. These are often not the same. And it is hard make room for language with a different meaning than my own. "Content-ism is the art's version of materialism," my friend Vic once said. Frustrated by viewers who cannot go beyond what a painting is a picture of, I wonder if that's why Turner, Kandinsky and even Monet gravitated toward the abstract. Why do I?

It's just that I want my riverscapes to be more than water sliding downhill. The river is wet; it's cold; it's noisy. Those rocks are hard and coarse. Notice how each of those trees occupies its own space, never encroaching upon its neighbors.

It's probably asking too much to expect others to have the same ideas about art as me, or to use the same language to talk about art. No matter how much skill or know-how or emotional energy I bring to my work, people are gonna see the way they see and not necessarily the way I want them to. Damn.  

George Allen Durkee

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