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Submitted on
October 10, 2005
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Rising Water by ursulav Rising Water by ursulav
I've had artist's block of a weird sort for over a month now. I torture out a few paintings, but I have a hard time sustaining interest. It's not lack of ideas,* it's a lack of passion. I can't sustain interest in the painting for long enough to kick it out.

So I decided to take a page from James Christiansen, and try something with deliberate symbolism, something I felt really passionate about, in hopes that passion would sustain my interest. It might come out preachy, or incomprehensible, but hopefully it would at least come out, and one can't be afraid to make bad art, after all. And one of the things that really really gets my goat is people who believe in books over reality. If reality contradicts the book, reality must be wrong. Biblical literalists are the main culprits of course, but I also reserve a special disgust for people who believe crackpot conspiracy theories just because they're published. Believe me, people, I have had two art books published and a third on the way, and if I can do it, they'll let anybody do it. There are no background checks.

So I came up with this little guy. The water is rising, the rats are fleeing, but he has so much faith in his books that he is ignoring the reality that he's about to get very wet. Because I was playing with symbolism anyway, I started having fun with flowers--the geraniums, in Victorian flower symbols, stand for stupidity, and the columbine tucked in his scroll-hat are for folly. But as often happens with paintings, you can't paint somebody and not start to feel a certain affection for him. Sure, he's a haughty idiot, who stubbornly refuses to admit that his book is about to be swamped, but I suspect that he's really just scared of the water, and is really hoping it'll go away. If he'd left when the rats did, he'd probably have saved a few volumes, but now he's screwed. It's no wonder he doesn't want to face that.

But since symbolism is also basically silly, and you can't stand next to the painting and demand that people see what you meant, hopefully it's got enough of a visual appeal that people can put any interpretation they want on it. Maybe he just loves books and won't abandon them to the flood. I can sympathize. My dream apartment is one with walls made entirely of bookcases. Maybe it's just one of those weird moments caught in time. Maybe this guy knows how to surf on a hardcover tome. Whatever works.

I can't say it's a great painting--I like the water, but there are various bits that don't work for me--but it's at least a painting, and at this point, I'll take whatever I can get.

Prints available, 8.5 x 11 $10, 13 x 19 $20, send a note or visit [link] for details.

*I mean this. Whenever I say I have block, people tend to flood me with painting suggestions, and while I really appreciate the kindness, realistically, I will never paint any of them. I do not have a problem getting ideas. I have ideas the way some people have leprosy.
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finifututa Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2010
Chiamata-alle-Arti Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2009
Our compliments! We would like to publish this work on the next issue of the italian art-zine named Chiamata alle Arti, themed Water.
You can see all past editions here: [link]
Read here how to join us: [link]

The deadline for this issue is 15 July 2009.
The team
Smoke-Z Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2009
Man I miss your aged concrete background paintings.
Questiun Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2008
I'm not gonna lie...I faved this for your comments. And unfortunately I know how you feel. I've gone so far as to write pages of ideas, the pages continue to grow, and I have over 300 unfinished works...that I know would be successful if I finish them but....lately I finally managed to dedicate myself to a 'series', at the moment I am stuck on getting the water just right, and that's how I found your painting (and although it doesn't help) I love , of all things, that you finished it. It was the storybook look of it that drew my attention, your illustrations are the ones I spent hours over as a child, and that purity always takes me in. I also have a love for using symbolism, but I wouldn't have gotten your message from it. (I interpreted something of the ignorance...that's obvious, and that was upon seeing the 'three blind mice' wise enough to climb the rope while the man with eyes to read with and gain knowledge closed his eyes to the flood)
TinorialPeredhil Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2007
Aww, you do feel sort of bad for the ignorant little ass. Nice symbolism and well presented. :+fav:
This deviation has been chosen as a feature of the week
on *Word-worth-1000-pics which is a community project
promoting artists on dA.
It has been found from the word : "AWAY " :devart:

:bulletblue: To know how it works: [link]
:bulletblue: F.A.Q. : [link]
Flame-and-Darkness Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2007  Student Traditional Artist
i love it
the symbolism rox my sox
real cool
BottledTears Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2007
I want your dream apartment *_*

I realy like this though ^_^ It's quirky and funny, and I really like this style of art (umm...which one? Ummm....yours. XD Yep.).

Osa-Art-Farm Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2007
He IS a haughty idiot! This is a marvelous accomplishment for being blocked. It's a marvelous accomplishment if you are not blocked! Everything is grand ecept the coloring of his clothes. Not your usual grandness.
Gribby Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2006
OH NO!! Who's going to save the BOWL OF NASTURTIUMS!?
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