My first painting

Sunset over a meadow (2018)

It may not be much, but it means a lot to me.

The wildly erratic brush strokes, perspective (or lack thereof), and off-set colors come together to make my very first painting. The scene: sunset over a meadow.

But of course you can’t see that. My scribbles barely form everyday objects that almost anyone can recognize: trees, grass, bushes, even a small house. There isn’t much depth to see how far back my friend and I were sitting. His is much more realistic.

I painted this while in pain. I was not in the right headspace. It was the weekend before graduation and I was getting sentimental. My journey with my best friend was soon over. I realized our paths would eventually split and he and I would make new friends. We would probably think about each other once in a while, but those memories are fleeting. There’s no point in focusing on the past while in college, setting up your future.

Goodbyes are tough for most. I take them pretty well, but not this one. Not with someone who I’ve spent so much time with. I feel like a part of my heart, soul and mind have split off with him. I just hope he’s happy. And if not, he comes to me to talk.

That’s why I painted like a mad man. That’s why I encourage everyone to paint like a mad man. We should celebrate new ways of thinking. Imagine if Van Gogh stayed stagnant in his classical style instead of using his emotions in his style.

Madness — in a contemporary context — is typically the breaking of societal bounds by an individual. Madness is neither good nor bad, but simply is. Madness used to be celebrated, rather than stigmatized.

Breaking the status-quo to be your own person is the bravest thing one can do. Not succumbing to societal expectations of behavior or thought can be a driving force for change (while still holding on to morals and ethics, of course).

Art’s value should not be measured in dollars, but thoughts provoked. Too often not artists cannot survive due to the nature of our Capitalistic society. We no longer do art for art’s sake. Unless, of course, you are wealthy — either by a different venture or from previous generations. Art shouldn’t be functional. Art shouldn’t be measured by one critic. Art belongs to the artist, as the two are deeply connected.

Madness opens up a new avenue of perception in our world. How often do we see art that captures a different reality? A lot of Van Gogh’s work comes to mind, but I think the most blatant example is Edvard Munch’s, “The Scream.”

We can see what he intended to depict, but it’s still like nothing we have ever seen. In my opinion, the Post-Impressionists are the best at expressing their version of reality. The brush strokes, the colors, the subjects — all perfect. I love Post-Impressionism and think it was needed in the art world.

Post-Impressionism kick-started the path to Deconstructionism and Postmodernism in the world. The rejection of classical art is immensely important for the world of philosophy. The rejection of the status-quo thinking and art proves to be one of the biggest driving forces for innovation and new thought in any society.

For this reason, madness should be celebrated. Different perceptions of reality should be accepted and thought about. The human experience is one unique to ourselves, but different to the community.