Glorious Descent

Glorious Descent
Acrylic on canvas 60 x 40cm

Sunday, May 30, 2010

An Artist's Lunch

Art is the heart and soul of Ben Quilty's life. It's beauty extending like a vine into the gorgeous friends and family that surround him, the lush paintings that bejewel the walls of his studio, the bubbling hot soup on the stove and the notes of music that chase sticks of charcoal that scribble on a page.

Welcomed by Ben into his Robertson studio I enjoyed a delicious day of drawing, eating, conversation and camaraderie. In the fickle world of the arts in Australia it was heartening to share such a stimulating day amongst accomplished artists, who had made their art the drive of their life. A drive which was not not self indulgent, or insular or unsuccessful, but welcomed the love and appreciation of many a great thing in life.

As Renee posed for a session of life drawing, Luka, Marcel's son, crawled playfully between her legs before returning to his fathers side to help him draw. Later that day, Marcel took me to his studio, a giant warehouse filled with the faces of his family, painted all over his canvases. The people that inform every part of his life and art practice. A beautiful celebration of love and life.

As a young artist, I reluctantly admit to feeling intimidated by the life before me, one I fear to be lonely and exclusive. I struggle with the dichotomy of living for ones art and living with others, why do I feel there is an inevitable choice to be made between the two. I seek solace, and love and understanding just as much as any other, but it is hard to find when it seems an artist's life, an artists identity has many a pre conceived impression in the eyes of others, one that is impossible to shake.

But this day warmed my heart. Artists have a lot to give, not just to a painting. The light that they shine also attracts other stars. The artists on this day, with their friends and family, their creations, their food, their ideas, made a glistening constellation.

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