ANTONIA ROLLS ARTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE NEWS. An account of an Artist and Mother in Bognor Regis. Worthwhile, but exhausting, so pour the tea and make yourself comfortable...(this painting is a family portrait, about 2'x 3', oil on wood. It is the Ross Family, each family member with items that describe them best. And at the front, on the grass on the right hand side, is a photo of Grandma, sadly missed.)
Sunday, 12 December 2010
On Wanting To Do Exactly What I Want. And What Do I Want Exactly?
This puzzles me. I Want is not about what Antonia Wants as a single wish, it is bound up with What The Kids Want and What The Clients Want and very significantly, What The Mortgage Company Wants. I want my children to be safe and well and happy and nice to me. I want my house to be paid for. The paintings I do mean a great deal to me so I want my clients to feel as serious about them as I do. And to love them (the paintings) and pay me and so on and so on and maybe love me a little too. (Agape. Keep reading.)
I want everyone to be kind to each other. I want everyone to know the deeply powerful and loving gift that Kindness can be. It is a strong person that can be kind, and it is lovely to receive it. So I want a bit of that for everyone too. And love. The Ancient Greeks seem to have had between seven and four categories of love - here are four. Agape - love in its purest form, brotherly love, general affection, grows in time, requires no favour in response to it, in its highest form, God's love for us. Eros - we all like the sound of this one, but it does not have to be about sexual love. It is the sensual desire, the longing felt for another, the longing for intimacy. Philia - describing friendship, dispassionate and virtuous love. A loyal kind of love, of equality and familiarity. And finally, Storge - natural affection, such as from a parent. A love, I read, that is based on dependence, as in a family. These four different types of love makes loving a bit easier, so you don't have to go charging in declaring love and loyalty and passion and commitment to all and sundry, because of the limits of our understanding of the word Love. You can dash into a situation and declare "I have Agape for you all, and not a spot of Eros" and all will be clear and sensible.You can help an old lady with her bags and say tenderly to her ,"It's all about Storge, Madam, if you get my drift."
I want more though. I want to be able to eat all day and night and not get fat. I want to only paint when I feel like it and have everyone say "My, Antonia, that is marvellous. How do you do it?" I want people with lots of money to say to their accountants when they do the monthly accounts, "Bung a standing order to Antonia Rolls because, boy, her paintings are just the greatest. And even if she doesn't actually paint anything, we know she could, and that is enough for me. In fact, double the standing order for the sheer excitement of wondering what she will do next." And the accountant will sigh, because he works for at least 20 very very wealthy people, all of whom have set up standing orders in the last week, to the Antonia Rolls Artist Extraordinaire Fund for Paintings That May Or May Not Be Done. And I want to spend all my time meeting fascinating people and talking fascinating talk and writing it all down and painting it all as it happens, and have my house clean and tidy itself - like one of those automatic convertible cars, you press a button in my house (remotely because I am somewhere else being incredibly important and inspired) flaps and folds itself over and cleans itself and hey presto, I didn't have to do a thing. And I want to write everything down as I go along and hear people say , "Antonia, I see what you mean, tell me again, it's all so interesting"
I want to be able to run away when I need to. I want to work with the dying. I want to paint beauty. I want to understand more, to know more and to make people feel better, even for five minutes. I want to make people laugh, to write clever things, to be brave enough to keep trusting that I will be fine. When I die, I will have left enough behind to have shown that I tried to touch peoples' lives in ways that makes a little light go on in their tummies, and a small feeling of worth in this world in their minds. I want to get better and better and better at painting, at knowing things, at writing, thinking and doing what I do.
So in a nutshell, I see, I want a free reign. As do we all. And a spot of Agape, Eros and Philia along the way to the stars would be just the ticket.