Liquor Store
Making Art: An Eternal Love Affair

The poet Charles Entrekin once said, “You do what you do whether you are in love or not. But if you are in love, everything that you do becomes important.”

When we fall back into the state of love with another person, everything they say, every turn of the cheek, and each slight shrug of the shoulder or sound of his or her laughter, goes into a place in our hearts and our minds that is like a position on a sacred altar. It remains as a cardinal memory for a lifetime. The smile of the one we first loved, if reminded of by someone else’s smile fifty years later, releases a burst of joy in us, unexpectedly. Love has dismissed our illusions of time and space and remains intact for eternity.

When an artist, let us say, a painter, allows the act of painting to take place, as with falling back into a place of being in love with some one, the painting act leads us, woo’s us back into the love state as well. Once it has uncast the spells that have been cast over us, by dissolving our illusions, leading us out of the illusory coal/diamond mine of our thoughts, we begin to see again. Painting dispels our preoccupation with our inner emotionalogical loops, and opens a way back home, which is the common-to-all state of perpetual love.

Once we are ‘home’, every aspect of whatever is before us is seen without distortion by the thick and wavering glass of collective semi-consciousness. Collective semi-consciousness says, “That liquor store, with its upside down sign that fell too far down to retrieve from the window, it’s chaotic ads pasted helter-skelter and its god awful green and flaking paint is an eye sore.” Being in a love state, however, allows one to see it without the interference patterns of how we are told to see it. In love, we actually see it, as a whole. From this love place each color, each shock of black on white, each patch of colored print, be it an ATM sign or Cold Beer in ice blue, is seen and placed upon that inner sacred altar, outside of space/time. Indeed, the store facade is seen as both a distant memory, never to happen again anywhere in the universe, and yet is eternally here and now for only you or I to see. The liquor store facade is a short lived splash in a white water river that leapt up and touched our face, cold, loving, playful and awakening. We are not deluded by it. We are not entranced into wanting to go into it and buy a six pack or use their ATM. We are relieved of our trance state back to the love state. Every aspect of the liquor store facade becomes important and beautiful, when we see it as is, through the eyes of a painter.

Painting is the celebration of this act of being eternally in love, with the universe as elements, its colors, its shapes, its forms, its rhythms, its scratches, textures, smoothness, and exactly where it all stands. It is being in love with that green touching that indigo, that sandy texture nestled so near to that smooth, sea of tranquility in cerulean blue. The painter sees and tastes the sweetness of this never-again-to-be moment, that is everlasting.

Painting is the practice of returning to a place of love. It is a way to remember who we are. A painting carries with it, wherever it may go, the coordinates, a handmade and unique map, of how to find one’s way back home, to the love state, where whatever is set before us is recognized as important. When a Picasso blue period painting sells for one-hundred million dollars, what that means is, either everything in the universe is now worth one hundred million dollars, or nothing is worth one hundred million dollars, but it is illusion to believe that one thing is worth that, while other things are not. The creation of a work of art is a celebration of being in a place of love for all that is set before us, in this once-in-an-eternity passing parade.

Ross Drago
Paint Rag Magazine
August 27, 2010
.99 cents suggested donation.