It's been a while since I wrote a blog post. To be honest, there wasn't a lot to say. Often, as the weather gets warmer, I don't paint as much. First, it gets warm in the studio, and secondly, there are so many other things to do, enjoy the sunshine, work in my garden, eat ice cream, etc.
That doesn't mean I haven't been busy. On the contrary, I've been flat out. I've been doing quite a bit of work on my new YouTube Channel, Carl Parker: The Zen of Painting, which is a collection of videos of either me creating or talking about my work, with a few fun and silly videos sprinkled in. Don't be afraid of the silly ones, it's just another outlet for my creativity. I'm going to be 49 later this month and I've promised myself, since I'm not getting any younger, and, since I spent probably the first 40 odd years of my time on Earth letting people squash my creative voice in one way or another and to varying degrees, that I'm just going to enjoy myself, stop taking things so seriously and stop worrying about what people think. Let's face it, there's no point worrying about what others think of you, because really, they rarely are. So, if you're open minded, love art, aren't easily offended and love a good laugh, check it out.
The other thing I've been working on has been a project that had been in the works for quite some time. I kept it under wraps until now, but today I can finally talk about it. I've just published my new book, this one being my second, called Fake News, Real Paintings: An Artist's View of What's Wrong With the World. I'm very pleased with it. It was a fun book to write. It's a collection of some of my more "controversial" paintings, my protest pieces, if you will, along with commentary about what inspired each one.
The best way I can explain it is to give you a sneak peek at the introduction, or a part of it:
As a young man, I never watched the news; I never followed politics. I was generally, blissfully unaware of anything that was going on in the world, and more than that, I really didn’t care. If it didn’t have a direct and immediate impact on me personally, well, frankly, it just didn’t exist. I was happy in my state of blissful ignorance.
Fast forward a few years, and that blissfully ignorant young man began to grow up, as we all do, and began to take notice of the world outside of his own bubble. Not in any real deep or meaningful way, but enough to watch a bit of news and follow politics, at least on a superficial level, just enough to parrot what I was hearing around me as my own thoughts and opinions. And really, I thought they were. I was the best little sheep you could ever meet, following the herd whichever way the wind took it. I mean, what else was I to do? I wasn’t an educated man on these matters; best to leave the thinking to those more qualified, right?
However, as the years passed and forty came and went, I began to expand my horizons, to read, to study, to talk to people, a wide variety of people. I was encouraged to look at the headlines and listen to the soundbites with a critical eye and ear. I was both shocked and horrified at what I learned. All those things I had believed, all those opinions, you know the ones other people had that I just adopted as my own without much thought, were, for the most part, complete and utter garbage. Some of them were even more than that, they were out and out lies that anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of how politics or the Constitution works would spot in a heartbeat!
And as time went on and I became more and more aware, I noticed things didn’t seem to get any better. In fact, they seemed to get worse, until what I discovered was that we had devolved into a society of political correctness, where free expression has been replaced with sanctions, both real and imagined for wrong think and civil, lively debate has been replaced by mean – spirited school yard taunts. The news isn’t the news anymore. Remember journalism? The 5 W’s, who, what, when, where and why, the facts and just the facts. Well, they seem to have been replaced by “info-tainment” programs where facts are lightly sprinkled over opinion and political leanings. I could go on and on here, but you get the idea.
Of course, to process this, and to perhaps purge my frustrations in a constructive fashion, I turned to the only thing I knew, painting. I found, to my surprise, that the boy who once abhorred anything political; the boy who refused to watch the news, not only noticed world events and social commentary seeping into his work, but he was compelled somehow to speak his mind through his paint.
I guess maybe I've turned into an old curmudgeon. Oh well had to happen sometime. You can find Fake News, Real Paintings: An Artist's View of What's Wrong With the World on Amazon at www.amazon.com/dp/1073715698/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=fake+news+real+paintings+carl+parker&qid=1560796457&s=gateway&sr=8-1 or on my books page, here: Books