Above is a picture of a woman “making herself up”—i.e. “making something of herself.” She is “painting” herself into existence—creating a work of art.
Raymond Tallis is a doctor of geriatric medicine who branched out as a philosopher, poet and culture critic. He says that art is something—an object or a performance— that “offers us intermittent relief from the otherwise permanent condition of never having been quite there, of not quite arriving.”
I like that idea. It’s not an idea that we can explain exactly, but we all know what Tallis means by “the permanent condition of not quite arriving.” When the woman in my painting stands up, puts on her clothes, straightens her skirt, and rubs her lips together to smooth her lipstick, she has arrived, even if she hasn’t left the house.
I feel the same way when I finish a painting.