Song of the Month: Cariñio Mio by Antonio Lopez Garcia and Enrice Gran, 1992
Fiveways seems stuffed to capacity with visual artists and for better or worse I'm yet another one of them. Unfortunately, my own artistic muse has essentially been telling me for many years now that there's little hope of my giving up the day job any time soon.
Never mind, I can always find solace in the example of painters like Spanish National Treasure Antonio Lopez Garcia who seems to make a comfortable living out of his artwork against the odds. Described to me once as “an obsessive nutter”, he'll often spend years to finish a painting. With his sort of work rate, it's impressive he ever has anything to sell at all let alone make a good living from it, and yet that's exactly what he's done for much of his life.
The film 'The Quince Tree Sun' documents one of his long-winded attempts to paint the quince tree growing in his back yard and is by far the best thing I've ever watched about art. Through it's patient, non-judgemental observations of him going about his work, the film manages to offer an expansive view of what it is to be an artist in the modern world - their place and role in society, the modesty and arrogance of the artistic temperament, and the dignity and absurdity of creative endeavour and human existence in general. I think it's magnificent. It was described in a review at the time as being “the cinematic equivalent of watching paint dry”.
One thing I find interesting is Antonio's relationship with music. Although he likes having the radio on as company while he works, he feels it can dilute his ability to be totally present in the moment, affecting his connection with what he's painting. I listen to a lot of music, particularly at home, but sometimes get the sense of it having too much of a cocooning effect from my hearing what's immediately going on outside such as the type of birdsong or the sound of the weather changing, and I'm convinced the more in tune you are with those kinds of noises the more healthier your mental state.
In the end though, I just find having a sing-a-long to some of my all time favourites too much fun to resist, and it seems Antonio is the same – at one point in the film he's visited by his friend and fellow artist Enrice Gran and, after ignoring his advice on how best he should paint the picture, they do a duet of an old favourite of theirs.
They do a lovely job.