I am ready. I have taken several years to clear my mind in preparation for my oil paintings of “The Peloponnesian War” as a composition within a series. I will begin with some basic composition sketches as I research the subject itself.
I am currently reading “The History of the Peloponnesian War” by Thucydides, and taking a class (through the net) from Donald Kagen a professor at Yale University. The lectures are available to anyone on the net through several sources, however the source material is a bit hard to purchase as I am not a student at Yale. I have also been reading Donald Lateiner’s work on Thucydides, and after a real look at the material, Kagen’s work and his source material is by far the better. Or I simply enjoy Kagens work more as I can relate to his personal feelings on the subject.
As preparation for my own transformation into the character I will be working from this time, I have completed the works of Plutarch simply to get a feeling for multiple individuals of a like time. Now “Plutarch’s Lives” is written several hundred years after the Peloponnesian war, however it is my only real source material into the daily lives of people back then. Rome was considerably different than Greece. Regrettably Plutarch is the best I can do to find a state of being for daily behavior of a common individual. I could go to the classics like Plato or Aristotle for my character study. Those men were anything but common and where I have read all of their works, I find them both, in part, to be liars. So while being familiar with their works will be beneficial to my character study, it will ultimately be self defeating in the clarity and integrity of my personality change.
This is always a challenging process. To become something else entirely separate from one’s identity is a challenge to achieve and maintain. I am not sure how long it will be until I am ready to take on the character. Probably a few years.
I do this because I want to express the subject of the Peloponnesian War as it directly relates to today. I fell that it’s complete circumstances are a reflection of the underbelly of our current world. Albeit, this is a subject that I must twist into a true work about now, as it relates to mankind’s immediate story. That story is in my opinion extremely optimistic, and pessimistic. As long as I can remember, America has been on the edge of total collapse or total prosperity. I want to express that optimism of youth and that pessimistic old man. I am sure to discover a great deal within this study. I know that my immediate thoughts on what I want to do are going to change entirely as I slowly take on the complete character of my subject.
I will start the work by several studies in oil on linen. I will title them “Hawai’i” because well that’s where I am. Each of these works will not be planned in any way, and the will be simply expressions of my environment. I am really going to take my time with this. We are buying the studio now, so my time will be split into running this store and working tattoos, and oil painting. I am also not in anyway in a hurry to complete this work as I want to be completely prepared to paint this as I maintain my work as a tattooer. When I am ready I will hire an employee to do most of the tattoo work as I focus on my compositions. I may have to train someone for this as I will need someone who can work as hard as I do with a similar philosophy on life and works, and being an artist.
Mahalo, this is going to take some time to make happen.