All three versions are worthy of exploration. Tackling the first version of Lon’s question and speaking for myself, I lament our huge isolation. We connect only in the absolute identity of Atman in all of us—God peers out at and through us from every pair of eyes—but we are unable to realize the fact, and can only compare experiences with each other but never live the experiences of another. I don’t know if that lament is universal—the behavior of some indicates the possibility that it is not. On the other hand the work of many artists suggests that the lament is widespread.
I first used painting to reach out for connection in a long series of imaginary geometric landscapes, begun at age nineteen. The shapes would appear as three dimensional forms perceived in their entirety (not as “seen” from a point of view) as I relaxed into a near sleep. When viewers told me that they responded to the paintings with feelings that mirrored my own, I accepted such a communion of affect as a goal. I did not, however, plan my paintings to that end; the plan was to represent the visions objectively. Here is the very first one, which came with an epiphany that was ecstatic.
All but four of that model are sold and long gone.
For five decades I have read voraciously, looked at art everywhere, and practiced painting and drawing whenever I could. I studied and practiced color theory, perspective, composition and aesthetics, but somewhere along the line I lost any interest in the communion of feelings. Art was properly concerned only with purely visual components. Narrative, expression and symbol need not apply.
So guess what I’ve discovered! You have probably figured it out already.
Nothing has changed; I am still the same person. For the last several years I have been unintentionally engaged with depicting evocative scenes. As far as I can tell at the moment every other artistic skill I have been developing has been in the service of my unconscious objective: attempting to close the gap between you and me.
More on the ancillary pursuits in future posts.