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  • Writer's pictureThe Rough & Tumble

Painter's Sorrow

Being a little crazy is not a pre-requisite for being an artist. Sure, many artists and musicians have struggled with their mental health, with substance abuse, with toxic behavior, but one does not have to be crazy to make great art. But we’ve been taught it is. To the point that when we hear about an artist getting out of rehab or overdosing we think “oh but hasn’t it served their art? Without that pain there would be no art.”

Art is a problem that must be solved. A song is a puzzle to put together when you don’t know what picture you’re building. It’s helpful to have your wits about you when you’re problem-solving.

However, the work itself can sometimes drive one mad. Like the instance of the flower with such beautiful color that it drove artist after artist crazy for the love of the flower and their utter inability to accurately replicate its color. It became known as Painter’s Sorrow and many a colorful word was uttered mixing the rainbow together in an effort to paint the beauty before their very eyes. None succeeded.

A similar situation can occur in relationships, where you love someone so much it drives you a bit crazy. That’s the state we found ourselves in on an afternoon in northern Maine, in a plain, white bedroom where we wrote our song “Painter’s Sorrow.” It’s the realization that we’ve been staring at this other person for so long that our vision is getting blurry, our heads hurt and we have no idea where to go from here. To try was the solution we came to.

The song made it onto our new record, We’re Only Family If You Say So, and is out now.

Keep your eyes open for a music video, too.

And remember, you don't need a substance to create. Walk with open senses and to try to love the world in front of you: that is the only pre-requisite to being an artist.


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