Sunday, April 28, 2013

Open Studio is Just That... open attitude about visual response.

My studio will be open the weekend of May 4 & 5 from 11 to 5.

This is my opportunity to see strangers and friends interacting with a few of the visual thoughts I spew out all year long.

I learn so much from people's reactions. Any type of reaction is marvelous, no matter how critical or confused or blissfully delighted. Every time a person actually looks closely at what I do (this takes effort, as you know) I feel a tingling pleasure that we are communicating. We may not agree with one/another, we may not understand one/another, or we may be in great accord with one/another. The essential purpose of my art is to stimulate thoughts about life. So when a person has the patience to look closely at my work and responds with a raised eyebrow... well, that tickles me gizzard, that does.

...And when the visitor wants to talk to me about their reactions, that is the cherry on top.

(Above, "Bird Cherry Love" is one of my cartoons harvested from a drawing. I keep wondering what the second cherry-head will be thinking once it takes its turn on top.)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Enjoying the ride but is there any wisdom to be found?

"A Day on the Water"

"The things that make us happy make us wise."
Such a thought John Crowley eases into a sleepy man's mind in "Little Big." It's a puzzle that befuddles.

What brings happiness to most people? Ice cream. Laughter from a child. Flowers and spring leaves. Young love. Old love. Turning a bad deal for a loved one into a good deal for a loved one.

When I create art I often want to make "nothing" into "something." This brings me happiness. I'm not sure if it brings me wisdom. I sometimes have no idea what wisdom is. Is it detachment from outcome... just a sense of what is right and true for any situation? Perhaps it is that inner, inner voice that sighs, "Ah. Yes. This."

The above piece of art felt right to me. It made me happy in its creation as I frolicked with the figures and lines and abstract thoughts. If wisdom is defined (by the dictionary) as using one's knowledge, then I suppose the wisest thing I could say is that the greatest pleasure I will ever have with this piece of art was had as I created it, finding a blob that I turned into a bug, a shape that became a boat, a splash that became a sail, a dash a curious bird. The greatest happiness was in the searching and the finding and the creating of images that I recognize and know about.

And I suppose a further wisdom would be "make more of same if this makes you happy." It's not the same as eating ice cream, but while drawing I often can imagine the laughter of children at play and I most definitely see delicately petaled thoughts spring from the page to perhaps lighten a loved one's day.

"A Day on the Water" Pen/brush and ink on questionable paper to add spice to the surf.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Allowing Stories to Float In

"A Little Dance"

A boat or two, a few souls of questionable mind, an umbrella, a cliff, a flock of something that disperses, a bird taking off, and some characters gloriously flying high.

What is not to dance about!?!

As always, click on the image if you want to see it more clearly.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Another War Scene

"Escape on the North Wind"

Here is a painted version of innocence gone to war, from 2007.

Honoring the Subject of War

"A Letter Home"

To create an image is to lose oneself in the reality of that image. To draw a beach is to be at the beach. To draw an explosion is to feel the complexity of an explosion. To draw a figure killing is to be that figure pulling the trigger. To draw a clown is to pull forth a laugh. To draw a glimpse of an innocent just beginning to experience war is to attempt to imagine what one can not know unless one is there. Therefore to draw war is pulling from every intense experience in ones life and know it is not nearly intense enough. To draw war is to know failure. But within the drawing of the subject of war the artist gets to lift an arm and do a respectful salute and hope there is an element of reality in there somewhere.

Friday, April 12, 2013

All About What Is

Questioning what is.
Amazed by...
Angry at...
Riding on...
Laughing at...
Reveling in...
Blown away by...
Making up...
All about what is.

Monday, April 8, 2013

To Breath or Not to Breath

"Out and About"

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote to his daughter:

     "All good writing is swimming under water
     and holding your breath."

Turning blue does seem to secrete a few creative juices.

On the other hand...even if it is true that one must remind oneself to breath while on artistic larks, fascinating details can be had by breathing freely as one float's one's head around in the clouds. I suppose it could be a case of evaporation, where what used to be stream is now atmosphere... and the artistic product is the rain falling to earth.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Artful Mechanics and Everyday Visions

Clearly it's up to us to take note of what we see, to connect the dots. I often think of life as being in the shape of a beaded necklace, with each bead being a moment of transcendent clarity.

I am reading Muriel Barbery's "The Elegance of the Hedgehog". The protagonist keeps a journal and describes flow in writing, where body mechanics take over consciousness and some type of miracle of inner bliss and awareness arises.

"The lines gradually become their own demiurges and, like some witless yet miraculous participant, I witness the birth on paper of sentences that have eluded my will and appear in spite of me on the sheet, teaching me something that I neither knew nor thought I might want to know. This painless birth, like an unsolicited proof, gives me untold pleasure, and with neither toil nor certainty but the joy of frank astonishment I follow the pen that is guiding and supporting me... In this way, in the full proof and texture of my self, I accede to a self-forgetfulness that borders on ecstasy, to savor the blissful calm of my watching consciousness."

I read this and of course stopped to ponder the idea. Heady optimism. I looked up and out the window, intent on reaching more clarity, and there before me is a sharply brilliant rainbow arching over the houses and trees across the way. Huh? And then, directly under the rainbow, two preschool kids come running out of a house, chortling in pleasure.

This world offers so many beads of thought. What I do with what I see is up to me, but these beads I am choosing to string together on my necklace, they fascinate me.