Sunday, March 29, 2009

more on content

I wonder if we don't all search for meaning at some point in out lives.

I know that I can only speak for myself when I say that enlightenment is found right where you are and it is only for you as you can see it.

For me, knowledge of life and why I am doing what I am doing comes from years of soul searching and meditation. As to how that manifests in my life it is multi-directional. I work on my paintings. In my studio, I face the great challenges because this is my personal work; it must ring true for it to be worth painting and eventually showing to others. It must express something I want to be known about my experience. I must see how it looks in my life and how this vision can be of help to others. My work often expresses a visual understanding of an abstract thought. To this end I often use metaphor as a tool to form, that which is formless into shape.

I also manifest it in my classroom, with my students. Teaching young minds is a constant evolution because they often do not understand the terms of my generation. I must find new terms that they can understand so that the meaning of what I am saying will not be lost to them. Teaching like painting is finding the meaning and images that will communicate to your intended audience.

The world is becoming full of meaningless images, movies and sound bits, limited visions of empty content that can occupy our senses with hours of spiritless meaninglessness. Anyone who makes a picture can call him or herself an artist. What makes an artist is up for argument and long semantic conversations over single malt scotch and Absinth often going nowhere and helping no one get any closer to become a better artist.

I believe that all art is spiritual. It is art that manifests a personal truth obtained through an experience of searching for meaning. I believe the quality of the art is to be found in how well the artist understands that meaning and uses the medium of choice to express it. It is the responsibility of each artist to own the meaning behind what they create.

I see my artistic life as a personal responsibility to do the very best work I can, no matter what the medium. I would love it if everything I made was the very best but that is not possible. I choose to not allow lesser work to be shown. I only show work I am sure meets my high standards of excellence.

If you are reading this blog I can only hope that you to will embrace your excellence, that you will sit in judgment of your work with clarity of meaning and not weigh the hours spent slaving over it to determine it’s value. Time spent is of no value to the result.

new ways to work

I cant help wonder how I got so much done before computers, it must have been my youthful exuberant blind devotion to making art. I was on a quest to discover who I was, so the more I made the more I found out. I am grateful to Steven Jobbs for his hand in bringing about the computer age in time for me to take advantage of it. Today, I use my digital camera to capture imagery, my brushes to shape style and Adobe Photoshop to organize the composition. I can't believe how much time it all saves me and the compositions are symphonic in complexity.
With less experimenting on the canvas I save time and money. I know that many artists long to hold on to the old ways, the smell of terps and oil paint in the studio is a necessary evil, I know that we love the hand crafted mediums we add to our colors, The color mixing on the palette to get the pant just right. The daily drawing in our sketchbooks to perfect an image. But I have not given up any of that, I have only added a marvelous way to save time and effort, and produce more better work in less time then I ever thought possible.