Thursday, February 25, 2010

“Why do I create this image, object or subject?”

When I was a young artist I was mostly concerned with the process of making art. How do I do this or that, what medium should I learn? There was less to choose from then. Today with the expansion of artistic mediums into technology and multimedia there is a plethora of meaningful artistic directions for young artist to choose from.

In some ways I was lucky that I lived in simpler times. I found myself in the painting studios and the sculpture labs of master artists. I was seduced by the romantic concepts of oil on canvas and sculpting clay, stone and wood. The smells and sounds of each media was all so tactile and tangible, so I immerse myself in the creative process of a narrower direction. I became a sponge, good at picking up techniques and paid little attention to any meaning or content other then basic design elements. This was when process ruled my art it was all about the tools, brushes and quality of materials. I worked on the perfection of execution I had no idea about style because I did not know much about myself as an artist. It would be years spent in a misguided focus on insignificant trivia before I would be concerned about any meaningful content. After all I was young and inexperienced and soon came to think that I knew more then my teachers. Youth is full of ego and puffiness, Looking bigger then you are, a paper tiger all roar and no bite.

As the years passed my experiences changed me, I matured with life's lessons which caused a critical evolution within the development of attitude and personal style. I formed opinions and learned how to express myself more clearly, communication skills improved and with it the meaning within my artwork.

Art is a strange career, you never know what will work or be embraced by the world. All I know is that with maturity comes a detachment from proving anything to anyone. I found a new freedom and confidence and with technique applied to style I express my master works. Now I don’t know if I will be remembered for these works or if anyone really cares. It may be that they will never make it to the museums of the world. What matters to me is that they are made. I care and I see the improvements and the progress within my own life and process. My work gives evidence to growth.

So here I am left with the question that I started with “Why do I create this image, object or subject?”
The only answer is I have to, I have no choice. It is all I know well, It is what I do best. It represents the best of me.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Preping the Outback for the Outback

The time spent before a journey is often underrated. Preparation is the key to success in most things.  When I was young I would jump into things so fast that I would trip over my own feet. That was true then, rushing headlong into things without proper judgment. As I am older now I have learned my lessons and see the need for careful forethought.

In preparation for the upcoming road trip I  am thinking about my trusty 1998 Subaru Outback, checking the tires, hoses, belts and making sure that it is properly serviced. I have installed a GPS device to avoid getting lost. I am considering a storage box for the roof rack and wondering if I will need the extra storage space. What should I pack and how much will I need? Clothing, food, camping stuff, hiking equipment, computer, camera and all support gear, flashlight batteries, etc. the list goes on and on. How will I fit it all? How do I organize it efficiently so I can find what I need when I need it.

My Subaru is a wonderful car, all-wheel drive in the northwest is mandatory for so much of the bad weather days we have. Rain or snow, I can count on my car to get me where I need to go. I have all my Auto Club maps and books. I am wondering how far I can go in a day and where I will be and how long I should give myself to explore each photo location. Is there a motel, or hotel, will they have a vacancy? Rest stops and camp Spots? Should I book the room now? Too many questions.

The complexities are mounting the more I think of all the variables. I am sure there is a tilting point to all this preparation that will cause me to toss out the maps and checklist and just live each step of the experience so that there is room for the unexpected. I am searching for the spirit of the journey, the lessons of the events. I want to remain flexible to stay or go as the situation dictates. Will I find the spiritual vortex of the places I visit and if so, can I stay longer? So much is unsure and so much is possible... I think I will be ready, I think I will be prepared, I think I will be flexible. So look for me on the road but don't expect me to be on time, I may be a little early or I may be a little late... sooner or later I will be there.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day a day when we appreciate the one we have been lucky enough to find and hold on to long enough to learn how to live together for a lifetime.  We wish to show them how much we love them to remind them that they are the most special and important person in our life.  To rekindle the feelings of TRUE LOVE. This day is permission to forgive, to bless and to love each other.

To those of you who are still searching, all I can say is that you must not give up. They are out there looking and longing for fulfillment just like you, they want to find you, they want to love you.  Don't panic, your turn will come. In the mean time be thankful for all you have created. Take care of yourself, be proud of your accomplishments and present your best to the world. Soon you will be noticed... when it happens be ready, be kind, be real.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Advice To A Young New Artist

 Welcome to the struggle for self expression. All I can say is there is no one correct way to express yourself. Try to go beyond your comfort zone and do new things. Never be satisfied with anything you create. You can always do better. Paint outside the lines, learn how and why to use color and let form replace shape. Know where the light is coming from and paint it that way even if it's an abstract image. Pay attention to the world around you and express what you know to be true from your personal experience. Never copy anyone else. Learn all the rules by heart so you can forget them. Never stop drawing, don't judge what you draw and let your line be fearless. Be driven to see what is next, don't labor over your work, if it's not working move on, paint over, change direction. Be prolific. Don't believe the critics they are jealous.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I by no means am an expert on interpersonal relationships. All I know is what I have learned from my relationship with my wife, my friends, my colleagues and my students. I must also include the seminars I attended and lessons I learned from retreats on spiritual growth. It is these interactions over a lifetime that shape how I communicate in the many levels of relationship I have with others.

I have learned that it is often best to avoid heated conflict if possible, to put off frustrated responses to a calmer moment structured in reasonable annalisis. Silence is often the best first reply to conflict. Reality is often missing logic though and emotions raise adrenalyn, followed by a flooding of feelings then tempers raise and the discussion becomes an argument.

Clearly life has enough potholes in the road that we don't need to create more. I intend to practice this awareness whenever possible. I know it will be a challange because I am an emotional person and prone to reaction.

After all I am only a normal human being the same as you.