Saturday, March 2, 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

My dear friend is gone.

It is with profound sadness that I just got word that my teacher, mentor and good friend Ed Reep passed away yesterday. He was 94 and lived a long and productive life as an artist and teacher.
We are all here for such a short time, it doesn't seem fair. We spend our youth wanting to be older and when we age we wonder where our youth went. So much time is wasted trying to figure out who we wre and what we should be doing with our selves. Ed was one of those guys that knew he was an artist at a young age. All things fell in place. He married Pat, his first love and stayed married and in deep love to her his whole life. He was my teacher at East Carolina University and then my friend and mentor for all the remaining years of his life.
Ed Reep taught me how to paint in oils but even more then that he taught me how to be an artist of integrity and to live a creative life. He is the most responsible for my artistic success and it is a debt I can not repay.  I will miss him deeply. Ed, thank you for all that you have taught me over the many years of our friendship, I would not be the artist I am today without your guidance and love. Rest in Peace.

Artistic Discipline

Discipline to me means that you hold intention. I studied with a great artist and teacher...Edward Reep was a famous WWII artist and Guggenheim winner and he told me that "the artist is found in his/her studio". I took this to mean that you are not out in the world being something other then an artist, that you have committed yourself to the creative process and that you are spending a majority of your time in a studio environment working. Of course I took this to also mean that wherever you are, you are in a creative frame of mind, contemplating content and process.

I have often approached the studio door with some apprehension when my process is being difficult, I am feeling lazy or I am doing work I don't feel is going in the right direction. I hesitate as I reach for the door handle. I try to think of ways that I can do something else or have some other pressing issue I should be addressing. Didn't I have an appointment to go to?

It is not easy to confront your creative self everyday, you look in the mirror and there you are! You can't hide from yourself. Will power is needed and there are days that we do walk away. Artist's are not perfect, we have our flaws. So the battle for me is to get through the door turn on the lights and get to work, make the first mark of the day and see where it takes me. It is for me more about the process not the product. I do not make art just to have something to sell. It is up to me to hold the standard of my work to be more then what is trending in the marketplace.  I make my art because I must to feel alive.