Archive for the ‘Art’ Tag

07/22/2022 “Quotes of the Week”   1 comment

Alfred North Whitehouse 1861-1947

“Great art is more than a transient refreshment. It is something which adds to the permanent richness of the soul’s self-attainment. It justifies itself both by its immediate enjoyment, and also by its discipline of the inmost being. Its discipline is not distinct from enjoyment but by reason of it. It transforms the soul into the permanent realization of values extending beyond its former self.”

Facing mandatory retirement in London, and upon being offered an appointment at Harvard, Whitehead moved to the United States in 1924. Given his prior training in mathematics, it was sometimes joked that the first philosophy lectures he ever attended were those he himself delivered in his new role as Professor of Philosophy.

06/11/2022 “Artists?”   2 comments

I’ve always considered myself something of an artist. Most artists lack a certain amount of self-confidence about their works and don’t even understand why. I know I do. Other people view artists entirely different than the artists themselves. It’s something I’ve been trying to figure out for most of my life and no matter how much I create I always have doubts about my abilities. Even the people close to me don’t get it at all. It’s frustrating to say the least and I’ll probably never figure it out. Every artist I’ve ever known suffers through the same nonsense in one way or another. Here are a few quotes about art and artists from some of the greats of history.

  • “All art is subversive.” Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
  • “An artist must have his measuring tools not in the hand, but in the eye.” Michaelangelo (1475-1564)
  • “The more I become decomposed, the more sick and fragile I am, the more I become an artist.” Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)”
  • “Today, as you know, I am famous and very rich. But when I’m alone with myself, I haven’t the courage to consider myself an artist, in the great and ancient sense of the word . . . I’m only a public entertainer, who understands his age.” Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

It makes me feel better about myself when I hear doubts voiced by great artist like Picasso. I can put my doubts to rest for now but without question they’ll return as soon as my next project begins.

“IT IS ART, AND ART ALONE, THAT REVEALS US TO OURSELVES”

(Oscar Wilde 1854-1900)

03/09/2022 “Artists?”   Leave a comment

Carl Gustav Jung

“The unborn work in the psyche of the artist is a force of nature that achieves its end either with tyrannical might or with the subtle cunning of nature herself, quite regardless of the personal fate of the man who is its vehicle.”

Carl Gustav Jung (26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. During that time, he came to the attention of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Jung was also an artist, craftsman, builder and a prolific writer. Many of his works were not published until after his death and some are still awaiting publication.

ART IS THE SEX OF THE IMAGINATION

02/13/2022 What Am I?   Leave a comment

What makes an artist an artist? It’s a question that’s been asked thousands of times by thousands of people who have the creative urge and use it. Am I an artist? Do I really have what it takes to create something memorable and interesting to others? A lot of questions and very few answers usually.

As a young man I had a constant stream of creative thoughts, but it took many years for me to find a way to express myself. I tried everything oil painting, sculpting, photography, poetry, and even jewelry making. I’ve used every type of media from acrylics, latex paints, pastels, charcoal, and pencil sketching. I found I loved writing and BANG; my blogging life began. I love doing them all, but I still was never sure if I was a real artist. Even to this day him when I’m struggling with an idea, I still have my doubts. An artist’s curse, I suppose. These short essays by some very smart and intelligent men helped to put most of my doubts to rest. Enjoy . . .

“The biographies of great artists make it abundantly clear that the creative urge is often so imperious that it battens on their humanity and yolks everything to the service of the work, even at the cost of health and ordinary human happiness. The unborn work in the psyche of the artist is a force of nature that achieves its end either with tyrannical might or with the subtle cunning of nature itself, quite regardless of the personal fate of the man who is its vehicle.”

Carl G. Jung (1875– 1961) “On Relation of Analytical Psychology to Poetry” 1930

“A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. Its beauty comes from the fact that the author is what he is. It has nothing to do with the fact that other people want what they want. Indeed, the moment that an artist takes notice of what other people want, and tries to supply the demand, he ceases to be an artist, and becomes a dull or an amusing craftsman, an honest or a dishonest tradesman.”

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) ” Soul of Man under Socialism” 1891

Even these supersmart gentlemen don’t have the ability to remove all doubt about whether a person is an artist or not. It’s that consistent need by an artist to doubt his own abilities that inspires him to strive to become even better.

IT’S ALL GOOD

Criticize the Critics   Leave a comment

For most of my life I’ve been an aspiring artist with my share of successes and failures. It’s really not about being successful or being a failure, it’s having the ability to create something that others find interesting. Regardless of a person’s ability, be it good or bad, there’s always a bevy of critics to look at your work, and then spend a great deal of time and effort cutting it to pieces with little or no concern about the work itself, or the effort and concentration you spent during its creation. I’m not really complaining about the critics because they’re a fact of life no matter what you do artistically or otherwise. Today I’ll offer up some blurbs made by some relatively famous critics about other artists and their work. They’re a bit sarcastic and a little nasty at times but that’s life. Here they are. . .

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Still life with the Bulls Head’ “My little granddaughter of six could do as well.” Norman Rockwell

“If I met Picasso in the street, I would kick him in the pants.” Sir Alfred Munnings 1949

“Picasso finding new ways of avoiding maturity.” Clive James 1984

Michelangelo (1475-1564)

“If Michelangelo had been a heterosexual, the Sistine Chapel would have been painted basic white and with a roller.” Rita Mae Brown 1988

“He was a good man, but he did not know how to paint.” El Greco

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

“Faced with a virtual complete record of the old phony’s unswerving bathos, it was impossible not to burst out in yawning . . . the uproar of banality numbed the mind.” Clive James 1984

Senor Dali, more than delirious, considers it folly to be serious.” Phyllis McGinley 1960

“The naked truth about me is to the naked truth about Salvador Dali as an old ukulele in the attic is to a piano in a tree, and I mean piano with breasts.” James Thurber 1945

Andy Warhol (1930-1980)

“The most famous living artist in America is Andrew Warhol, unfortunately.” John Heilpern 1979

“Warhol’s art belongs less to the history of painting than to the history of publicity.” Hilton Kramer

“The only genius with an IQ of 60.” Gore Vidal

As you can see, even the most famous artists have people lined up to ridicule their art and everything else about them. I guess if you want to be famous, this is the price you must pay, listening to a bunch of jealous and envious critics. Even a chump like me has been criticized for virtually everything I’ve ever done artistically and truthfully that’s part of the fun for me.

I JUST LOVE IRRITATING PEOPLE

11/05/2021 Welcome Back to the 1960’s   Leave a comment

Definitely Not Me!

I thought I would spend some time today dragging you back to the reality that was the 1960’s. I’ve written this story one other time many years ago but I think it never hurts to repeat something that makes me smile. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did at the time.

Let me take you back to the 1960s when life was good, drugs were plentiful, and love was free (as we all know it’s never free). I was a struggling Art major attending a small midwestern school with my fair share of financial difficulties as most college students have. I was forced to take jobs that I hated but sometimes you just have no choice in the matter. I was a busboy in the college cafeteria during my freshman year which was quite possibly the most demeaning job I’ve ever had. It was awash with benefits like the $1.50 an hour I was making and the incredible amount of crap I had to take from my fellow students. I decided a short time later that I’d never bus tables again, resigned my position, and walked away.

By walking away it made my financial situation a bit more difficult forcing me to scramble to find some kind of work to pay my bills. Where do you go in a case like that, the student billboard of course. As I was perusing through the tons of nonsense hanging on that billboard I found a small note with only three words on it and a telephone number, NUDE MODEL WANTED. I put the note in my pocket and returned to my dorm room to give it more thought. An hour or so later I finally called the number and surprise, surprise, it was one of my professors home telephone number. In those days $10 an hour was a lot of money but the consequences of modeling nude were numerous. He assured me I wouldn’t be required to model for my own classmates but I knew that being in such a small school the word would get out quickly enough. For about a week I weighed the pros and cons of sitting nude before numerous art classes and finally made the fatal telephone call and accepted the job.

You have to understand something, I was at that time in my life extremely shy and my self-esteem had yet to be developed to its present fantastic levels. My instructions were as follows; sit unmoving for one to two hours a session (10 min. break per hour), make no unnecessary facial expressions, no acknowledgment of friends, and TO BE TOTALLY FREAKING NAKED. I must’ve been out of my mind.

Not Me Either!

Day one started in front of the mirror in my dorm room checking my body for unnecessary hair in odd places and zits no matter where they were. There was only so much I can do because “what you see is what you get”, so I made my way to the Art building for my debut. I stood in the hallway, removed my robe and pranced (I could’ve used a better word here) naked into the room. Unfortunately as I looked around I knew damn near everyone. All of my so-called friends and classmates decided they would show their moral support by attending. The hooting and catcalls only lasted for a few minutes until the instructor quieted things down. He was grinning and enjoying himself like everyone else. As I told them all the next day and as I’m telling you now, “it was a VERY, VERY cold room”. I was able to ignore all the laughter, lewd comments, and the snickering but I managed to survive.

Over the next three months I modeled for probably 500 students and I soon became quite popular in the artist community. I had more dates than I can handle and my dance card was always filled on the weekends. Is there a moral to this story? I really can’t say. Getting naked in front of strangers was difficult but the money was good and kept my head above water for that school year. I got naked many times over the years since but only in special one-on-one situations with female friends where I immediately waived my fee.

I LOVED THE 60’S AND I LOVE GETTING NAKED

08/03/2021 Dream Chasing . . .   Leave a comment

I love to dream and I’m not sure exactly why. It started when I was kid of about eight laying in the grass in my backyard. It was a sunny day and my eyes were closed and I could almost see through my eyelids. I saw crazy swirls and colors that totally captivated me. A few weeks later I was trying to sketch a tree in the yard and I discovered that trees were really boring. I then decided to try and sketch some of those patterns and swirls I saw. It was exciting for a young kid to make that discovery and I actually completed a sketch of them. I tried on a number of occasions to explain what had happened but it was impossible. My mother, a part-time artist herself, politely listened, then just shook her head, and we never talked about it again. Lets jump ahead ten years.

Now I’m eighteen and enjoying my first year of college. It was a school known for it’s excellent art programs and I was finally in my element. All of my friends and acquaintances were artists of a sort and it was a atmosphere in which we were all beginning to thrive. As with any art program you have a certain amount of freedom but are somewhat restricted to what is acceptable for good grades. The wilder and crazier your creations made it more difficult it to get the grades needed to appease the teaching staff. When I tried to do paintings or drawings of bowls of fruit, I wanted to scream out loud. So effing boring. If I wanted a good representation of a bowl of fruit I’d take a picture. My best pieces where those that came to me during what I called my times of half-sleep. Half-sleep is those minutes between REM sleep cycles and the beginnings of wakefulness. It freed my mind and imagination and supplied me with a steady stream of ideas and offbeat perspectives. From that point on I consistently tried to remember and sketch those ideas as I received them each morning.

Jump ahead 50 years. My half-sleep time has now become an important resource which I still use today. Just before I awoke this morning I was half awake and dreaming about this subject and how to best write about it. I woke up and forgot to jot down my notes (always a mistake) and lost the idea immediately. Fortunately as I was relaxing later in the afternoon I began to recall what I’d been dreaming and here we are.

LUCKY ME

06-19-2016 Journal – Weekly Update!   Leave a comment

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Summer is finally here but it’s been a little disappointing so far.  It’s the middle of June and the nights remain chilly which is doing nothing to help my pepper plants in our garden.  Very disappointing but not totally unexpected, it is Maine after all.

This week I’ve been consumed by these designs that I’ve been creating.  Each day I become more adept at using the computer software to color my sketches.  It’s an interesting process but it’s very detailed and time consuming.  I sat for almost three hours yesterday totally focused on what I was doing and when I finally finished and stood up I was suffering from eye strain and legs that went a bit wobbly. Even with all of that the results were much better than I expected.  The work will continue today and I’m actually looking forward to getting back into it.

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Most people just don’t get it. They see my time spent doing these designs as wasted but they couldn’t be more wrong.  The hours spent in these tasks are the highlights of my day.  The focus needed to complete them is something I’ve grown to need over the years and I’ve looked forward to it since I was a young child.  It’s the best addiction I’ve ever had and I hope I never lose it.

I’m hoping to breakaway for a while this week if the sunny weather continues. I could use some quiet times in the woods taking a few photographs of my favorite subjects . . . dragonflies.  They should be swarming near the swamps in large numbers by now and I plan to make the most of it. Here are two shots taken in 2011 when there were huge numbers of them in the area.

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I’ll be disappointed if I can’t get a few pictures but these cool nights may delay their arrival just a bit. I may be forced to return to the swamp a few more times before I have any success at all. Thankfully I live close enough which makes things so much easier.

ENJOY YOUR DAY

06-17-2016 Journal– Art & Criticism!   Leave a comment

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It’s another day in paradise here in Maine as I drag my butt out of bed this morning. Time to leap to my feet, put on my shorts, and go jogging for a few miles.  If you believe that then there’s something really wrong.  The only jogging I’ll do is with my car. I’ll be spending my time today sitting in front of this computer and working on my series of designs that have consumed me for a month.

Yes, I consider myself an artist even though a few others might dispute that.  What others think has never really been something I concern myself with and I doubt I ever will.  If you’re around long enough you learn early on that everyone is an effing critic.  I love critics and on occasion I’m one myself.  It’s the anonymous and cowardly ones that irritate me.

I’ve been reading a strange book of “Poisonous Quotations” and that anonymous guy sure has a lot to say in that tome.  Here are a few samples of his anonymous work.

“Modern art is like trying to follow the plot in alphabet soup.”

“Modern art is when you buy a picture to cover a hole in the wall and then decide the hole looks better.”

“A modern artist is one who throws paint on a canvas, wipes it off with a cloth, and sells the cloth.”

“One reassuring thing about modern art is that things can’t possibly be as bad as they are painted.”

Those four quotation are cowardly since the authors were afraid to identify themselves.  I don’t mind criticism if the individual will stand up in front of the artist and offer his opinions directly.  Here are a few well known people who also have an apparent distaste for art but aren’t afraid to say so publicly. 

“Abstract art is the product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.”  Al Capp

‘One sees a square lady with three breasts and a guitar up her crotch.”  Noel Coward

“Art is a jealous mistress.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Art is either plagiarism or revolution.”  Paul Gauguin

“Art for art’s sake makes no more sense than gin for gin’s sake.” W. Somerset Maugham

“I’m glad the old masters are all dead, and I only wish they had died sooner.”  Mark Twain

Lets hear from someone once very well known in the political world. Like any politician he takes forth-three words to say two . . . “It stinks.”

“I can truthfully say that the painter has observed the Ten Commandments. Because he hath not made to himself the likeness of anything in heaven above, or that which is on earth beneath, or that which is in the water under the earth.”  Abraham Lincoln

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And last but not least here is someone who answered his critics directly and clearly. My second favorite favorite artist of all time right behind Salvador Dali as seen above.

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“Everyone wants to understand painting. Why don’t they try to understand the singing of the birds? People love the night, a flower, everything which surrounds them without trying to understand them. But painting – that they must understand.”  Pablo Picasso

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WELL STATED PABLO

06-15-2016 Journal – Fine Art & Good Luck!   2 comments

It’s been a hectic week for me. I’ve been working steadily for almost two months on sketches that have made me a little crazy. I’ve finished twelve so far with more coming. These are black & white lined sketches that are digitized as I complete them. I then use my computer software to add the colors of my choice.  Here is a 2X2 inch section of the first one I completed. I’m posting it for my sister so can see and understand just what the hell I’m doing. Here it is Deb.

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It’s not much of an explanation but it’s the best I can do for now. I’ve titled this one “Confusion” and rightly so.

Now on to other things.  I had a really close call yesterday and I’m not sure why I’m not in a hospital today.  My guardian angel must have been working overtime.  I was cutting my grass on a fairly new Toro riding mower. Our property is somewhat hilly in spots and I always take a great deal of care when cutting there.  I guess no matter how careful you are accidents can still occur.

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I was listening to my Ipod as I cut the grass and possibly was a little distracted by the music.  I somehow missed seeing a large rock partially buried in the ground and hidden by high grass. I struck that boulder with the blade going at it highest speed. The blade hit the rock, bent itself into a question mark shape, dug into the ground, and flipped the mower completely over. I was airborne for ten feet and thankfully landed on my fat ass and not on my thick skull.

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I was dazed and confused to say the least. Minor damages to the mower and to me but some serious damage to the yard.  If I hadn’t been thrown off it could easily have landed on me and broken ever bone in my body.

As I rolled out of bed this morning I was bruised and sore in many places but nothing serious. Thanks to Toro for building a machine whose safeguards kicked in and shut down the engine as it tipped over.  Needless to say I’m glad to in one piece today.

WHO SAID GARDENING AND YARD WORK ISN’T DANGEROUS

NOT ME THAT’S FOR SURE!!

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