the Creative Process
A Calligraphy of Light in the Room, 2009
Let's face it. We're undone by each other. And if we're not, we're missing something. If this seems so clearly the case with grief, it is only because it was already the case with desire. One does not always stay intact.
-Judith Butler, quoted in The Writer's Almanac, February 24, 2010, no source given.
November 15, 2009
Dancers After Midnight
It's called 'Dancers After Midnight' because I sketched it in the midnight air, and finished at maybe 2am, when the air was still dark smoky blue-black.
How can I explain my art? Let me try.
When I work I like to create something realistic enough for you to recognize the subject matter, yet I like imperfection because life is like that. I like to see the brush-stroke, which to me is like the breath of the artist breathing onto the canvas. And a calligraphy of drawing, the poetry of the lines, is crucial. As is motion: rhythms of colour, sweeps of brushstroke, moments of tension between forms.
Slick does not suit me; I like it raw.
When I paint, it tears my heart out of my chest. Can you see my pulse beating there, in the dance of oils and inks?
I like beautiful, on this side of frenzied.
If I had to accept a label, I would say my art is figurative, and occurs somewhere between drawing and painting. My main influences are an incredibly diverse range of artists both contemporary and throughout history. I think the way you paint is linked to your biological gesture in the world. That paint and inks do not come out of tubes or bottles but fingertips.
While it might be hard at times, you have to believe in yourself. That's most important.
Be true to yourself and follow your vision.
It's important not just to support and nurture the talents of others, but to have friends who support and nurture ours. When there is a balance, of give and take, a crucial reciprocity, we can freely explore and express our gifts, which are, afterall, our sacred offerings.
Dancers After Midnight, 2009,
8"x11", 20cmx28cm, oil pastel, India inks on paper
Inspiration is a mystery. What's evoked our work in the past -do we know? Our muse? Our life circumstances? We try to maintain that state of synergy for our creativity. A delicate balance, though: a major illness, a huge disappointment, the loss of a loved one can shake the porous equilibrium we cultivate for our art. Sometimes we sink. We have to re-evaluate, re-find our way back to a new and integrated way of being a vehicle for the flow of creative forces. Simply putting in the hours goes a long way. That discipline is important. But so is an openness to what is, the reality of our lives, to allowing ourselves to be conduits as new reflections on the world begin shaping in us, in writing, or paint, or musical notation. Discipline, yes, but not to forget always to risk.
I have to be faded out, formless to write;
dissolved to paint; nearly non-existent
It's always a risk.
But an aesthetic operates. The aesthetic, way of shaping, what
negotiates the creative forces and the tools, the diverse &
complex language structures, the brush of paint by a sable
brush on canvas, how far the back will bend in the speed of the
movement, offers structure to the emerging poem or painting
It's like trying to hold a sail in a high-force wind.
Sometimes we just can't make it.
Sometimes we do.
Picasso said he had to leave himself outside the studio to paint.
April 07, 2010 — A painter on painting. (Or, I'm painting again! Yay!)
Wasn't a planned video, rather, thinking, many artists are showing themselves painting on-screen, let's put the camera on and get some footage, but I got talking, you know how it is, at night too though I managed to boost the light when I edited it, and now it's a bona fide video.
Enjoy. Hopefully you will find inspiration here for your own art, and might consider posting your own video.
Music by Grünemusik, from the album, 'Feline Figures Dance In The Forest'
Here's a fun widget... drag your mouse over the white space;
each time you click, the colour changes... viola! your own drip painting.
No way to save your masterpieces, however. Paintings in the sand blowing in the wind.
Except by a print screen on a PC or Grab on a Mac, perhaps.