I received acceptance notification this week…..two of my pieces were chosen for an upcoming show at Linus Gallery in Los Angeles….more information to follow. Also I will be interviewed and featured in the upcoming Flax Art newsletter/blog (thanks Howard, Leslie and Elaine)….watch for it the end of October. You can also see 5 of my pieces at their location at 1699 Market St. in SoMa this month (a reception to follow in November.) In addition, this past month 7 of my pieces were chosen for a photo shoot in a beautiful newly remodeled home in Noe Valley….thanks to the architect in charge. Lots of activity happening in the studio right now and let’s not forget open studio October 25th/26th…come visit me at 689 Bryant Street, Studio #33 in San Francisco
So do all artists find financial security in producing and selling their work….the little secret that no one talks about is often “no” they don’t. Artists work any number of part time jobs..often take a break to work odd jobs and save money. Artists struggle to continue with their work, struggle to buy supplies, to pay studio rent, to travel, to advertise, to simply buy new clothes and actually have the amenities of life that most people take for granted. They have moments of emotional meltdowns where they sit back and say why–I should just go get a job like the rest of the world? why do I continue, why can’t I stop and then they ask them self, “what else would I do and if they are a true artist with the passion to succeed…they know deep down, they really have no choice but to continue.”
We may pause for long periods of time; however, we eventually feel the urge and hear the voice inside our head saying, “we must produce or I am going to go crazy” The act of creation is a vital part of our sanity. The average person doesn’t understand this but an artist does.
Artists need your support.
A mathematician develops a system that creates a view of turbulence and then transmits it to airliner cockpits so the pilot can avoid turbulence ahead….but is there an algorithm developed for our mind that does the same so that we can avoid turbulence in the future. We feel turbulence in parts of our bodies–particularly our stomach and head. Some can detect turbulence long before an encounter while others must fly directly into the turbulent wind and struggle to then find a way out of the experience. How we fly out of the feeling or if we choose to “ride it out” can be in any number of ways but we do make adjustments for the uneasy feeling that comes with turbulence.
So I ask you to think about the same in visual art. Perhaps we need turbulence or chaos along with structure in each piece of art…and if so, do we consciously create turbulence in the piece and then pull out the structure? Do we always find this structure through proven compositional methods or can we do so unconsciously with our internal algorithm?
Can one live calmly and sanely in the midst of chaos and if you can…how do you bring structure to the experience. Even amongst chaos there must be a structure to hold it in place….or perhaps not?
16 new pieces of work are underway for the show in October, “Unbridled.”
Exciting and new work…
What does art do? “Certainly, it teaches,” says Julia Cameron in her book, “The Sound of Paper.”
As artists, we have an intimate affair with each and every new body of work. Then we let it go. With each piece of work there are struggles, challenges, an often frustrating surrender and finally the contentment we need to let go. We then step back and the teacher appears.
So I am reading about Joan Miro this morning….looking around my studio at my most recent drawings and thinking how they have come from the unconscious part of my brain. Listening to music and drawing to the rhythm and actually drawing with no thoughts in mind has lead me in a new direction. But back to Miro…
All of you have stubbled on various topics while looking at Wikipedia and thus I have done the same. Another look at Surrealist activity and all the links to follow has brought me to the connection in my own work — that being to pure psychic automatism. The writings of Breton and his contemporaries among others led to quotes which I post for all to enjoy. They have certainly validated many of my thoughts recently and I wanted to share them with you:
- “I could spend my whole life prying loose the secrets of the insane. These people are honest to a fault, and their naiveté has no peer but my own.”
- “We are still living under the reign of logic: this, of course, is what I have been driving at. But in this day and age logical methods are applicable only to solving problems of secondary interest.”
- “Let us not mince words: the marvelous is always beautiful, anything marvelous is beautiful, in fact only the marvelous is beautiful.”
- “Surrealism will usher you into death, which is a secret society. It will glove your hand, burying therein the profound M with which the word Memory begins.”
- “Surrealism does not allow those who devote themselves to it to forsake it whenever they like. There is every reason to believe that it acts on the mind very much as drugs do; like drugs, it creates a certain state of need and can push man to frightful revolts.”
- “In this realm as in any other, I believe in the pure Surrealist joy of the man who, forewarned that all others before him have failed, refuses to admit defeat, sets off from whatever point he chooses, along any other path save a reasonable one, and arrives wherever he can.”
- “It is living and ceasing to live which are imaginary solutions. Existence is elsewhere.”
The moment always comes when we revisit our current body of work with words to convey it’s meaning in the artist statement. The words are intended to explain our work to our viewers. Richard Tuttle (one of my favorite artists) commented once in an interview that the viewer should have to do some of the work and we should not have to explain everything. While artists do after all provide the work…should artists also have to explain or should they allow the viewer to interrupt at will? Would the art survive without a written purpose?
There are moments when the intent of the work is unclear even to yourself–but we must present our thoughts anyway. Then there are the opposing occurrences when we are so very clear of our work and surely the viewer must understand what we are saying…but do they? If they do, then why must we explain so much? If they don’t, have we failed?
There are any number of reasons an artist must write the statement. Applications for a residency, proposals for an exhibit or to accompany the entry form for a show. On this Sunday afternoon, while the sun shines outside I sit at my desk and ponder over the words necessary to explain my current body of work. My hope is that it is concise, intriguing and honest–most of all clear. Of course all on one page and always subject to change with every submittal …. I wonder about this formality of the business. Ummmm??? the oh so often dreaded artist statement!!!! Any thoughts from readers???
At what point does pushing two opposing forces actually create balance and when does the strain of such forces create unmanageable conflict? Can one have balance without an interplay of conflicting elements? Does our body and mind determine these boundaries unconsiously or do we accurately access the need for balance… and work to create this state of being. Perhaps it is within the control of some while others do not acknowledge the signs of extreme tension and choose to exist in a state of unbalance. What are the external and internal forces which help, hinder, enable or interfere with this…then what are the results? Is balance created without friction or tension? These are thoughts and issues of exploration in my current work while at a residency program at Virginia Creative Center for the Arts.
Please join me at the Conrad Wilde Gallery in Tucson on March 5th for opening night. I am honored to show work with some of the best encaustic artists of our time at this lovely space. The invitational show will exhibit all 2D and 3D work that is hot wax-based. The work will be on display from March 5th – March 26th and there will be a catalog for purchase if you happen to miss the show. You can contact the gallery at 520.622.8997 for purchase.