Bleed

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“Art has a voice – let it speak.”
Rochelle Carr

In my opinion, the very heart of the creative process is and always will be a simple truth that lives in the art of self-expression. This is an art unto itself. It cannot be tamed or explained to others with ease. Especially to others who don’t understand or cannot interpret art very easily.

Abstract artists know this all too well. In non-representational art we find many models of expression, many concepts that are explored and some that seem so foreign to even be considered “artistic.”

We can find these forms of expression in most modern art galleries across the west. Everything from conceptual textile art to the placement of a pencil on a block of wood is considered artistic expression by someone or some group of collectors. And it is true. Whether or not we personally think of something as artistic, doesn’t make it inartful, or any less artistic whatsoever.

These are still, at their very essence, a pure form of self-expression by a person; a human being who has chosen to express in his or her own truthful way.

We must all understand that art is very subjective by nature. What I like or what my neighbor likes in terms of “art” is going to always be interpreted differently by different eyes.

This is a lesson that all artists must learn:

Not everyone is going to like your shit.

And this shouldn’t worry us. We must all bleed our true nature, and not worry about the spilled drops.

Just like all art collectors collect for specific reasons, we as artists all do it for our own different reasons. Some of us enjoy the planning and execution of the concept, whereas others simply like the random splatter of paint on the canvas, or wherever else it may land. We all have our own form of expression, and it is during this process where we create our truest works.

The above painting is a 24×30 abstract work of pattern and color that I made mostly using a two inch palette knife and heavy body acrylic paint. Up close the erratic texture is easily recognizable, and in this piece I was mostly concerned about creating a sense of comfort within a sense of confusion.

Mostly though, it was fun to make. And that’s all it really is about. Interpret it how you like.

I call it “Bleed.”

 

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A Process of Passion

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“If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.”
Anatole France

Being an artist is hard work. All artists know this to be true, and whether or not you’re actively selling your work, the process is at times a lengthy and complex one. But this process is fueled by passion, by the will to create, inspire and share with the world.

Personally for me, my art and writing work are both callings in life. I do it because I love it. I share it because I want to. And, yes, occasionally I do make a dollar or two at it. Though I’d love for this work to be my livelihood, at this point in time it doesn’t quite make the ends meet. But of course I am certainly hopeful and sure that in the near future it will..

In the meantime, I work a rather taxing schedule on a graveyard shift that leaves me little time during the day at all. I’m often tired and lethargic during my work-week and splitting your sleep schedule into 4 to 5 hour increments at a time is no easy task.

So, I have to make time during a tiny window of daylight and spend my days off writing and conjuring up ideas for painting.

This, however, is only one small part of the complex process of passion that I endure week after week. But, I love every minute of it.

The other night I finished a 30×40 acrylic piece which I’ve titled Dreamer’s Door as seen in the main image on this post. This was a process that I began around noon and finally finished close to midnight.

Below is just a part of the process that took around twelve hours to complete.

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The beginning. All things must start with a little color and a big idea. I’d already envisioned a piece with a geometrical center. In this piece I envisioned a rectangle for the impression of a door and left more light within the center of the canvas.

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Adding more light in the form of dark titanium and milk white. It may look patchy, but here we go…

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After adding a ridiculous amount of painter’s tape to frame out the door, the fun begins by playing with colors. In this case, ultramarine blue and light violet.

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And now.. We have a mess.. But it’s SO much fun! And really, as in my last post, there is a method to the madness here. Looking closely you might see the long strip of painter’s tape which is keeping a slightly off center strip of light color preserved for later manipulation.

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Now, after removing the center strip of tape and a little wash with water and a few splashes of Viridi, and a few streaks of orange.. The door is almost finished.

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And now there she is.. Dreamer’s Door. A process of passion that lasted a beautiful (and quite messy) twelve hours.

I enjoy these moments while creating art, as brief as they might be, no matter when or how they happen. It is part of a path that I have never truly known where it would take me, and it doesn’t matter because the journey has always been beautiful.

There is truly something magical and joyous in creating art, and I’m grateful for the ability to do so.

Thank you all for reading!

No Inspiration Needed

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“The conception of each star was at the point of no return; of a desperate soul struggling to master the winds!”
C. JoyBell C.

As an artist and writer I often get asked the question: Where do you get your ideas from? or Where do you find inspiration?

Well, art isn’t a cut and dry subject. In fact the very nature of inspiration, ideas and muse are quite complex and even paradoxical no matter what reference they’re assigned to.

Where does the business man get his motivation from?

Where does a nurse get his or her passion from?

Where does a mathematician find his sense of purpose, his need to solve or create complex problems, questions or ideas?

The answer lives strictly in the individual sphere. And even if I could explain the very nature of muse, it wouldn’t always be transferable to another. For example, here at the link below artist David Limrite writes about the various yet simple ways in which he acquires or drums out his ideas.

Where do My Ideas Come From?

His answers are unique to his personal experience, as they should be for all of us. What I can answer personally, or elude to, is that sometimes inspiration isn’t needed.

How is this possible? Aren’t all great works of art somehow inspired by something else?

No, not always. And quite possibly, not even half of the time.

The inner domain of the artist is a very creative place. Sometimes, it is out of this simple and basic desire to create something that we all begin our work. We feel a calling, an urge, a push from a divine inner force or what have you. Sometimes, it’s just an itch that needs to be scratched.

I want to create things because I can. It couldn’t get any simpler than that.

Often, yes, I’m inspired by a certain image that I come across. Other times I read something that makes me think beyond the box, or strikes my heart a certain way. I could even hear a song and be inspired by the lyrics or even by the tempo. But all of this is but cake for a creative spirit.

We, as truly creative beings, need no inspiration to create. We are motivated by an unseen realm of forces. These are the thunderstorms that rise from within and purge from our fingertips. They cannot be controlled, but they can be directed.

We need no reason, and we do not ask why.

If you ask a climber why he climbs a mountain, he’ll probably tell you simply because it’s there. And so it goes with art. We create because it’s there, because if we don’t we feel silenced, unfulfilled and empty. We feel the rumble of our creative voice stifled from within, and this cannot be. For any artist, it will not sit still.

We all have a voice within that longs to be heard and shared with the world. But sometimes, we long to hear our own voice, the ancient vernacular of the soul. It is within this primordial need that we find the first form and uttering of the artist.

Just as a child bellows out his first cry, only to hear himself, so we too cry out to the world to hear the same.

The Method

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“I have found both freedom and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.”
Kahlil Gibran, The Madman

A method exists in the madness, for anyone who expresses their creative heart. It’s easy to see in many works of art, this inner “thing” that won’t sit quietly and is never stilled. It comes alive on the canvas, speaking out to the world in its rumbling voice of pattern and color. The attuned artist knows how to use this force to his own bidding, to transfer his emotion into a breathable form.

In my opinion, this is the work and the goal of abstraction.

It’s easy to see the skill and the effort behind many great works of art. The impressionist paints the replica of life that he witnesses, whether this be in landscape or portrait. But the emotions behind these works aren’t as visible as we find in the world of abstract art.

But we must not simply look at it, we must feel it.

We may see a beautifully painted scene of wildflowers upon meadows, near mountains placed near a running stream. This image may move us, make us think, make us feel alive, peaceful, happy and content, but… What about the artist during his time of labor?

Was he at peace?

Was he saddened?

Was he working through a problem in his head?

How could we know?

For example:

My most recent piece shown above I’ve titled “Autumn Rain Formula.” My emotional state is sound and precise, free and alive, happy in the moment, remembering the time of seasonal change as a child and how that first breeze of cool air brought the first amber colored leaf falling from the sky that I’d ever seen.

The rhythm of color and line begs the presence of an archaic language, spoken only by nature and witnessed only by pure eyes.

It is the music of the Earth, dancing in unison with its elements.

This is the work that I love, coming from a place that I’ve always known as home.

But then, all artists have an inner home, that special place where their “thing” exists.

For me, my artistry comes from a primordial place. The ethereal tone projected is part of who I am, my personal philosophy and in tune with feelings that I cannot help but to express. This is the way of being free of form, free to express intimate feelings, thoughts and desires.

But all art is subjective by nature.

Perhaps it’s easier to explain understanding art simply as how a child understands the changing of seasons; Naturally, in perfect timing with life.

Map of The Wanderer

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“I am much inclined to live from my rucksack, and let my trousers fray as they like.”
Hermann Hesse

Artists, art scholars and critics all have argued over many years about the artistic quality of abstract art, non-objective art and non-representational art as a whole. These are typically all grouped together as what abstraction represents. Some even say that it’s just random splashing of color for no particular purpose or goal. Others argue that it’s the most raw of artistic expression.

I’ll agree with the latter.

Abstraction is, for me, the most cathartic medium for expressing emotion, ideas and intentions. Some pieces might look haphazard, chaotic, and even completely incomprehensible, but the true artist in his most raw and vulnerable state is able to express his emotion, thoughts or feelings through the use of line, pattern and color.

The example..

The above piece I painted last night I’ve titled, Map of The Wanderer. This, as with all art is certainly open to anyone’s interpretation. However, there is a specific focus and intent here.

In this piece it’s clear the confusion that I, the wanderer face. The hectic line and pattern work represents the map, while the sporadic splashing of darker colors infers my emotional confusion on which direction to pursue.

In life, I am a wanderer. I’ve been lucky enough to travel and see most of the world and to gain valuable experience about life and people while doing so. But, in the most basic and pure part of my being, all the experience of the world leads me quite often to knowing no direction, following a map of blurred lines.

The intent of this piece is to bring the viewer into understanding the wayfaring soul, the desire to blow with the wind and to grace the surface of all places, even if only to touch them or lay eyes upon them once.

The abstraction allows the viewer to feel the wanderer’s confusion, his feeling of misdirection and indecision. His map is confounding and worn, like his heart and his patience. The color pronounces the hefty burden of choosing his way, and his feeling of despair in not knowing which direction to travel.

The wanderer stands to the right of the map, looking on it with a wide eye of anguish, in a solemn expression of blankness. This is the look I know all too well.

I often find lessons and wisdom in art, an urgent feeling or a sense of the artist purging himself onto his canvas. I can even find this in the work that I produce and many times to my own surprise.

We should all purge ourselves and bare the soul. In doing this we find a peace that we may have forgotten.

To me, art is simply a unique, uninhibited expression of life, and pure abstraction can initiate the release of these thoughts almost subconsciously. In this respect, art and life are inseparable, as are the lessons they teach us.

Staring back at our own reflection, at our own work, we find a lesson that we unknowingly taught to ourselves.

My lesson?

Pursue only the map of the heart.

 

 

 

Free the Circle

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It is said that a spiral is a circle that has been set free; a spiritually actualized form. In many ancient cultures, the spiral represents a universal pattern of growth, renewal and the ever evolving journey of life. It is a pattern that all human beings have recognized throughout time.

The spiral is known in the mind’s eye. It is brings about the gnosis of self, reminding all of the inward and outward evolution of mind and spirit. It is used as a guidepost for understanding and remembrance of the source, and of the journey back home.

We live in a spiral galaxy, in a world of spinning electrons and circular patterns of microcosmic spirals that no human can see. But, we can feel them.

The artist knows the spiral. He knows the pull of the brush along that sacred form, almost pacifying as the stroke is placed. The writer knows the spiral, the beginning and the end, all at once; the inward and outward evolution of the story. The composer, the actor and the dancer know the spiral as well. It pulls the heart and mind in a rhythmic dance of parallel light.

Spirals tell us that the world is new, as much as it is old. It reminds us of a time when the balance was maintained, with the heart and the mind in tune; atonement of the spirit.

It is along the spiral where we find the true path of art, and of life.

Take care of your spiral, of your sacred space, of your present moment. This ensures that we always embrace universal change. In this space, we witness  the power of creation at its essence; one continuously unraveling and evolving present moment, one continuous infinite spiral.

We must accept this as truth, as artists and as spiritual human beings.

Compose

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“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke

What does it mean to compose? To put together, to create, to begin a project? All describe the action well, though some only see the term as relating to writing an email. In the act of composing, we begin our journey into the world of our creations.

To compose is to breathe life into an idea. It is the musicians tool of creation, as it is the same for the artist, the writer and the dancer.

To compose it to begin. It the footprint of creative thought, the first steps of an infant idea. It is in composing that we find the beginning, and in this beginning we see our first impressions of the final result. We see the end of our story, the final brush stroke, the final chord of a melody and the final step of the dance.

In composing, we see the ebb and the flow all at once; the compliments of our creation intertwined. We see the river of our thought begin and empty as if looking through time.

A few miles away from my doorstep there is a river. The river is not small. In fact, it is one of the world’s biggest. This river knows the beginning and it knows the end.

The river is a master of composition. It is the master composer, flowing from its source and emptying into the world. It moves over everything at all times, flowing and finding its way from the source and toward its eternal home. The cycle of creation completes the river and drives it throughout time.

In our work as artists, writers, dancers, musicians and as all creative souls, we must compose like the river. We must be full of heart and clear of mind. If our work is to touch another, its composition must begin in the heart and transcend the mind. It must bare the soul.

Compose every day, even for five minutes, free of inhibition, without force and without holding back. This is the way of the artist. This is the way of life.

Form

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“You are time, and time cannot be created or destroyed. Time just changes form.”
Khalid Masood

What is form? Is it something that can be measured by something else? Where does it come from?

This is the paradox. Because at its very essence, even form has no form. It is all but formless, though it remains. This is art, this is the art of form.

In Taoist thought, the Tao is said to have form but to also be formless. It is all things, pervading and permeating everything. This is art, this is art on all levels. It is writing, it is dance, it is painting and it is anything which takes the creative energy out of the soul and places it onto the stage of the world.

Some people have a specific form of style. Style indicates thought. Style indicates a plan, a comfort or showcase of skill. Form should never be confused with style, though without form, style cannot be. The goal of all art is to have form, to have style, to illicit emotion, inspire thought and to be seen. It is through the formless form that we deliver this to the world.

As Bruce Lee once said. Water is formless. It takes the shape of whatever vessel it’s placed in. If placed in a cup, water becomes the cup. This is the formless form. It is the goal of all art.

To become.