Today is your Last Day

IMG_2089

“Do anything, but let it produce joy.”
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Since I’ve been asked numerous times why I left this blog high and dry a little over two years ago, I figured it’s now time to provide an answer. Trust me, this has been bothering me for some time, and though I try to maintain my creative efforts to a steady beat, sometimes life happens.

Back in the summer of 2016 I met someone who I fell for, and…

Just like that… “poof”… I was gone.

Over a year’s worth of writing and art making was seemingly put on hold for the better part of 6 months. I did occasionally write on my other blog, but I had little to no creative focus. I had literally stepped into suspended creative animation, frozen and stagnant.

My focus was on another soul, who I found to be beautiful, complimenting my own life in every way.

However… It did not last and I was left in despair. But, I was also given the greatest gift imaginable.

In August of 2017 my son was born, and just two months later I turned 40 years old. Now, today, I am 41 and within the past few months I have uncovered a part of myself that was buried long ago.

Life is funny. It seems that we have to travel so far from ourselves just in order to find ourselves. It’s like we must leave home simply in order to find our way back, to remember; to remember who we really are, and who we’ve always been.

And this is exactly what I have done.

A young artist that I follow taught me a valuable lesson recently, and I must say that the timing of this lesson is perfect. We have to become ourselves. We cannot lie to ourselves. Though we may try new things or think ourselves into something that we believe we should try or should be, we will never know happiness or peace if we are chasing something that does not fit our soul.

What we do must bring others in, and it must share joy. And we can only do this from a place where we generate our own joy, our own peace.

The above picture is a pen and ink drawing that I created recently. This is the type of art that I do, the type that I essentially began with. It is within creating these types of abstract images where I am the most vulnerable, the most centered and the most comfortable.

This is my space, and this is where I create from. Though I realize that it is highly abstract, dark and seemingly disturbed, it is also completely truthful. It is honest emotion and an uninterrupted flow of creation.

And this is what art is. This is what writing is. This is what moves us in a dance and why we lose ourselves in music. It is raw..

It is a full baring of soul.

We must do what we do because every day is our last day. This moment, right now, is your last moment.

So do what you do and do it well. Do what you do best, and do what you enjoy. So long that this is altruistic and brings joy to the world, and it leaves you with a smile..

Then do it.

And enjoy it.

 

Advertisements

No Inspiration Needed

Question

“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.

Swatch of Life

IMG_2688

“The ability to create great art comes from an awareness of yourself and what surrounds you.” ~ Jenie Gao

I remember when my daughter used to ask me questions about everything, the most random things. Like, Dad, what would happen if we all lived in a whirlpool?

How do you even begin to respond with a logical answer? Truth is you can’t, but you still answer the question, to the best of your ability, and she always understands.

Life throws us these random curiosities sometimes, and each and every time we have to make our way through with our own understanding and experience. Art teaches us this value. Through simple childlike questions we learn and experience the creative drive that inhabits our spirit, and we express it in whatever functional way we can.

Sometimes, like a child, we have to test the objects of our creativity. We have to question the structure of whatever we choose to create. We have to see the result, ask and test the substance which we use on our palettes.

Enter the swatch board..

A simple swatch board is an artistic tool to be used for testing applications of color, blending structure, line and brush strokes. It may seem like just a simple rudimentary tool to be used as a key or a guide, but it can be so much more. In fact, the creation of the swatch board itself is a work of art all its own. It is an artful expression of the questions we must ask, and of the structure which we are attempting to find.

The swatch board is a childlike projection of our desire to both learn and create. It is a question of self-awareness, and of our surrounding world.

I invite all artists to create a swatch board. Play with the color, test the brushes. Make swirls, circles and patterns. Blend, brush and streak. See the birth of creativity within your testing of its gentle life.

All creative spirits should exercise this simple expression of life. It is a marker of what drives us to be creative. It’s a child asking a question about whirlpools. It’s why we share what’s inside of us.

It’s why we are who we are, in color, in patterns, in blends, streaks and spirals. It’s the diversity of the world represented by one simple truth.

We all desire to share what’s inside of us.

Enjoy your swatch board. Enjoy your life.

 

Lessons in Color

IMG_2316

“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ”
Oscar Wilde

Color is a precious thing. People don’t fully understand it. This deserves exploration.

Color is the phenomenon of light. It is the quality of light that we see, but this saturation of light is so much more.

Color tempts the eyes, opens the mind and rattles emotion. For the artist, color, shade and hue are all tools to convey his message. Just as the writer paints with words breathing life into a story, the artist colors the life of his work so it may speak to the world.

We can learn a lot from color. We can see the light reflected, changing the spectrum of our minds. Our mind is a prism, filtering light through, coloring the depths of our imagination, stirring our dreams and desires.

Color can make one feel powerful, soft, sensual, admired and loved. Color can also make us feel warm, hard, powerless, agitated and sad. Through the power and use of color we extract and provoke emotion, we give a touch of life, and a touch of dreams with every fleck, every pixel.

Life can be full of color, or it can be grey. It can be as simple as black and white, or it can be colorless, void of light. It can be dark. But this is up to us.

Through color we can mute the darkness. We see the shimmer of life and taste the sweetness of existence. Bold color denounces what is dark, and covers it with radiance, with life and with love.

We color the seasons with the shades of the heart. Through brilliant reds and greens we can make the spirit of the holidays come alive. We can make others feel, and see the spirit surrounding all that exists.

We are the colorists, the artful wanderers and the creators of inspiration. We color inside the lines and out. We please the mind and satisfy the heart. We are the color of life, the incandescent smile of the universe.

Color your world with your heart and with your mind’s desire. Stand in the brilliance and bask in radiance of this shining life.