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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The Ground

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“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.”
Leonardo da Vinci

An artist must create a background. No matter musician, painter, writer, dancer or actor, we all must have a background, a beginning; a point from which our work and our lives begin to live.

The background is more than just a stage or foundation. It is more than a smattering of color in a painting and more than a random coloring of history in a story.

It is more than the melody that threads together the chorus and more than the step that connects the pirouette. It is more than the scenery beyond the actors face, and it is more than the first chord that any musician plays.

The background is the primal voice of our art. It is the first echo of our voice and the first cry heard from our hearts. In it we find the woven, inseparable brothers of light and dark. We find the first shadow and we find the first flaw.

The background connects all that can be contained in its margin. Without this crown of strength, the flatness of life is shown through in all works, and in all life.

The background is sometimes unseen. Often it is completely unnoticed. Sometimes it is gray, white or even invisible from man’s sight. But, it is always there, always the connecting source, always the point of awareness from which emanates all life’s colors.

The background is life. It is the stage which you call home. It is the rest you take before a long day. It is the thoughts and ideas you have about others, about life and about yourself.

What color is your background?

Is it textured, rich, full of noise? Full of darkness?

Is it full of light and awareness? Is it sharpened, or diffused?

Does it hold your heart in place? Does it move your soul, or move your life?

The background is a sacred place. It is the beginning of all creation, the garden, the birth swaddle, the uncurling from dreamless sleep. It is the place where the ghosts of the future speak to us.

The background is the beginning of the dream, the unseen witnessing of the miracle. It is the first chord of the grand chorus, sung by the universe for all men to hear.

Create your background well and live to brighten life.

 

Life in Contrast

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“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” ― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

Contrast is part of life, and we truly live in a life of contrast. However, what appears to us as strikingly different, what appears to us as a simple juxtaposition of black and white are really two of the same. It is within the one shade that we can find two.

We should all explore the contrast as it applies to our lives. We artists use contrast to evoke distinction and clarity within a piece. We writers use contrast to shade the personality of a character against his peers, his struggles or in completion of his goal. Within one form, we can always find two, contrasted throughout time.

Contrast dances in unison with one purpose. This simplicity differentiates the part from the whole, though it is the whole that all parts emanate from. It is this specific part of the form that we emphasize in our own lives. Sometimes we emphasize the black, while other times, it is the white.

In life, we must recognize our own contrasts. We must become aware of both the subtle and the striking differences within our own consciousness and what we perceive around us.

It is through recognizing these true contrasts that live within us all that we can become whole. With this simple understanding we can come back to the center. The contrast will coalesce within and around us, becoming one.

It is dutiful of all artists, of all creative spirits to explore contrast, just as it is for all lives to accept and understand it. This is the divergence of self and of sight, of mind and of body.

We become our own contrast. We live through our variance of self and of mind only to one day return to the true form. To become one with this clashing of color, of shade and of emotion is to become one with the heart and the mind.

Color your work and your life with the awareness of contrast. Unfocus and watch as two forms become one.

 

Muse Your Moment

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“She smiled and said with an ecstatic air: “It shines like a little diamond”,
“What does?”
“This moment. It is round, it hangs in empty space like a little diamond; I am eternal.” ― Jean-Paul Sartre, The Age of Reason

Inspiration. Where does it emanate from? From what source does the muse originate? How do we find it as we stare at the blank page, or gaze deeply into the white canvas?

It is said that each day we are given a moment, just a solitary point of awareness within a fleeting second where we can choose to capture the flame, where we can choose to see our heart and its desire. This is the moment where we capture our muse.

The muse comes in many forms. It can arise from one line we may read in a book, or through the emotion we witness around us. A person can inspire us with their words, their smile or their gaze. The wind can blow a seed in just the right way, and we are then captured by the muse of nature. It is within our awareness that we find these fruits.

We must be open to these things if we are to create truly and passionately. The moments come and must be captured, but so many go unnoticed. So many are left wasted as we’re often distracted by worldly things.

The screen of the smartphone blinds us at times, though it can also be a conduit for our muse. The busy lines at the store confound and irritate us, but within this line muse can be captured. The traffic jam riles our rage and tries our patience, but within this temporary solitude one can surely be inspired.

Each moment carries with it the ability to transcend our awareness and cultivate our passions. Each second can inspire us to create, to smile and to walk ahead with a strong heart and a clear vision. It is our duty to recognize the subtle gifts waiting all around us.

Whether you are inspired by a painting, a phrase, a dance, song or even by sitting on your couch watching Netflix; capture this moment. Let it speak to you through your heartmind.

Some may be inspired by the patterns in a leaf, while others may feel the emotions of the world as they hear a bell toll. Whatever it is, be aware, be sound and be alive in this time. Be the muse of your own moment.

Life is one continuous beautiful moment. Don’t let it pass you by.

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.