Thursday, May 31, 2012

Where did all the Leonardo's go?

OK, it's June almost and yes, I haven't shared much this year, so sorry for being absent. I do have some thoughts to share and will be posting some new work soon. I came on blogger though to post some thoughts and ideas. It's 4:30 am and my eyes opened and my brain was spinning so had to get some ideas posted.

Recently a friend sent me a link to Neil Gaiman giving a graduation speech. He had some great things to say so go check it out!

I was thinking about some of the things he had to say and the kernel of his message was "make great art". We (society in general) often think of great art as being made in the past. The impressionist, Renaissance, Bauhaus and many more come to mind. True there have been some great artist and certainly appreciating the history and art of past ages is very important if we are to have a reference point to view our current culture. It is my feeling though that the vast majority of us miss an important fact which is that some of the greatest art is being made today. So what do I base that rather bold statement on? Follow my thinking on this one!

There are more people alive on this planet today than have ever lived since our species began. An astounding thought, but because there were less people over such a long span of time the concentration of gifted people was not as dense as today. There are probably a few "Leonardo's walking around out here today, an interesting thought!

Communications has made a huge difference, you wouldn't have been able to have a cup of coffee and read this blog just 30 years ago. Today we are able to share our thoughts, feelings and events in our lives with almost everyone. The world is a whole new place and we feel it on a daily basis. As a visual artist I struggle with how to market the things I create! Use to be simple, take it to a gallery and have it displayed, someone will buy it right! Well, fact is, it's not so simple these days. Galleries are folding these days and struggling to find an audience. Some have met with success by accessing the web and promoting heavily.  Artists in mass have fled the traditional venues and are looking for a better more direct means to reach an audience. There really isn't anyone out there who can tell you how to do it successfully though there are some channels developing. Indie music and film are industries who are finding new avenues to reach out to the public and doing it somewhat successfully.

I'll leave you with this final thought! There are probably some of the greatest painters who have ever lived, pushing a paintbrush around at this very moment. Same is true with Sculptors, Architects, Designers, Musicians and Writers. In general I'd say there is more creative energy at this moment than ever before. The problem is accessing it, finding it and bringing it into our daily lives. It's easy to become overloaded with content because there is so much of it to sift through. In fact, it's easy to get nothing done at all because we could spend so much time just keeping up with what's happening!
I know that one! I think I'll turn off the computer and go paint now!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Welcoming in 2012

Kissing Koi or Kissing Coy!
Clay with colored glazes
18" Tall, 16" Deep and 16" Wide

Ahhh, finally over the holidays and things are beginning to settle down once more. I have to apologize as I've fallen far behind on this blog but will attempt to catch it up over the next few weeks. I will post some of the new work I've been doing as well as update some of my latest thoughts on this thing I do "making art". We've all been suffering through some tough economic times and Art seems to be low on the priority list of so very many of us. This is regrettable due to the fact that the practice of making art can be a safe haven for so many of our thoughts and feelings and a way to express them in a positive manner. Believe me when I say I have my share of frustrations with the world around me. It ,"The World" doesn't seem to match my vision anymore as a place abundant with opportunities to express ones self, create beauty and find an audience. Most of that I will shoulder as my own perception. I'm not sure the world has really changed much and will probably be as receptive as always. I've made several choices in my life over the past year which may be driving my perception and I'll claim them as mine alone. First, I've cut off access to all television media. This was both an economic as well as a moral choice for me. I couldn't see paying almost one hundred dollars a month to watch maybe 10 programs a month. That's the cost of several first run movie tickets, a show at the theater (yes matinee on Sunday and cheap seats but it's live) or any number of tickets to shows and things to do. So I've opted to do some of these other things with my money, thanks. I would suggest you look over your budget as well and see where you could re-allocate some of your funds. I've once again been going out and listening to live music shows which I'm thrilled about because it ads so much more to the complexity of life and gives me more to draw from as an artist. So think about how you might funnel more of your cash that you'd expend anyway into something that supports other peoples visions at the grass roots instead of supporting a cable provider. It's a small step but if enough people follow my suggestion, I'd expect two things to happen! First, the cable companies would start listening to their customers and providing the types of programming they demanded. Second, small theaters, musicians and artists all need your support to keep doing what they do best. I know that selling some of what I make is such a relief even if it is only a couple of hundred dollars a month. It helps so very much so thank you to those who supported my efforts and bought some of my work in 2011. I'd also like to add a special thanks to those who take classes with me outside the Benson Center. You've made huge differences in my life this past year in both an economic sense but most importantly in a human sense. It's been good to see you each grow as artists and you've helped me grow as a person. So blessing to all of you!!!!

So enough babble! Here is some of the art I've been making recently!

"Madonna Moderna" 36 X 60 inches Oil on Canvas

"Dreaming of Saturday morning in my lovers bed"
9 X 12 Oil on wood panel

The paintings above are two being shown currently in Atlanta at Kibbee Gallery in a show titled "Nude" which is a collective of figurative works by a range of artists in the Atlanta area. These are only a part of a series I am completing for a series of shows I want to launch nationally. The series contains 16 pieces large format paintings with the additional studies and drawings totaling around 40 pieces.

Painted along Peachtree Creek at Northside Drive bridge Feb 8th 2012. This was the second night of the full moon and the previous day I had seen the moon come up around 7pm while it was still just a bit light out. So I went back the next day around 6pm thinking the moon would be up around 7 again or just shortly after. The moon didn't arrive till 8:15. Temp was a spring like 42 degrees and it was much darker than expected when I finished.

This is a "Well Wishes Jar" that was created for someone close to me and who worked with me. She has gone back to school to finish her degree and I wanted to create something so that she could always remember how much she made peoples experience better at the Benson Center for being there and being part of our lives each day! She is missed by me and all the students she touched!

Best wishes to all of you this year and be sure to buy some art and show support for creative people who labor to create beauty in your world and mine!