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Posts Tagged ‘Artist’

GC Myers- Shadowsong smWe are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

–Buddha

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It’s an idea that we all too often forget,  that our thoughts can form who we are.  I know for myself, the thought  that I was an artist was the most crucial step I made in becoming one.  Once I had made that decision that, yes, I was an artist, every decision  after that that contributed to me being an artist came much easier.  This was the road I was going to follow and any action that occurred would take place based on that fact.

But it took a long time to reach that point where I determined that I was indeed an artist.  In fact, for quite some time i was embarrassed to say it  when someone would ask what I did.  It just sounded too presumptuous to state it aloud even though in my mind it had become fact.  So I would say I was painter.  It sounded safer.

But inevitably, the person asking the question would determine that what I meant by painter was that I was a house painter and ask what it would cost to get their living room painted.  I guess I looked more  Sherwin Williams than Salvador Dali.  So I decided that I better just say that I was an artist.  Just less confusion and besides, that is what my mind  had already patterned itself in the shape of that word.

And, like Buddha said, joy followed.  Hopefully, it will stay with me like that shadow.

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The painting at the top is titled Shadowsong.  It’s a new piece, 6″ by 8″ on paper,  that is headed to Erie for my November show, Alchemy,  at the Kada Gallery.  Usually when I have an image of a musician, I will follow on the blog with a video.  So, in keeping with habit, here is The Train From Kansas City by Neko Case, a favorite of mine.  Plus , it has lots of film of trains.  have a great day.

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Artist Charles Felu Photo by J. MaesThis is sort a continuation of yesterday’s post where I was going back through images of my older work  in the aftermath of a show, something I often find necessary in order to find some balance and assurance that I am still connected to my true self .  I think the idea of connection is probably the important part here as sometimes I often feel a bit disconnected after a show, which I know sounds counter-intuitive. You would think the feeling of connection would be at its highest degree.

Besides scanning my old work, another thing I do to find connection is to go through other images as well, either of other artist’s work  or the artists themselves and their environments.  In their work I am  looking for a voice or expression in their work that is similar to my own, as though finding this common ground will somehow bind me to the greater continuum of  artists.  The same holds true for seeing artists in their studios or at work.  The common experience of creating provides a connection that makes me feel less out of the loop.

In doing so, I often come across interesting images that provoke thought and,occasionally, new directions.  For example, one image that caught my eye is the one above of Belgian painter Charles Felu, who was born without arms and painted with his feet, working in the last half of the 19th century.  Seeing this connects me to that need to express oneself, that driving  force  that has kept me pushing ahead for most of my life.  So many people have overcome  great obstacles to have their voices heard that it makes me grateful that my own obstacles are relatively small and easily overcome.

Artist Georges Braques in Paris studio 1948Sometimes, there is inspiration for new work in these photos.  For instance, when I saw this photo of Georges Braques, the Cubist innovator whose quote– There is only one valuable thing in art: the thing you cannot explain— was a rallying cry in my first efforts as a painter, I was taken not so much by the man or his studio but by the smaller framed piece to the left of his feet and the shield-like piece on the wall to his right.  Just a glimpse at both had my wheels instantly turning, the shapes and flow of these pieces translating into my own vocabulary. Instant inspiration.

Artist in Japan by T. Enami ca 1915-1928Another was this colorized image of a Japanese artist at work in the early part of the last century.  There is a great serenity in the space,  in his pose and even in the elegant manner in which his work tools and materials are arranged.  The beautiful cooper pot of water feels like a meditative pool here instead of merely a place to clean your brush.   It has an immediate calming effect on me, something that is often needed in the days after a show as I struggle to regain my footing.

Even as I am writing this, I am feeling the effects of these images, beginning to feel a connection once again.  I feel a bit of inspiration and calm, both greatly needed for me to create.  This is already turning into a good morning.

Got to go…

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