Blog

Process Arts
  • The Role of the Artist

    "The function of art is to give us an existential experience. In his music, painting, sculpture, and poetry we feel, we experience, and we respond. It is not an intellectual exercise. The highest moment of our lives, those of love and tragedy, are matters of the heart, of feeling. They are experiential. The pity of much modern life is that we do not know how to experience either love or tragedy. We are alienated from each other, and from our real selves. " 

    This is a quote from Rabbi Levi Olan in 1968 in a radio address he gave.

    I found it both inspiring and immensely insightful. 

    I painted this image at a time I was experiences great sorrow and anxiety, and Olan's quote reminded me of it.

  • Art Process in Action: Updated!

    For several years I have been participating in workshops called The Painting Experience. (For a more detailed description see my earlier blog: The Painting Experience,  Jan. 22, 2013).

    These workshops have dramatically affected how and why I paint.

    The focus of the workshops is to enable you to stay in the present moment and let the art work develop in a natural and uncontrolled manner. It allows you to tap into the mystery of the artistic process. As you moves through the process, the risks of stepping into unknown are ever present.

    By letting go of control and being open to whatever happens next in the painting, the process itself becomes the primary activity, the final art produced of little importance. It is often difficult to explain this Art Process in words. And even more difficult for the listener to grasp the concept.

    I decided the best solutions is to show how one painting developed by showing a series of photos. These photos show the paintings and Art Process in Action. As I painted, I stopped periodically to document the paintingʼs development at each successive stage. Later I combined the videos into a movie.

    In the beginning, there was no plan. I thought I would only paint 2 faces, but became inspired to enlarge the painting to include their bodies. The snakes, plants and insects were images that appeared to me as I painted. This was also true of how the bodies grew, the tears and blood, the black hands and the outlines. Even the choice of color was quite spontaneous.

    As an artist, I find I am now able to paint more authentically, feeling freer to express my inner emotions and ideas.

    I hope you will find this demonstration both enlightening and interesting.

  • Videos and Figurative Art

    Videos and Figurative Art

    Every Kinda People

    Acrylic on Paper 

    Over the past couple of years I have been painting figurative images and making videos of their process and development. Often people ask me about how a piece of art came to be. The videos which are now on this website, are an attempt to answer that question. I thought that by seeing the art grow and develop along with my narration of my inner thoughts, the viewer could better understand how and why a painting was born.

  • A Great Book: Art and Fear

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    Today I am going to offer a book review. The book “ART and FEAR, Observations on the Perils (and rewards) of ARTMAKING”, is a must read for all artist, no matter their medium or genre.

     

    The two authors, David Bayles and Ted Orland, are working artists, and the book addresses the very real problems that artists of every variety are faced with during the process of making their art.

    While the book is primarily addressed to artists, I think that anyone who is interested in the artistic process will find it fascinating.

     

    It’s main message is that the process of making art is a very personal relationship between the artist and her materials. It is separate and distinct from the questions of marketing and public acceptance or approval. Only as the artist immerses herself in the process and is able to ignore imagined judgments of others, is she able to create freely.

     

    The book is a wonderful antidote to the fears, doubts and hang-ups that most artists experience at one time or another.

     

    This painting was  done with this book in mind.

     

    Wiki wiki

     

  • The Painting Experience

    For several years I have attended a wonderful workshop in Molokai Hawaii called the Painting Experience. The workshop is not a traditional painting class at all. There is no instruction about how to paint, or how to mix colors even.

    Instead, it is a time of inner exploration. Anyone can take part in these workshops, whether or not they “know” how to paint. That is because the act of making a painting is treated more like an exercise in meditation.

    Participants work silently, standing before their paper, and letting their inner most thoughts and feelings be expressed by the paint. There is no judgment or interpretation of the painting. Rather it is a time to explore and expand oneʼs mind.

    As a painter I find the process fulfilling. It has enabled me to be open to new directions. My creative juices are stimulated in ways that are exciting and new.

    For more information about the workshop see:

    www.processarts.com

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  • See the Art Process in Action

    For several years I have been participating in workshops called The Painting Experience. (For a more detailed description see my Blog #12 The Painting Experience).

     

     

    These workshops have dramatically affected how and why I paint.

     

    The focus of the workshops is to enable you to stay in the present moment and let the art work develop in a natural and uncontrolled manner. It allows you to tap into the mystery of the artistic process. As you moves through the process, the risks of stepping into unknown are ever present.

     

    By letting go of control and being open to whatever happens next in the painting, the process itself becomes the primary activity, the final art produced of little importance. It is often difficult to explain this Art Process in words. And even more difficult for the listener to grasp the concept.

     

    I decided the best solutions is to show how one painting developed by showing a series of photos. These photos show the paintings and Art Process in Action. As I painted, I stopped periodically to document the paintingʼs development at each successive stage.

     

    In the beginning, there was no plan. I thought I would only paint a face, but became inspired to enlarge the painting to include the body. The many animals, plants and insects were images that appeared to me as I painted. This was also true of the flowers on the body, the tears and blood, the flames and the outlines. Even the choice of color was quite spontaneous.

     

    As an artist, I find I am now able to paint more authentically, feeling freer to express my inner emotions and ideas.

     

    I hope you will find this demonstration both enlightening and interesting.

     

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  • The Plays the Thing

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    The Plays the Thing

    Recently collectors of one of my paintings asked me write something for them, so they could better understand the thought process behind the painting. What were my emotions at the time, they asked.

    Often I am asked to describe how or why I paint. Or what inspires me. But this question was different. It was specific. What was happening beneath the surface for this very painting.

    I had actually completed the painting months earlier, so the request was that not simple. I would have to reach back and retrieve old memories and feelings, similar to trying to remember a dream the next day.
    Obviously not an easy task--but I said I would try.

    At the time I was working on this particular painting, I was experimenting with a number of different elements in my paintings. For some time I had been using fabrics as a collage element, but now I decided to focus on only black and white fabrics. Another new approach was to limit the ground of the painting to mostly one hue or color--in this case green.

    My prior series of works had contained many vibrant colors, often juxtaposed to each other. I was looking for a way to create a dramatic effect with less reliance on color.

    The other strong element in the painting is the use of many “found objects”, like jewelry, string, wool, buttons, and chards of pottery. I recently decided to use these things as collage pieces in my paintings because I liked the 3 dimensional textural quality they added.

    When I start a painting, I do not have a plan in mind, but rather let my intuition lead the way. The was certainly the case in this painting: “The Plays the Thing”.

    As I applied layers of paint and then let my brush flow, it looked very chaotic to me. I could not see where it was going. As I continued I added darker colors, like black and deep blue, sometimes throwing the paint to get random effects and emphasize the feeling chaos.

    When I glued on the black and white fabrics, the painting seemed more alive to me. At this point I began to think of composition and structure, but still could not see how I could make it work.

    Only when I began painting into the fabric did it seem to come together.

    But I liked the feeling of chaos and did want to lose that. So by collaging the “found objects’ on to the canvas and incorporating them into the composition I felt I could get a feeling of order and chaos at the same time.

    “The Plays the Thing” was a difficult process for me. There were many times the frustration was great, and I wanted to quit it. But I kept coming back to it. Something about it drew me in. And there was also many fun moments, like finding the right object, seeing connections between shapes, letting my imagination go wild.

    Originally, this was going to be 2 separate paintings, but about half way through I realized they were meant to be connected and seen together.
    There was a sense of completion when the canvases were seen as one whole work.

    I like to tell people that their own reaction and interpretation to my paintings is what is important. I hope the painting stimulates them to feel or think or see the world differently. And I hope that this painting does that for you.