Art quotes

"For the last 20 year period I've been working with ideas conceived as a child." -Red Grooms

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sharing the Joy of Creating Art

People often ask very interesting questions when they find that you are an artist: how long does it take to paint a painting, why did I do this or that to the painting or where did I get the idea for the painting. These plus many more questions are often fielded at unusual times, not always in the exhibit.
My artistic grandson one day asked me more specific questions. His curiosity was more to the point, when did I get started in art and why?

                                                     A drawing by my grandson, Tyler
These bold questions can make a fellow take pause for a moment and look at the sweet innocent face asking these profundities. Ahh, an opening for me to share all the unsaids about this career. Here was my chance to imprint a little of myself on this fine young specimen.
I got started many years ago when I observed my father finding relief from his own hard physical work through painting calm scenes. I observed his process of setting up his handmade easel, laying out the paints on his handmade palette, and creating right before our eyes. The paintings were just for him, when they were done many became a patch or other in his handmade factory of producing cement blocks. What I learned most from my father, the artist, was the pure joy of creating. He was not hindered by critics or financial gain.
The image of my father painting remained with me as I experimented with pure-joy-creating in various artistic ways – photography, sculpture, sketching. I learned so much more in college with a series of art experiences on my credentials. Then I learned that it is very difficult to raise a family doing art, though I have close friends who worked hard at their sculptures and have made a name for themselves in the art world. For me, I chose education as my day job. Career transitions come with time and I was provided with a good amount of time to experience the pure joy of creating. Unlike my father’s choice of retaining the moments of creating his work, I decided to also share the work and I have thoroughly enjoyed that part of being an artist. So my dear grandson, I am doubly happy to have chosen to be an artist.
After that quick exchange of arty conversation, we moved as all good conversations do to other subjects like philosophy and music and the combinations of the two. I learned some things about his progress and curiosity in art and the role it plays in his world. This could be a beginning for us. I know I am just a link in this great big journey of time and hope good can come from it. We’ll keep the color pencils, words of encouragements, and a little guidance flowing in hopes of insuring the next generation of artists.
Joel  (  ) 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Perfect Painting - What Do You Think?

What makes the perfect painting?  Is it a landscape with trees and lakes, perhaps with a sailboat gently bobbing on the blue lake? In 1993, the People’s Choice project by Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid described in The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution (Dennis  Dutton ) studied the artistic preference of folks in ten countries. In the study they want to town hall meeting to hear just what makes the perfect landscape. A worldwide poll conducted by various public opinion firms of simple artistic preference questions covered close to two billion people’s opinion.
Take a moment and think what you feel would make the perfect painting.
What did you picture? Did you have a blue sky, trees, water?  If you did you would be on track with the findings of the research.  Universally the ideal painting was a landscape with water, people and animals. The ideal color almost exclusively is blue. The researchers even noted a link back to our early ancestors who were looking for a cozy safe place to live. We seem to carry this image deep in our brain that comes out when we look for that perfect landscape.
A bitter side note… the esteemed researchers warned that the most disliked paintings described in the research were abstract designs. Sadly, the product of my new artistic excitement – brilliant abstracts,  will never be accepted by the masses. Fortunately, I still also love the dunes and forests, close enough to the perfect landscape. I think times are changing and the viewers and supporters of modern art, in these very fascinating art times, have already proven the People’s Choice project prediction regarding abstracts as weak if not faulty.
So keep looking at the beauty and changing earth we call home and find your perfect landscape, then squint at that sunset and just maybe you can make your own abstract. 

 This piece called Little Lake, or

 Spontaneous Bloom? What's your choice?
Happy looking, Joel