Discipline Required - Brainstorming in Process!

Stone Basket.  Pastel & pencil on paper, 8 x 10 inches. © 2012 by Kathy Crabbe Discipline seems to be a key word for my process right now. The key is keeping Facebook time low! The computer world is insidious; it creeps into your life quickly and it stays there.

Each morning I sketch outside (plein air is the fancy French term for it) and have been focusing on still lives rather than landscapes as of late. My 2B pencil is put to work although I need to find a 6H to get really serious ;) It feels like I'm in training right now (athletic discipline required).

I'm also brainstorming; giving my corpus callosum a work out for a couple of prints I'm conjuring for an exhibit called Verse to Image at the Riverside Community Arts Association Center. I chose a quote about rebellion from Chris Hedges' book, Death of the Liberal Class and a poem by Margaret Atwood titled The Poet Has Come Back; both reference death. Somehow printmaking brings out the darker more political side of life for me. Prints are due mid March and making an etching can take a while so I'm digging in and going deeper with Atwood's poem for starters; perhaps the two will tie in somehow. I hope to post some photos here in the coming weeks so stay tuned.

Quotations of Interest (originally posted on my Facebook page this week)

"Unfortunately, many works sold at art fairs, and in the global market in general, promote cultural cliches or personal brands...Formatted for private collection spaces and museum galleries, this art is too often totally predictable and non experimental." ~ Hou Hanru, Art in America, Nov. 2011

"College Art Association is at the LA Convention Center. CAA is a front for Goldman Sachs student loan scam to keep young creative people broke and enslaved in debt. CAA is the Monsanto of Art, complicit in crimes against creativity. Top that rant!!!" ~ Matt Gleason (who was expelled from every school he attended according to his Facebook Info page...hmmmm, not surprising really, is it?)

California Alliance for Arts Education Webinar: How to work with your local school board to keep arts education in schools.

"All we have, as Vaclav Havel writes, is our own powerlessness. And that powerlessness is our strength. The survival of the movement depends on embracing this powerlessness. It depends on two of our most important assets—utter and complete transparency and a rigid adherence to nonviolence, including respect for private property. This permits us, as Havel puts it in his 1978 essay “The Power of the Powerless,” to live in truth. And by living in truth we expose a corrupt corporate state that perpetrates lies and lives in deceit." ~ Chris Hedges

How to Occupy

Utne Magazine's 10 Most Enlightened Towns to live in America

Art on the Line: Where Activism & Art Intersect

Firebird. Acrylic & charcoal on canvas, 48 x 48 inches. © 2012 by Kathy Crabbe I've been reading a lot about revolution these days trying to figure out how I, as an artist can make a difference and contribute socially to our society and often I feel quite hopeless until I listen to what women artist activists have to say and then I start to feel hope again; for art, artists, and for humanity. Here's an example of what I mean. Below is a quotation by Gale Jackson, librarian, storyteller and historian from the book Art on the Line

"We're talking about human education here. That's when you talk about seizing traditional forms, the arts, traditional forms of reaching people, and turning them modern and figuring out how to teach these lessons again because somehow people have watched too many commercials not realizing that culturally, or through the lack thereof, we've been pushed to the brink of survival, against the wall, literally to the edge of the fatal possibilities of the world we're living in. Somehow you have to reach people and bring them back, mindful that peace will only come with justice. That eye for eye for eye could go on and on. Somehow you have to reach people 'cause we have to talk. There are a lot of things that, for starters, we need to learn and remember. A lot of history has been taken away from people and one of the first restitutions would be to begin to restore. People's very stories have been taken away, made inaccessible, till we don't all know who we are. Culturally. Till we don't have no home. Real or metaphoric. Then there is all that is going on that is not being told. The news. Our country's not-so-covert wars. In my work as a writer, as a librarian, I be finding that people don't know. This tragedy of repetition. When it becomes clear that culture, art information, is first and foremost political, it is clear that people need to use that to reach and teach. To explore. People need to know. To imagine. To know." ~ Gale Jackson, Art on the Line, Essays by Artists about the Point Where Their Art and Activism Intersect

Links: Art on the Line ~ edited by Jack Hirschman Gale Jackson Chris Hedges ~ Truth Dig Revolution Truth

My painting, Firebird (above) expresses the fiery passion and hope that burns brightly within my soul; it depicts the spark within us that can never die or be extinguished even through death.