I think that what artists do is they invent strategies that allow themselves to see in a way that they haven't seen before - to extend their vision. ~ Richard Serra, art:21 Art in the Twenty-First Century, Essay by Susan Sollins.
My morning strategy involves drawing outside in order to 'capture' the seasons, things that move me, oddities, old tools and other found objects.
See more here: Drawings
Drawing daily has become a meditation of sorts, a way to connect with the natural world and to revel in the sheer joy of process; the process of capturing a likeness. It feels almost devotional in it's purity. But what it really does best, is inform my abstract work, Journey into Intimacy. From studying nature we learn everything we need to know.
"I often think of artists as Vedic scribes or members of monastic orders, who secretly maintain analog technologies, archaic forms of knowledge and alternative ways of being in the world during times when there seems to be no hope, no alternative. With Occupy Wall Street, we see a slight change to bring these anarchic forms of wisdom back into the world. But as is often the case, we are our own greatest enemies." ~ Erin Sickler, Art & the 99% (Art in America, Jan. 2012)
With each new birth there is a small death. Spring has sprung and so I sketched a crow that died. He was tied with a wire around his legs to a fence made of sticks gathered from the chaparral surrounding us here in the inland valleys of rural Southern California. I am not responsible for his death nor for tying him to the fence. I sketch what I see, but this made me sad. This drawing is my way of blessing and acknowledging his crow spirit.
Crow Medicine: "All things are born of women." from The Greenwood Tarot by Mark Ryan and Chesca Potter.
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
Utne Magazine's 10 Most Enlightened Towns to live in America