Saturday, February 6, 2010

I will not fear pink paint

Ive been eying a bag of new paints I've pruchased with cautious fascination and maybe a little bit of suspicion.
I'm continuing to challenge myself as an artist. Two days ago, I bought a jar of permanent rose acrylic paint on clearance. For those not familar, it's pink.
I have determined that I need to push myself by using more than the nine colors I have relied on for over a decade (alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow, titanium white, ultramarine blue, vandyke brown, sap green, burnt sienna, naples yellow,and cadmium red)
So i've been collecting colors that I've rejected becuase I assocaite them with decorative art: purple, cadmium orange, magenta, pthylo green...and finally, rose.
I was recently inspired by a young college grad who created art during and after her trip to India in response to her experience. Reflecting the very busy and colrful environment she found herself in, her paintings are full of bright colrs and much purple, pink, and orange. Which reminded me about a comment made by an Indian woman who was employed to make home decor and clothing by a fair trade business: "Why don't we do brighter colors? These are so dull!"

Saturday, January 30, 2010

reapproaching the portrait

So, I feel like I'm really starting to get back into art and a way of life.
I had been stuck with all these ideas and feelings and no entry point. Really, I hadn't been seriously making space for it. Actually, it wasn't just that I wasn't making space for the art. I wasn't making space for myself. I hadn't been extending the grace of listening space that I had been giving to others, to explore and ask questions to awkwardly, but surely give my own voice to what I've been observing in myself and others.
Coming in to my creative time, I had two concepts in mind. I had been trying to figure out how to start exploring the questions in my heart about life and situations within that still overwhelm and sting and mystify me. I know enough to know that I come to the canvas and paper with questions, not perceived answers.
On the other hand, I have been thinking about returning to portraiture in my assemblage pieces. I have considered doing full size portraits of people in my community, with the challenge of exploring and expressing them and not all the labels on them. Like my friend Jesse, who pushes a shopping cart for Jesus and whose home is all of Dinuba. I was thinking that I would ask them to do a self-portrait that would be incorporated in the piece. Then, in some way, invite others into each piece in an interactive way beyond simply viewing and touching it.
Today, I realize that I cannot adequately start trying to see others, as needed to be obedient in these portraits, until I start with myself.
This actually freed me from the burden of trying to figure out how to approach myself through a conceptual space.
My challenge: to see myself through the act of portraiture. I have to look at myself, really look, and have compassion enough to bring out what is going on in my soul through the rendering of my face and gesture.
I'm approaching this with the aid of a suggestion given to me by a friend two months ago. He encouraged me to minister to myself by looking in a mirror or sitting in front of a empty chair and treating myself with the same compassion and attentive listening I would give to another person who may seek my care.
I realize in portraiture, that I ought to be attentive to what's going on in the heart, as expressed by the eyes and body. However, in really loving, I cannot reduce the person to their emotions, reducing them to a caricature, and as such, must see the beauty and constant qualities that reside in the face that shows the temporal states of joy, sadness, pain, exhaustion, vitality, anger. heck maybe somehow the challenge is to capture all of these at once, as they are present in the person.
Father, teach me how to see and teach me compassion.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Building on...something

The intent of this blog is to journal the progress of my work; perhaps to give
others a better understanding of what is involved in making at least my work. I
haven’t posted anything because I do not yet have any recent visual progress.
However, I forgot that the art process, at least for me, begins well before
paint touches canvas or whatever surface I choose.
My works most often is in some respect, a means of visually/conceptually
wrestling with something that impact my own life. If it is successful, it will
transcend my own experience to speak to others in their own experiences and
offer them the opportunity to wrestle/explore/gain understanding in their own
I admit that I’ve been absolutely clueless aboout what to do next. Well,
beyond increasing invovlement between the artwork and the particpant. I have
plenty of things going on in and around my life worth struggling with in my
work, but I don't know where to start.
I think that I have kept myself “too busy” for so long that I’ve
“forgotten” how to connect my life with my canvas. The ideas I’ve had have
been too force, too stale. They strike me as interesting, but really they lack
depth and I lose interest.

Recently there has been stuff going one that I definitely have many questions
about. Things that I have trouble fully expressing in words and perhaps best
communicate through private prayer.
Yet, though my mind and heart are grappling for understanding, for some cosmos
that may yet be uncovered through art, I didn’t even know where to start as
far as imagery. Really, anything I did seemed to demean the reality I am facing
and the only way I felt I could express truth was the prayer of tears.
Then, today, I came upon a vacant dry grass lot and condemned houses on fire. I
think that the images I’ve taken of the smoldering fire will be used in my
work, somehow. It’s really a continuation of a previous piece. Fire is highly
symbolic, but I’ve been careful to not make the imagery clique. We will see.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Old art articles

I happened across an archive of an article for a three person show I orchestrated in Selma in 2003:
Three Artists Share Their Vision As One

Monday, June 9, 2008

Connection in Art

I have been thinking about the direction of my art.
At some point in the past, I’ve gotten out of the practice of working out struggles, questions, passions, etc. through my artwork. Now it seems that I have so much to work through and I’m not sure how to do so in my assemblage.
I have to relearn.
One thing I’ve come to realize is that it will be important to continue making my work interactive.
So much of what I’ve been learning about in the last few years has pointed to the human need for connection, ultimately with God and also with others.
I have the feeling that while there is opportunity for connection through simply interacting visually with art, that it may be more important/significant/poignant for people within the culture (American Post Post-modern. Whatever you want to call it) to have deeper level of connectivity by being more active participants in the art.
So I will continue to create work that involves physical involvement with rewards for those who continue to physical,and visually explore. I also want to explore work that would invite the participant to alter the work. I’ve been chewing on some ideas that would involve the participant adding their responses onto the artwork.
Participation in art by others is not new. It is integral to installation work as well as much performance art.
In fact, I think I want to expand to installation to create work that incorporates painting and drawing on structures that the participant enters and engages.
I’ve also been thinking of doing full sized portraits in my work, so these ideas may be related. I love painting people; I’d like to push it more and explore individual people with greater attentiveness than my previous subjects. The next one needs to look up!

I need images on this blog =) Hopefully soon!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My art in the Biola online newspaper

My photographs from the BiolArt alumni exhibit #5, "Through a Glass Dimly," is in the Biola Chimes newspaper's photos of the week: "Biola At Its Best." Click through the pictures until you see the dust man. They're not too prominent, but I'd be more fascinated with the dust man, too.
This was an incredible show.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oh the anticipation

I had to post some sort of blog. Once I figure out what's wrong with my external hard drive, I will post some art in progress =)