Art Quote for the Day

IMG_4314The other day this phrase passed through my brain. ” I’m a happy idiot”

Huh? What?

Well, it occurred to me after doing what is most probably the 100 th demonstration on how to mix all the colors on a color wheel using colored pencils that I am totally enthralled with that whole process. No matter how many times I create a color wheel, using colored pencils, or paint, or pastels, or even cut paper, it’s like magic to me every time it’s completed. So, the more I thought about it, it occurred to me that no matter how many times I demonstrate shading with graphite pencils, or how to blend brushstrokes with oil paint, or how salt thrown onto wet watercolor creates a grainy texture I’m like a child seeing it for the first time. It’s absolutely and totally magical to me. I never get tired of it.

I’ve always been very good at doing repetitive tasks. I used to fold arty T-shirts, hundreds of dozens a day, found it tiring but also satisfying in an achievement kind of way, i make Christmas ornaments out of paper, dozens and dozens  the same way , over and over. I don’t find this kind of activity boring. Actually I think it’s kind of meditative…… the muscle memory achieved by the repetitive motion frees up my brain for thinking about other stuff.

So, everyday I teach…… every semester the lessons stay basically the same and I give the same demonstrations, fortunately with as much enthusiasm as the first time I ever did them. The resulting art work achieved by the students is the big payoff. they do amazing things and ITS NEVER THE SAME THING TWICE!  It’s like Christmas day opening presents when every new project is completed and turned in.

I am a happy ,( maybe idiot is the wrong word after all) ,  child in a grown up’s body – maybe? Maybe no qualifier is necessary …. I’m just so very happy when I’m making art and showing others how to make art as well.

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Art Quote for the Day

Anais Nin (cont.)

Back at her house by the sea, the painter stacked her paintings against the wall.  She now had to make the paintings look like her own art work again, which meant restituting to them the fantasmagorical figures of her night dreams.. The plain landscapes, the plain seascapes, the plain figures were all transformed to what they were before. The figures undulated, became bells, the bells rang over the ocean, the trees waved in cadences, the sinuosities of the clouds were like the scarves of Arab or Hindu women, veiling the storms.  Animals never seen before, descendents of the unicorn, offered their heads to be cajoled.  The vegetative patience of flowers was depicted like a group of twittering nuns, and it was the animals who had the eyes of the crystal gazer while people’s eyes seemed made of stalactites, Explosions of the myth, talkative garrulous streets, debauched winds, oracular moods of the sands, stasis of the rocks, attrition of stones, acerose of leaves, excresence of hours, sibylline women with a faculty for osmosis, adolescence like cactus, the corrugations of age, the ulcerations of love, people seeking to live two lives with one heart, inseparable twins.

She restored to the empty lanscapes all the mythological figures of her dreams, thinking of Rousseaus‘s words in answer to the question: ” Why did you paint a couch in the middle of the jungle?” And he had said: ” Because one has a right to paint one’s dreams.”

Art Quote for the Day

Anais Nin:

I cling to the world made by the artists because the other is full of horror, and I can see no remedy for it.  Diary entry , May , 1936

In the small towns of California the occasional absence of inhabitants, or animation, can give the place  the air of a still life painting.Thus it appeared for a moment in the eyes of a woman standing in the center of an empty lot.

She stood motionless and became , for a moment, part of the still life until a station wagon arrived and friends waved at her as they slowed down in front of her. She ran swiftly towards them and helped them open the back of the car and unload paintings and easels which they all carried to the empty lot.

The woman in slacks became intensely active, placing and turning the paintings at an angle where the sunlight would illumine rather than consume them.

Cars began to stop and people came to look.

One visitor said, ” These trees have no shadow.”

Another visitor said: ” The faces have no wrinkles. They do not look real”

” I have never seen a sea like this,” said another spectator

The woman in slacks laughed and said:  “a painting should take you to a place you have never seen before. You don’t always want to look at the same tree, the same sea, the same face every day, do you?”

But that was exactly what the people wanted to do.  They did not want to uproot themselves. They were looking for duplicates of their surroundings, a portrait of their grandmother or of their children.

The painter laughed . They liked her laughter. They ventured to buy a few of the smaller paintings, as if in diminutive sizes they might not be so dangerous or change the climate of their living room.

“I’m helping you to tell your house apart from your neightbor’s”  , said the painter.

The light grew dim. the painter and her friends packed the remaining paintings and drove away.

excerpt from COLLAGES by Anais Nin

Art Quote for the Day

” I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically. In whom feelings are much stronger than reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me.  Anything I can not transform into something marvelous , I let go.  Reality doesn’t impress me, I only believe the intoxication , in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me,  I escape , one way or another.. No more walls.”  – Anais Nin

Art Quote for the Day

Kurt Vonnegut – A Man Without a Country

” If you really want to hurt your parents and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living.  They  are a very human way of making life more bearable.  Practicing an art, no matter how well or how badly, is a way to make your soul grow for heaven’s sake.  Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories.  Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.  Do it as well as you possibly can.  You will get an enormous reward.  You will have CREATED something!

Art Quote of the Day

A
Q : Do you believe in your own paintings?

A: There are few that I like, but I wouldn’t go so far as to stand up and say I believe in them.

Q: But surely you ought – otherwise why go to all that trouble?

A:  Of course, I have to believe that I can produce something useful.  And the pleasure of making counts for a lot in painting- as when someone’s making music.  There’s no room for doubt.

Q:  doubt as to what?

A: That it might make no sense, or be unnecessary or passe’

Q: Doubt as to the possibility of still making a picture  you can believe in?

A:There are so many believable pictures in the world, and we love them; we travel long distances to see them.  We need them . And there are some people who need to make picutres themselves.

Q:  How does this question of  need relate to your earlier statement that you were looking for the maximum possible indifference?

A: This was an attempt at self-protection – saying that I was indifferent, that I didn’t care, and so on.  I was aftaid my pictures might seem too sentimental.  But I don’t mind admitting now that it was no coincidence that I painted things that mattered to me personally- the tragic types, the murderers and suicides, the failures, and so on.

Q: Is the painted picture closer to the reality or to the appearance?

A: In one sense it’s closer to the appearance, but then it has more reality than a photograph, because a painting is more of an object in itself, because it’s visibly hand-painted, because it has been tangibly and materially produced.  That gives it a reality of its own, which then as it were substitutes for the reality of the cup.

Q: So can a painted appearance tell us more about reality?

A: Perhaps it can, because it’s more unsettling.  It’s always more or less different from reality, and that’s unsettling. You ask more questions.

Q: You get closer?

A: Yes, closer to our relationship with reality.  The cup on its own is boring.

The Daily Practice of Painting – Gerhard Richter

Art Quote for the Day

21 July 1989
Nature/Structure. There is no more to say. In my pictures I reduce to that. But ‘reduce’ is the wrong word, because these are not simplifications. I can’t verbalize what I am working on: to me, it is many layered by definition; it is what is more important, what is more true.
Everything you can think of – the feeblemindedness, the stupid ideas, the gimcrack constructions and speculations, the amazing inventions and the glaring juxtapositions – the things you can’t help seeing a million times over, day in and day out; the impoverishment and the cocksure ineptitude – I paint all that away, out of myself, out of my head, when I first start on a picture. That is my foundation, my ground. I get rid of that in the first few layers, which I destroy, layer by layer, until all the facile feeblemindedness has gone. I end up with work of destruction. It goes without saying that I can’t take any short cuts: I can’t start off right away with the work in its final state.
The Daily Practice of Painting – Gerhard Richter

Art Quote for the Day

ACTION PAINTING

Action painting is just what the name suggests: painting with pure abandon, dripping and spilling colors all over the place with no particular idea or plan in mind

In the 1950″s , Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and other abstract expressionist painters introduced action painting  to the art world. However, long before that (probably since the advent of liquid paint) , generations of young children practiced action painting.  It makes sense that  children would be the first to see how much fun it is to toss and smear paint around without wondering if what they were making was somehow great art.  The fact that the abstract expressionists made this kind of child’s play into an art form gives us adults a great excuse to play with paint, color, and texture just to see what comes out in the process.

One of the unique things about action painting is that the resulting picutres are a visual record of the artist’s “dance” that created the painting in the first place.  Action painting emphasizes the dynamics of the painting process with a focus on movement , gestsure, and free-form play.  This approach is a good place to start using your intuition because it allows you to use materials freely and to explore movement, spontaneity, and dynamic change without exerting overt control over the painting process.  Action painting can involve your whole body- not just your  hands – and allow you to use  new tools and movements to make a work of art

Art from Intuition – Overcoming Your Fears and Obstacles to Making Art by Dean Nimmer   ( contains more than 60 drawing and painting exercises).

Art Quote for the Day

Here is the second paper written for the writing arts assignment… continued from yesterday’s post:

Jane Fasse by C.M.

” For sure all my life I’ve had a sweet tooth.” Jane Fasse said when we gave her a cookie.  Jane  was born on March 24, 1953 and is 60 years old.  Even though Jane is 60 , she seems crazier than ever.

Jane has shoulder length blond hair with hints of white.  Jane has blue eyes that sparkle like the sun.  Jane seems to like laughing and smiling and, if she doesn’t,  I’d be suprised because she smiled a lot.

Jane rmembers when she was younger that she was a great student in grade school.  She was very advanced and had fun at school.  “I go to Junior High and all went to h******, she said. Jane said she did not like her teachers much and it was not very fun.  She also remembers that she had a lot of jobs.  One she remembers where she chopped onions all day.  She said when she cme home she smelled horrible.  She hated the job, but who cold blame her?  She also worked at the Jolly Green Giant canning factory and at the mall for twelve years.  She worked for so many places I can’t even mention them all.

Jane Fasse is married to Tom Moss and does not have any children.  Jane works as an Art Teacher. Some of her hobbies include drawing , cooking, and gardening.  Drawing helped Jane get a job and she loves doing it.  Jane is a very interesting person and I had fun  interviewing her.

 

So that’s how the interview went. I think it’s interesting how both girls picked out some of the more incidental things to mention, the small talk kind of things, but I’m glad they got the gist of fact that I’ve had art in my life  MOST of my life. That is what I was hoping for. After years of crummy jobs I’m finally in the place I was born to be in …. art has never failed.