Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Unknown

Oil on linen, 17 x 21 inches
To throw oneself into an activity with passion and abandon, and then lose the comfort of what has always been safe and known . . . this is the path of artistic discovery. I imagine Michelangelo, (1475-1564) confronting an immense slab of white marble, and wondering what is waiting for his hands to bring forth. No doubt he felt a bit of fear to embark on such a grand task as to chisel a sculpture such as the masterpiece David. What did Christopher Columbus, (1451-1506) feel when he looked out to the ocean's horizon and wonder what distant land waited for discovery? The immensity of the sea is quite capable of swallowing everything puny in its path. More recently, in art annals, is the story of Jackson Pollack, (1912-1956) who abandoned painting recognizable figures and instead hurled fluid color in all directions across his canvases. He famously said, "When I am in a painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing. It is only after a sort of 'get acquainted' period that I see what I have been about. I have no fears about making changes, destroying the image, etc, because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well."

There have been many great artists who have come face to face with the unknown and been challenged to enter the ring, rather than stand to the sidelines. Perhaps this was a reason Pablo Picasso, (1881-1973) loved going to bullfights. When the matador enters the ring with the bull, the outcome is not known . . . certainly either the animal or the man will die. The man depends on his talent to guide him and gain the adulation of the crowd.

Recently, I have begun experimenting painting with three colors only: red, black and white.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Essential Substance Of Life

Self-portrait, taken in Montevideo, Uruguay
Matrix is a word that I arrive at often when thinking of my creative process. During my one-year sojourn around the world, I intended to disappear into the matrix, and from there, let my creative energies flow. What does it mean? For me, matrix describes the essential substance of life from which everything is born. It is always in flux, receiving the dying forms and casting forth the newborn upon the shores of existence.

The perfect place from which to create is one of boundlessness. A musician is in the flow and notes seem to come from out of nowhere. A painter is fluidly creating his painting and his marks sometimes are surprising . . . he has gone outside his boundaries and is in the realm of discovery.

Creation is timeless, and when an artist is creating he often is not aware of the passage of the moments. He begins, and when he looks up again, is finished, and then wonders, where did the time go?

Self-portrait, Paris, France

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Art Collectors

The couple strolled through The Steven Boone Gallery front door like a spring breeze blowing in the April air. They checked to see if the little painting they had seen the day before was still hanging. Yes, and then the gentleman looked at me to say, “We want this, and will you sell it without the tax?” They went on to mention that they had a big painting of mine already. I replied, “Since you are collectors, I will be happy to pay the tax myself.” 

I am not usually in the gallery, so I am pleased to have met this couple . . . I enjoy having face-to-face experiences with collectors of my artwork.

The painting they bought is one I made outdoors in the autumn of a little country chapel in the high plains of New Mexico. (See Gushing Waters). They spoke of their extensive art collection and I remarked how wonderful it must be to visit their home, and what a delight for their friends. 

These days, as the temperatures warm and the air is balmy, we can leave the front door open so that people on the street can simply walk inside as they tour Canyon Road. Artwork hangs on the wall outside as an enticement, and the folks are like bee's attracted to flowers.