acts of art 19 -“Advice to the Young”

 

This is my final post in this series. I hope you have all found at least one viable idea or inspiration somewhere amongst the presentations.

I taught high school art for 25 years so I think I can claim to know something about “Advice to the Young”. Mostly I know that some things never change. As a teen and beyond I rejected ‘advice’ from any and all manifestations of authority. My students were the same. This is how it must be, to follow our own path, learning and understanding through experience, not advice. So why this video? On one level I would be surprised if any young, creative person was even aware of this video. I chose it because it works so well as the last in this series of exploring the creative process. I find it almost endearing how these 8 well established and famous artists respond to the question. It’s the most natural thing that we try to pass on what we think we have learned to our young.

When I was teaching I encouraged my graduating students to explore Life in all of its myriad, miraculous facets before committing to Art School / University and the stress and financial burden of ‘higher’ education. Because…Making Art is a reflection of our life, expressing and sharing who we are as humans and our dances with each other. For most this doesn’t come. like the blues, until the heartbreaks, frustrations and angst of our 20s and 30s. And yet, even in my dotage, there are more days than not that I feel ‘young’. Not the energy young of youth but the young of ‘beginner’s mind’ and the young of standing before the work of a maestro, a master of their art, on line or if you are blessed, a personal mentor.

Art is very capable of Magic, It seems I have known this forever. Some of our young will feel, hear and follow the call, most will not. It has always been so.

I had a few epiphanies along the way: Gratitude. Creative loneliness. Listening (I mean really listening)…and wondering who we all are out here in virtual space?

As mature, creative artists engaged in your particular passion ~ what is your own “advice to the young”?

And finally, if nothing else, it’s so worth the 8.5 minutes just to see Patti Smith again, her words, images and music evoking my own and wonderfully strange young.

So I just simply HAD TO share Because The Night… Patti with Bruce + U2…SWEET!

acts of art 18 ~ Ibrahim El-Salahi

 

 

Art Lives

Beneath our careful, clean and ordered lives

Art lives

In the unimaginable.

In prisons, hidden under dirt.

In refugee and homeless camps,

empty stomachs in the dark.

In the hospice and the hospital,

the asylum and sanatorium.

In the cold, the hunger and the endless pain

Art lives.

 

Poem by clinock.

acts of art 10 ~ Njideka A. Crosby

 

In this series of posts I am exploring the creative process, mainly in the visual arts but also in writing and music.

I research and listen to a great many artists talking about their work and what goes on in their heads and hearts as they create. I am fascinated by the wide variety of approaches but also by how similar many of those approaches are. For instance one thing I hear again and again is the idea and feeling that the work ‘knows’ what it wants to be and we need only let go of the idea that we are in control to allow fruition.

“You work until you disappear…” phillip guston

I know this completely, through aeons of experience. I understand the initiation rituals of preparation, the getting to know you period, like meeting someone new who you hope will be a friend and reveal worlds yet unseen. In this way I slowly bond with the new work as if it were a sentient being. This is often seen by non artists and more linear artists than me as absurd anthropomorphism. Well, I do what I need to do. I talk to my art which I suppose is akin to talking to myself. It’s been this way for decades and has worked for me.

My blogging community, you, are almost all creative artists in your own particular field. Does what I’ve written ring any bells in you?

I have met and read and listened to artists who approach their work completely differently than me. We have food fights and argue all night but mostly we quote Rumi and drink red wine:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.

acts of art 4 ~selfportraitclinock

sp-with-circ_2

These are the words that circle the above Self Portrait in circular mirror:

“In the mirror my name is lost in canyons of colour. Thoughts and feelings dissolve in shadows and light. Memories become texture and line. My fingers dance to the drums of the Fathers and the chanting of the Mothers. Night spirits whisper and call and the shaman of the sun sings music that swells inside. Flesh dissolves into rainbows of light. Rich and pulsing darkness purrs upon impossible edges of skin, the illusion of my beginning and ending. I fly in eagles and glide cold depths in the bellies of whales. I am in the tall pine, the voices of the Mothers and the hands of the beater of drums. Proudly I move to the drum. Within this circle of incantation and musty magic I am dancer, warrior and magician and my spirit is straight and true. I look into my eyes and each orb becomes a universe. The stranger in this circumference of glass  guides my hand and I dissolve again into marks moving across paper deserts. I know this language, always becoming, between the stars and the deepest cave of my heart. It speaks of coming home again. It speaks of walking this world proudly and in beauty”.

~~~~~~

I couldn’t do a series like this without including thoughts on my own process, and this won’t be the only time I do so because every day I change my shape.

Above is a Self Portrait made from my reflection in a circular mirror a very long time ago. I wrote the words that frame the drawing as I worked. At the time I was strongly influenced by north west coast indigenous shamanism.

If you have ever seriously immersed yourself in making a self portrait you understand what a profound and enlightening experience it is. The words I wrote are a fragment of everything I felt, thought and grokked during that evening:

I disappeared and re-emerged a hundred times. I went from the shyness of looking myself in the eyes for more than a second to total absorption beyond time and any face I could call Me. I passed through ‘this’, a reflection of me, to total objective observation of certain colours, forms and human features, my name and identity long forgotten. I was visited by ancestors, dead friends and lovers. I walked away and made tea and returning discovered everything had changed.

My head didn’t fit…

I have made a few other self portraits before and since. The process is too intense for me to do often.  Each time I meet myself is part punching bag, part deja vu and part ‘oh far out I’ve never been down this rabbit hole before’.

pie-rat

Then there are the self portraits that are out of nowhere and off the wall. They crack me up every time and I am always grateful for their reminding of that pirate / clown / trickster side of who I think I am.

Laughter is so excellent.

~~~~~~

Words and art by Clinock.

Image 1: Self Portrait in circular mirror with text.  Diam, with text, 12 in. Chalk pastel, conte and black pen.

Image 2. Self Portrait as Pie-Rat. 18 x 14 in. Acrylic on canvas.

acts of art 3 – Leonardo da Vinci

 

800px-Leonardo,_san_girolamo

“Look at walls splashed with a number of stains, or stones of various mixed colours. If you have to invent some scene, you can see there resemblances to a number of landscapes, adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, great plains, valleys and hills, in various ways. Also you can see various battles, and lively postures of strange figures, expressions on faces, costumes and an infinite number of things, which you can reduce to good integrated form. This happens on such walls and varicolored stones, (which act) like the sound of bells, in whose peeling you can find every name and word that you can imagine.

demos

vapor-god

Do not despise my opinion, when I remind you that it should not be hard for you to stop sometimes and look into the stains of walls, or the ashes of a fire, or clouds, or mud or like places, in which, if you consider them well, you may find really marvelous ideas. 

DSC05483

The mind of the painter is stimulated to new discoveries, the composition of battles of animals and men, various compositions of landscapes and monstrous things, such as devils and similar things, which may bring you honor, because by indistinct things the mind is stimulated to new inventions.”

Leonardo da Vinci

Vitruvian

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519) was an Italian polymath, having been a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer. Born as the illegitimate son of a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant girl, Caterina, at Vinci in the region of Florence, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice, spending his final years in France at the home given to him by King Francois I.

Leonardo-da-Vinci-Self-portrait-in-red-chalk-circa-1512-to-1515-Italian-Renaissance-artwork-artist-Royal-Library-of-Turin

Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the "Renaissance man", a man whose seemingly infinite curiosity was equaled only by his powers of invention. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.

credits:

image 1. Unfinished painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Saint Jerome in the Wilderness. 1480.

image 2. Wall in Vancouver, BC. Canada. Photo by Clinock.

image 3. Clouds over Vancouver. Photo by Clinock.

image 4. Detail of sidewalk in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Photo by Clinock.

image 5. Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci. c. 1490.

image 6. Self Portrait in Red Chalk by Leonardo da Vinci. c. 1512.

Thanks to Wikipedia for images and text.

just so you know

I’m having problems on WP. I am unable to ‘Like’ and such.

And under ‘The Bell’ I have only an endlessly spinning blue circle…

Seems to me there’s been some kind of update and everything is topsy turvy. 

I want to visit you but there are ‘obstacles’…

Sometimes you just have to laugh!