Solitude

solitude

 

KEEPING QUIET
by Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you stay quiet and I will go.

____________________________

Solitude. Acrylic and mixed media on panel. 20×16 in. 50×41 cm.

Instagram: @johnclinock

Portfolio: johnclinockart.com

 

Strange Spring

hope

 

If I was going to come back to WP at all it had to be today.
Today is one year exactly since I last posted on Art Rat Cafe.
Symbolism / Ritual / The closure of circles…

I took a hiatus from WP and began posting on Instagram because I wanted less. I needed a brain break and Instagram is a graphic novel. a gallery, a picture book. It’s clean and simple with a limited space for writing. It’s like texting whereas WP is like writing a letter. I like the way Instagram is structured. I can visit other artists easily and look at their work all together like strolling around their studio.

I’m not putting down WP at all,at all… just explaining why I went away and why I like where I went and why I will be staying there as well as come back here. Instagram is my Yin, Word Press my Yang. For at least the last six months WP has been on my mind. To stay or to go? It seems a trivial question now but I’ve been with WP almost ten years off and on and I have great affection for all my Word Press friends. I enjoyed blogging but began to question what more I had to offer.

I was teetering on the brink as they say, to return or not to return as the twelve month circle closed?  My virtual friend, Nadine, gave me a gentle nudge and over the brink I went, the Tarot Fool stepping out into unknown space, and here I am again.

every day feels

I’d forgotten how much white space they give you here. It reminds me of facing a large new painting canvas. I always find it terrifying. Lost in the tundra! The first thing I do is eliminate the white surface using five inch brushes and rollers. Looks like I’m doing the same thing here but with words. And that’s all I’m saying tonight. I don’t know where this may take me, I surrender to serendipity. I do know however that I will be sharing many of my Instagram posts, art and poetry old and new, and maybe I will even open up art rat cafe CAFE again.

Tonight and almost 24/7 my head is full of Covid 19 as is yours I’m sure. When it began it was a welcome relief from having Trump bouncing around in my brain every day. Now I don’t want either, ever again. But they are both real and present dangers in our world and I’m learning, slowly, how to open and empty and be. To do no harm and take no shit…

sweet delirium

Some of my recent pandemic art relieves the text above:

Hope – detail of random layers on worktable.

Every Day Feels Like Sunday Morning – Acrylic and mixed media. 24×36 in. 61×91 cm.

Sweet Delirium – Acrylic on panel. 12×24 in. 30×61 cm.

“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.”

                                                                                                    Madeline L’Engle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

just spring

 

rite-of-spring

In Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles          far          and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and          wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it’s
spring
and

the

goat-footed

balloonMan          whistles
far
and
wee

 

 

Poem: In Just- by e.e.cummings. 1920.

Painting: Rite of Spring. 20″ x 30″. acrylic on paper. by clinock.

Happy Spring to you all, wherever you are on the planet and however you celebrate this glorious renewal of life.

acts of art 17 ~ Clara Berta

 

I deeply hear what Ms. Berta is saying and I remember all of the ways that my own discovery and practice of my art shape-shifted me. My art was and is the foundation of my life. It has channeled and expressed my love, my anger, my sadness and my loss.

Dancing the mystery I have often been lost but I make my own maps and find my own way and that is my art.

I don’t understand what it is, this enchantment to make images, but that’s how it goes. It’s a compass, a mirror, a shaman, an echo and an infinity of confessions.

Do you have a story about how Art / your art saved the day?

 

acts of art 16 ~ Liz Magor

Studio Envy. I confess to it, and yet I have a perfectly viable creative space in my one bedroom condo. I can make most of what I like to make here in my living / working room, except the big things. And yet…

Over the years I’ve visited a lot of artist studios and haven’t needed a therapist to know why Studio Envy persists in my deepest caves, ready to rise like an H.P. Lovecraft entity whenever I enter another light filled, white walled, multi shelved, cathedral spaced studio.

It’s precisely because it’s not a ‘living room’, multi tasked studio. It’s simply there to serve as a working space. A rare and beautiful thing this huge volume of air and light, filled with art and the meditative focus of the artist. It can be felt as almost holy…

But let’s not forget it’s also real estate. Here in Vancouver, BC. J.Q. Public is considered blessed by the gods if he/she can find any decent living space at an affordable rent. And then, in addition, to be able to rent a studio!!! Almost inconceivable, unless you are very successful in your chosen field, or very rich.

folded message

Most art studio situations I know of in this city are shared by groups of artists, some of whom have recognized plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose, and have gone with it and called themselves ‘Collectives’ and have even published manifestos.

Liz Magor is a successful Canadian artist and I admire her in every way. She was a mentor at U. Vic. when I was working through a B.F.A. degree. It is impossible to think of masters like her operating without a studio. But what about the rest of us? Ms. Magor believes “Everyone Should Have a Studio”. I agree metaphorically, but realistically, a snowball’s chance in hell…

What do you think about art studios? Do they contribute to the separation of the visual artist from the public? Are they an ivory tower, elitist concept when so many millions are homeless or are they a needed and necessary space for making art?

Do you have a studio? Celebrate it with us on Art Rat Cafe – send pics and tell us how you came by it and what it means to you. Or, if you dream of having a studio of your own, tell us why.

magic-forest

Above two photos from my own workspace.

http://www.johnclinockart.com                 Portfolio Site

http://www.instagram.com/johnclinock/          Instagram