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 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 12 ~ Margaret Atwood

Maggie Atwood, author  Canada’s national treasure and a personal muse. Her novels, along with Leonard Cohen’s songs and poems, have been the words and soundtrack of my life since arriving in Canada in 1966.

What Ms. Atwood says about her creative process relates, of course, to writing. I think we can all translate her words into our own artistic language.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood  (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, teacher and environmental activist. She has published seventeen books of poetry, sixteen novels, ten books of non-fiction, eight collections of short fiction, eight children’s books, and one graphic novel, as well as a number of small press editions in poetry and fiction.

Thanks to Wikipedia for bio.

acts of art 11 – Ira Glass

It was only last year one of my sons turned me on to Ira Glass and This American Life on PBS.  When I tell this to people they politely ask which rock I’ve been living under.

Since then I’ve been addicted to the Ira Glass PBS podcasts so imagine my delight when I discovered this video.

If you are not a writer you can exchange his word “story” for whichever acts of art you call home. I believe that everything he shares in this video can be applied to everyone’s creative process.

It’s fast and true for me, how about you?

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 7 ~ Happy Little Clouds

“I believe, I believe everyday is a good day when you paint.

I believe, I believe It’ll bring a lot of good thoughts to your heart.”

 

This Remix honours Robert Norman Ross (October 29, 1942 – July 4, 1995.) R.I.P.

We made fun of you Bob but with love in our hearts. Your T.V. presentations were always so delightfully weird and I confess I can’t stand your painting style. But I also have to accept that you charmed thousands into picking up a brush to try their hand at painting and who can say how far those ripples spread? Who can say how many you inspired to discover paint, explore and expand their creative limitations.

You mostly taught process through  your own inimitable technique, how to re-present one particular version of the real. However, at the same time, you also brought a philosophy of joy into the act of art that spoke to so many who needed to hear what you had to offer.

Thank you Bob.

P.S. ~ I invite you to visit my latest art at my portfolio site:  http://www.johnclinockart.com

 

 

 

acts of art 6 ~ Gina Stepaniuk

 

I love this video, how Gina’s words and art process are woven together so brilliantly.

I hear what she is sharing about the creative process and I connect on all levels with all  senses. So much of this is universal.

What Gina says echoes my own experience. How about you?