Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Art of Living


Aaaaaah, at last, at last I have found my way back here to blogland.  Only took me 5 months, and really only 5 hours sitting at this thing today trying to find a way back in.  I am forever amazed at how complex the problems can be that we set up for ourselves without any outside prompting.  All alone out of the quiet, I decided it was time to blog expound again, only to learn quickly, I couldn't get back in to a place that was once waiting for my overflow of words.  And that turned into all different  problems within the main problem.  I feel like I just finished a third term paper on self searching in self promoting.  I wonder how many places I put my name and face online today, one does get desperate when they are frustrated and lost, uh huh.

Anyways, calming down now, and must say, that this photo has nothing to do with the blog theme, or maybe it does.  This sketch was done during our train trip south back in September.  I intended the sketch to be a human face out of my imagination.  It turned into what it is because trains are not smooth moving, no, they jiggle and jump around, making the pencil skid across the paper at all moments without warning.  Travelling is a compelling force we put on ourselves now and then.  I enjoy being able to get away, but it is work, and I can see how this ordinary little trip my pencil took does reflect how travel is to me.  A calm out of storm, moments of feeling lost in the power of life rushing passed, a cycle of one connecting to another, calm to calm, storm to storm.  I know my perspective on travelling is not like most who love to travel.  Or maybe most do see it the way I do, just choose to articulate it in a way that sounds a lot more impressive.  When I ponder back to our recent trip, I immediately think of giant metal tracks, stairs and people and people.  I think of the shiny tiles that build the walls, the escalators, the electronic gates where we must slip that ticket into a slot in order for the metal gates to open, then grab that ticket again quickly as we pass through.  I think of the swooshing sound of the torpedo-like train that stops on the mark where we line up to board.  I think of myself deep in fascination of the people around me, who they must be, where they live, where they hope to go to, their dreams.  

It's most likely the most important thing we do when we travel, a personal awakening of being in another place, out of our norm, aware of our surroundings in a much more observant way.  Perhaps that is the secret to painting outdoors, observing the landscape by experience first hand.  While riding the trains on our trip, the BART that is, I listened to people around me talk.  When we rode the AMTRACK we heard a lot more stories than we would have liked to have heard, being caught for hours with long conversations going on right behind you can be vexing.  But on the short rides, I found it interesting.  So many stories, so many faces.  We are a curious species, we can't help but want to listen, and shortly after we rush back off the torpedo again, we've forgotten it all, gone.

Maybe this is what my blog theme was meant to be about, can't remember.  Last time I blogged, I was in quiet reflection over Robert Genn's passing.  I meant to come back here and blog about Robert's words, and how my first beginnings of using a computer have immediate memories of reading his newsletters online.  It's almost 10 years since I dragged in those boxes from Future Shop holding electronics I knew absolutely NOTHING about.  I was way behind on this aspect of life, the world of online, a whole new adventure to take up with no knowledge and too much ignorance.  Timing is very much how our lives are formed.  Robert was able to reach us in a time when we had such technology.  I wonder what some other artists might have written if they lived in this era.  And then again, I wonder what others are writing that I have no idea of, I can only take so much time to meander, I know I only reach a small fraction of it all.

There is no doubt that technology has had a major impact on the art world.  For me, I recall peering into bad photos trying to compose decent paintings out of them.  I recall cropping them, and those remaining tiny pieces of photos even harder to peer into.  OR, I'd take photos and tape them together so's to get a sense of expansive land around me.  I also would purposely over-expose them to get that definite range and strength of light in them.  I'd go to pick up my photos at London Drugs, and when they'd apologize that my photos were "over-exposed", I'd do a "thumbs up" gesture of winning, saying "YES!!"  Those employees must have thought I was nuts.

Aside from that aspect, how wonderful to see what other artists are doing without having to trudge the streets for galleries, which is a good thing to do, but I know I never did that very often.  I'd get books, that was a good way to see what other artists are doing.  But, compared to going online, those books were like the little photos in the shoe box.  The screen of a computer is magic with art, illuminating and exciting, colours are vibrant, immediate excitement at the artwork that is so brilliantly composed, most of the time, and if not, still great to see.

Art is life, all the changes going on become part of it.  I know it isn't all positive, with new changes brings new problems.  I wonder about the purity of originality in art when we can go to a device in our homes and tap into answers to all problems.  I like to think the ease of getting answers makes it easier to be true to ourselves, but I know I am easily influenced if I can avoid hours and hours of work by googling something in seconds.  I also know I get lured into believing what I do isn't as good as what others are doing, so I try to be like them, and that explains all those "unfinished" canvasses up in the studio, a confused path doesn't often reach a plateau of success.

It is a game of balance, too much computer leads to an unbalanced sense of reality.  I know to not have a computer in my studio, the TV rarely gets put on up there, only if there's a game I want to follow.  I know to let my artistic senses come into action before anything decent and true to myself will come out of me.  I understand so well now the complexity of self doubt.  It makes the brush strokes weak, it makes the voice unstable, it makes our moods droop like wilting blooms trying to reach the sunlight.  To take another artist's message into our own story is a risk.  I don't mean pointless, we do learn from others, but somewhere we have to let it be the supporter in what we do, not the maker.

Oh, but what a wonderful world we live in today.  I get to come hear and blabbel endlessly and maybe never find it again after I leave this site now.  Or I will read or see something that will trigger a thought that will lead me down another path to somewhere beautiful through my palette,  One never knows, one never knows.

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