Sunday, August 9, 2009

Variable Views 8/09/09

Art and works of art do not make an artist, sense and enthusiasm and instinct do.

Friedrich Von Schlegel
Welcome to my briar patch.
Hurry and....
The other day I had a brief conversation with a woman out on the sidewalk We don't know each other well but during our chat she asked "Are you an artist?" When I said "Yes" I thought about the paintings and drawings in my apartment, but I also wondered what there was about me that would cause her to think, in those few short moments of talking with me, that I'm an artist.

While I lived in New York City I had the privilege of studying with some excellent teachers. One of them was an inspiring old curmudgeon named Marshall Glazier. He had us drawing the model life size, on a piece of shelf paper, with a can of ink and a pen shaped bamboo stick. When I first entered the class I thought it was silly because there is nothing permanent about rolls of shelf paper, nothing to show what I've learned. But I soon got into the process and discovered that the act of drawing was the instruction. It brought out in me the invisible things about art, the things Von Schlegel speaks of.

Given the right surface an artist can make a beautiful drawing with a mud puddle and a stick. A sculptor can make a work of art out of some stones and a hammer. There was a street drummer in New York who played with his drum sticks on the mail boxes and parking meters. I think of the most primitive examples of the artist's output: cave paintings, scrimshaw, poems written on the walls of prison cells, an actor's audition.

Fortunately for the world, artists have a vast amount of materials to work with these days. But tools are just what they are, tools to use. The tools do not make the art. They rely on the imagination of the artist to use them. They rely on the artist's "sense and enthusiasm and instinct" to know how to use them, and so does the artist.

Now, when I work on a painting, I start with an idea, apply my sense, enthusiasm and instinct, the invisible things, the truly creative things of my being and let the process of painting tell me where to go and what to do. It's the same with writing. They are complimentary sports.

Be a cool breeze for someone today.
Test thrice Albert. (5)
Splish Splash - this one'e easy.

Below is a list of waters. Your mission is to tell me which one of them does not belong on this list and why.

1 right answer so far.

Arctic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
Bering Sea
Bristol Bay
Buzzards Bay
Cape Cod Bay
Chesapeake Bay
Delaware Bay
Gulf of Alaska
Gulf of Mexico
Hudson Bay
Lake Erie
Lake Huron
Lake Michigan
Lake Ontario
Lake Superior
Long Island Sound
Massachusetts Bay
Pacific Ocean

Good luck


a corgi said...

I agree with you, DB, about given the right surface, what an artist can do; there's a group of artists that make music from trashcans (metal) that perform at Disneyland. They do quite well making a melodious sound


Janice said...

Maybe it's because Long Island Sound is an Estuary or maybe it's because Cape Cod Bay is so awesome it's in a class by itself.
When you start a picture to you see what it is your going to draw/paint. As, say a scene or a person, or do you imagine it in your mind.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

So many canvases, so many ideas, life can seem so short.

Wes said...


I enjoyed you entry and needed to read something like this.

What a life you've lived, one with Art. I often wonder if i could have made it as an actor? I never really tried painting, even though the canvas has called.

Before I ramble on for ever, I will stop my self.

I stopped by to say hello and to see how your doing.

I made a promise to myself, it was to read all my friends blogs. I started at the bottom this time. It has turned into many hours, and is late to me.

So, i will come back to read your entries very soon. I'm struggling to go to bed, let alone get out of it these days.

I wish you a good week my friend and hope all is well.


Beth said...

I enjoyed this. To what extent is the creation part of the creator, and vice versa? Hugs, Beth

Bonnie Bonsai said...

I come back to try Arctic Ocean for an answer. This is the only body of water being covered with ice and is beyond the territory of the USA.

Hope I am right. Please let me know, if I am. :)

As to arts and artists, it's symbiotic. One can't be without the other. On the other hand, ain't we all artists?

Think about this: It's only Maths and its divisions and all components of Sciences that are considered exact; all the rest are ARTS.

So therefore, anyone who deals with arts are ARTISTS, not just a painter, a musician, an actor .... even the Politicians are ARTISTS. They are called Con Artists.

salemslot9 said...

have you ever invited someone over to your place to see your 'sketches'?