Friday, January 29, 2010

How To Deal With Gallery Politics.

I recently committed my time to volunteer at a local art gallery. this is not a privately owned art gallery. This gallery I am volunteering my time in is a very well known non profit organization that has been in my city for about 80 or so years I have been told. So many people have been involved here promoting and working with the local artists of the community. So I need to spend some time talking about this experience here on this forum of mine. Hopefully some of you readers will be open and give me some feedback on this subject. I think as artists we all will deal or be confronted with some of the issues I am starting to experience. Hopefully we can come to some resolve and solutions I might be able to be a positive influence for these wonderful folks here.

As I get started here I start meeting these board members that make the decisions of where the monies that they recieve from the city are allocated to create an atmosphere that promotes the arts here in the part of town they are located. I hear from them the passion they  feel. After 40 years of being involved in the arts I can still see the fire in their eyes....they eyes are the windows to their souls...hteir souls bleed fr the arts. They still want to make a difference. They still have love for their passion or passion for their love. However you look at it they are on FIRE!

With any organization it will have what I call the 10 percent rule. There is always a person or persons that like to make life interesting. For some reason they want to go against the grain. Going agains the grain is ok if you are making a stand for the positive...going against the grain to distrupt a positive flow is not very healthy for growth. How can progress be achieved if there is not some sort of cohesiveness. How can ideas be shared and agreed upon if the group collaborating do not communicate. Lesson learned. How do I convince these people they are going to be fighting an uphill battle if they are always going against each other. They are worried about control and who is right rather than trying to figure out how to reach the new unknown community they are now a part of.

This gallery was always located in a community where it was catering to middle to upper income earning filks. People that would tend to have disposable incomes. People use to going to art galleries and events. They were spoiled with regulars that like to show off and buy art as a fad. Now they have moved into a very urban area. They are in the middle of very ethnic diverse cultures. They are a very conservative contemporary gallery now trying to figure out....HOW? How are they going to reach these folks. They do not have a clue. No one on this board is hisanic, asian or black. they need to reach out to them and find these artists. They need to look within the community and research and look locally at the talent within to attract new clientel. These people that are in this community are hungry for art and getting involved. This is the only gallery here in this community and they need to take the bull by the horns. GREAT opportunity. They can be pioneers in this part of the city. Convincing them is MY challenge. What the hell is wrong with me?!

I am addicted to showing people what the passion of the artist is all about. Someone told me Art is dead. I read in many articles art is dead. People from other countries criticize america for not having a passion for the arts. I say look in the communities and there you will find people hungry. So there it is. I ranted. I talked. I vented. Whether it makes sense...this will be a topic to revisit again and again.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why Are Artists Moody?

I apologize for not writing in my blog sooner. I did not feel like it. I had a lot going on in my head. I was filled with anxiety and did not know how to release it. Painting only made me crazier. Which brings me to the subject of topic. Why Are Artists Moody.

I guess I have been moody. I wake up sometimes wanting to paint and then immediately I fall into a funk. What a waste of time. I start enjoying my pitty party. I eat comfort food. I stare at the walls, the computer, a book, the back of my eyelids. What the heck is wrong with me. I already know. When artist contemplate what their next theme or project is they focus. they dig deep within themselves to feel it not think it. Sometimes in the process of feeling we sort out some issues in our lives. Then we re-live those areas where we never resolved. Sometimes in the creative process we get so involved in our story whcih we want to express on a medium we start to reminisce the bad memories and lose time. Time is so precious. We can paint for hours on end and not realize a four hour painting binge feels like 30 minutes. The same goes with anxiety. We can fall into a really bad funk and lose track of time. We can sit for hours on end thinking the same though over and over again. We need sometimes to be around other artists to remind us of these "mishaps"

These lapses in time can be very unhealthy. These lapses can drive us insane. So many artists stories have been told where they had a lifetime full of drama and pain and they manifested that experience into wonderful works. So many artists get caught up in depression because they relive these experiences. Artists need to be involved. they need to stay positive. they need to stay busy. Always working through these weird funky times. it doesnt matter if you are moody or not keep working. It is ok to smash an easel and canvas once in a while but keep on working. Keep creating. Keep mixing those colors and arranging that vibe in your soul. THe one thing we have over the regular joe is we are artists and we have a release. We have to use it. We have to remember that this release will save our lives over and over again. If we do not realize it we will surely fall into a really bad funk one day and die.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How To Pay Your Dues As An Artist.

This is a very interesting topic I think for anyone in the art world. Any level of art experience and education can appreciate what we are about to explore here. There are so many views here and knowing the bullshit from reality is something that needs to be cleared up.

I am a self taught artist. I consider myself and artist to the core. I use my medium to express my soul and convey it to the world. How the world perceives my canvas is not my problem. Once my work is out and about I am free. The audience always has an opinion. The public never agrees. We all are unique in our situation and have different views. Our experiences shape our views. Our lives and the choices we make everyday steer the rudder. So with that is the critique we receive from artists, art aficionados, collectors, curators, gallery owners and again the general public. They all have a reason they are who they are and why they make the decisions they make. As artists we thrive and learn from the critique. We welcome it, good or bad.  We receive it "with all due respect". It is a wonderful thing. We have a choice to absorb and digest or throw it away. We can be enlightened or be insulted. We can cherish it, carry it and treasure it or be disgusted and lash back. One thing is for certain, if it is a consistent theme and remark in that critique, then at some point it should be at the very least considered. If this is a random here and there it is a common "what ever floats your boat". At this point we can all agree we cannot please every one in our creations. I can live with that.

What I cannot live with is when an artist tells a peer of theirs that they're not that, "a peer". Why?...Because they did not pay their dues as an artist. WOW! Ok. How do you pay your dues as an artist? Let's start with the educational route. 10k a year(being nice)X 4 = 40k. Yes there will be a great deal of learning from fellow genius classmates and professors. A lot of practical class application. Art history and appreciation. Learning how to prepare a portfolio and market yourself to this tight knit industry based on relationships. That is all very fine for 40k. or more? For some including Masters programs. So these artists paid their dues somewhat. This is a wonderful way to learn if the resources are available to the student.

Mentored and apprenticed artists are very strong. Most of these individuals are naturally gifted people that were hand selected by a higher calling to be the industry leaders. They were born to inspire us. These people were  created to light a fire up our butts to be involved. They were given this natural ability/gift so they can spend the rest of their time teaching instead of learning. Sadly. Very rarely do we see them appear. We all know one. There are two extremes that dominate and a small minority actually finds someone to show them the ropes and the love for the arts. They are either too shy, withdrawn and antisocial, or very arrogant and too good to share.

I call an artists soul their passion. We all have this. We all want. We all dream. Passion is how we get to. The path we take is how we respect each other as artists and the arts. There are fine lines drawn here. We have to recognize them. We all know what they are as artists. Laws have been passed recently to protect the integrity of our work.

A self taught artist is a humble person in most cases. Realizing they have a love for the arts. Buys some supplies at some point in their life. Starts creating masterpieces. Masterpieces in the sense that they delve into their works like it is the last thing they will do on earth. These artists, and they are artists by definition, become addicted to creating and expressing their soul, their life experiences, their tragedies and triumphs. They want the world to see their world inside out through their eyes. they are so filled with excitement. No agenda. No expectations. no dream of fame just dreams of appreciation and thanks. they experiment fearlessly. They were never shown the rulebook so they are not afraid. Colors are just a tool to speak through so traditions and cultures do not apply. Abstract, contemporary, modernism.. etc....are words from the furniture store. They create with emotion and love. If it feels good in the end it stays. If their wives and husbands hate it?, maybe he can give it to the neighbor and make them smile. This is where we lose our focus. Right here. We are doing it to inspire the world to love through the appreciation of art. We want to see the joy in peoples faces when they look at our works. I actually like to see people disgusted sometimes. I get a kick out of it. Our focus is about "Creating to Inspire". Inspire what? Love, Change, Appreciation, Education, Unity, Energy, and so on....the list is endless. So if our world is exclusive this will not happen. If we have restrictions on who has the right of passage? then who is fit to be the judge? Show me that person.  

Monday, January 18, 2010

How Not To Let Your Life Interfere With Your Art.

The title is easier said than done. How do we do this? I don't know. Everyday I fight with this question. I take it a day at a time. We can have so many things wrong in our lives, events and tragedies to get in the way of our creative process. We can have lapses in time where we do not realize that it has been a week since we have picked up our tools that we create with. We always have our lives that seem to get in the way of our true love. We have to always remember we never....never.....curse the events that take us away. We instead cherish the moments we have to create. We relish the seconds we have been given to sit in front of our wonderful easle, drawing pad, creative table and absorb all of the time whether it is short or lengthy. We have to make the best of it and not be so bold and arrogant to think we have tomorrow or the next day to create again. Not to say that we have to rush a piece. I am saying we enjoy and make the best of the time we have. We have to leave the memory of creativity fresh in our soul. We have to let our heart relive this feeling and emotion each and every time duplicating that moment.

Let us consider the recent events in history. Let us ponder on all the lives that are lost in one second. We can see here very serious moments in time. These people were all going about their daily lives as normal as you and I here writing and reading. We can be as innocent and non-instigating and yet peril will find us if it is our time. We can be on an overpass in the metropolis of our great city wherever you are and an earthquake can shake you to the ground. You can be denying that this is just a self help life is too short speach and stop reading this. It is a life is too short speech. There is a difference here. We are artists. We leave our legacy when it is our time. We speak to a deaf world. A blind world. A heartless world. We open the hearts of the souls that are lost. We enlighten children and their parents. We inspire. We are not only creators of art we are creators of inspiration. So for us to waste time thinking of how what and why we are going to a waste of time. So if our lives interfere with our art....let it be so ...if you did not savor the moment the last time you had your creative session?...shame on you.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Is the Rain Inspiring?

I dont know why the rain inspires me so much. I want to express myself in so many different ways. I was at a theme park today and I was enjoying the people. The faces. People are so beautiful and different. People have so many textures and color. We are so diverse in this world. Artist should involve themselves with the public if they want to be inspired. I can just sit in the same place for an hour in a busy section of anywhere and people watch. It is so inspiring. Weird....but yes inspiring. So many different expressions and facial features. so many different colors and attitudes. You can feel what they are feeling. If you look close enough you can see their pain, happiness sorrow. We are all connected and yet we do not realize it. So many of us are so closed minded we do not take the time to say hello or just nod in acknowledgment. For some reason the rain cleanses everything around and makes things more clearer. Washing away all the crap and build up. We tend to be dry and sour in our everyday lives and the rain somehow washes that attitude away. For me anyway. I am crazy I know. This is another senseless rant of mine. My points get lost sometimes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How To Paint Through A Funk

There is no really straightforward answer for this one. I recently was asking my Facebook family this question because I had no idea what to create. Paint an apple. Paint a chair. Not literally. pick anything as a subject for the art piece. At least practice and experiment. What I have been doing lately is prepping my metal backround for my pieces. I add the color and mix the texture with the rust. Sometimes through that process I find that I get some wonderful inspiration. Ideas flow. I start out wanting to paint an abstract and looking at the way I arrange the colors an idea flows. There is so much to paint and so much to express. I dont know why but sometimes I can create a more beautiful piece by just experimenting rather than planning it. If it is a piece that I am doing for myself or for my portfolio I can virtually create whatever comes to mind and no planning involved. Usually when there is a subject I have been requested to paint I have an overall view of what is needed...but ultimately not even the outcome is planned. In such cases I start out looking for a result and I will disappoint myself if I overthink it. The client is always pleased when I experiment.

Approaching the piece as if it is the last one I will ever paint seems to help. meaning that if i give up on the piece I will lose my chance to ever paint again. Force myself to at least start a piece, Arrange the background Get my ideas in order. Experiment. I argue with myself. I talk to my friends. I ask questions. I scream at the mirror. I look at my past works. I always make sure I fill my head with positive thoughts and meditate on everything I see and hear. Put on some music and pray. Yes Pray.

Hey I believe that our creator wants us to create master pieces every time. If this is our gift we possess...then it is a divine gift and we should always know we will be assisted in the process by a higher than high help. We need to understand that our work is very important in shifting the consciousness of people. We need to realize that we are very influential in the developlment of our youth and poeple in general. We can bring peace and love to our world through our art.

So if you are in a funk there is a simple solution. Quit complaining. There was just an earthquake and those people do not care if yo are in a funk or not. They could care less if your painting is not going well.....they do not care about art for that matter. All they care about is survival. We are still very fortunate that we ....wherever you are....if you are reading this...then you are ok and your life is thankful. Appreciate that you are able to be able.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Starting to see the sun through the Clouds

That murky sky is almost clear now. I can see the beautiful stars at night and blue during the day. There is still a slight haze in my weather....somewhat like smog. But I am sure that smog just needs to be cleared by staying away from the toxins in my life. I am clear now as to why I fell off my track. My journey was sent on an alternate course. I am always headed in the same direction...just to stubborn to read the road signs. We will always have "slippery when wet" or "bumps in the road" signs. Sometimes we have UN-avoidable detours but it is a learning experience as we travel that path we are guided through.The scenery has not always been from my standpoint something I wanted to stay awake through. I wanted to sometimes lay back in my seat and not be the driver. Close my eyes and listen to the music but not face it. I should have stayed awake through those drives through adversity.  I now know that we are the ones that decide whether or not our journey can be appreciated and ultimately enjoyed or learned from. I guess we realize this in our due time. For me it has been about a realization that I am here to create for others to appreciate. I have a painting in my soul with someones name on it already. I have to create these pieces in order for these people to receive. So I need to be clear and conscious to realize this fully. I cannot be selfish. I have to think of these people. People buy art or are given art for a reason. For some healing. Usually people connect with a piece of work because it fills a void in their lives..or it calms them from whatever they need calming. Art is not only appreciated but it is connected with like a living breathing entity. Sometimes I will create a piece that I think is horrible and someone will see it and instantly connect with it. So I keep everything now...if I do not like it I put it aside and continue later. Eventually it will click in my heart that it is a beautiful piece. Or if not beautiful meaningful, a story that has been told, an emotion revealed, a poem recited, a void filled. So there is my state of mind. There is my story. If you are having a cloudy day or your skies are full of smog...pull your head out of your you know what and create!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Brain Freeze

Literally my brain is frozen. I cannot seem to think of anything for my submission this weekend. I should have all of this done already. It is a love hate theme. I do not think I will be entering this one. I really enjoyed the time I had with this group event. I will give it another shot today. So many times I go out and crate works that come to me as soon as I start painting. Is it confidence? Is it because i need more confidence. I was told I do not have confidence enough in my work. I guess it shows. What are these people art psychics. They look at my work and read between the layers of paint. Each layer representing what I think. that is up with that. I do not say a word to these people that see my stuff and they already make an assumption about me. As for the confidence I feel very positive and happy. I have not done this sort of thing all my life. I have always created either by drawing or painting. I took sculpting course work in college years ago. I have always had an interest in art of all genres and mediums. I just never took it seriously enough. Now I have attended quit a few events and shows. I have even had the privilege to have two one man shows. As for my confidence....If you are talking shy? I am not by any stretch shy. As for confidence in my creative process.....I will admit I play it safe. I try and not take excessive risks. meaning I do have boundaries. I have always though and felt in my soul that we should not have boundaries in creativity. Content? Well that is between the artist and his own soul. The creative process and technique should always be open. If I lack...and I do lack in so many areas...but the area I would love to resolve first is breaking down those walls and let my flow roll. Create in any form. So brain freeze i believe stems from fear of the extreme experimentation and the risk. I have nothing to lose. Why am I laboring over this? I don't know. I figured if I have an artistic related problem...I should blog and someone of the three people that read this will scream at me with an answer.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Look at what I made!!!!

I have to take the time here for a little reminder for anyone that wants to read this piece. Respect, humility and restraint. I have gotten to know quite a few artists in this very short journey of mine so far. I have met very successful to very humble beginnings. I have met artists that show up to small affairs and are very well know in the industry and yet you would not know they are so sought after ....meaning a piece of theirs would sell for ridiculous prices. I have met artists that offer their advice and soul for another artist to benefit from and offer it as a gift of love and no agenda. Why would someone have an agenda to help someone? Well this is the human race. There are many breads of assholes in this world. There are also artists that are so genuine they are so passive and quiet and just love to be noticed for their work and gracious for the acknowledgment. Then you run into the artist that is gifted and has the ability to be like a photo-copy machine and reproduce exactly what he/she sees in their imagination. This person can make masterpieces out of simple subjects just from their arrangement and composition. Like I said most artists are very humble and loving. Very genuine and classy. BUT....again, this is the human race. Every so often you run across this person or persons that like the attention. GRab it when they can. At anyone's expense. Reminding us how we have to stay humble. They really look bad when they expose themselves. Its like they want to squash anyone else having their day in the sun. We all want some kind of validation or notoriety when we are trying to prove something to ourselves...we look to our fellow artists more than our family to do this for us. We look at our peers to give us support and it is returned. We look for encouragement and understanding of the moment. That moment is yours and should stay that way. If someone were to say"I did this and it was grand!" The natural response is "Awesome my friend, congrats!" NOT..."Oh yeah well I did this...." Why? Why do people want to do this? Why does someone feel the need to do this? Only in their own minds is the answer. And yet I feel so bad for these people. They have something inside of them that is broken. They need some kind of fix so they vent out. They look for answers in their own way. They lash out without knowing they are lashing out. They create a little bubble for themselves. We are already in a bubble so in essence a bubble in a sounds so suffocating! But it's true. They want to make themselves happy by making the happy unhappy. Misery loves company is a truth. We cannot get mad at these folks because they do not know this is what they are doing. All we need to do is love them and listen. Ok I feel better now. Time to create.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

You Are Going To Get A Speeding Ticket!

The only thing in life that is certain for sure and undeniable is death. The journey to get there is what is unknown. Why are we in a rush to get to that conclusion? Are we stupid? I know there are martyrs and heroes that have a pre-ordained destiny whereupon they have a sole purpose in life to give themselves unselfishly and they tend to live a very direct life. Hindsight tells us that when we examined their lives leading up to that date in time for them. the rest of us confused people are walking aimlessly bouncing off of the walls looking for answers. We go to the heavens for the answers looking for the aliens to tell us ...they never answer..or so we think anyway....that is what we are We pray to God almighty to write us a letter or email us...some even wait by the phone. We take medicines and stuff our minds and body with toxins to alleviate the pain of our ultimate demise. We put ourselves in harms way and that of our loved ones hurrying along that fate of ours that we know for sure and are guaranteed. So if we are guaranteed and we know for sure why don't we do something about it. Why don't we make each day so special? Why don't we love so it can be returned. This would be such a great quality of life change for all of us. No. Life is a wheel cycle. We all get caught up in what everyone else is doing. We lose sight that we have choices. I admit everyday I fail because I get caught up in that wheel. I get so wrapped up in the everyday running towards the finish line and in a hurry to get there. At the end of the finish line there is no yellow or white tape to break marking victory! There is a brick wall to stop us dead cold in our tracks. You fool! Why did you run so fast. You ran so fast you passed up that was offered to you. You ran by the love of your life. You hurried right by the special moments I created for you with your loved ones. You totally ignored the opportunities I had waiting for you with so many relationships that could have enriched the experience. But you had to run with blinders on. There is no re-start. There is no reverse. This machine goes full steam ahead. Slowing down is the only thing we have in favor. We can slow down this vehicle on this journey so we can watch for steadily for these small opportunities and enjoy. We can deal with the tragedies better knowing we spent quality time with loved ones. We truly created what we need to create to contribute to humanity our love for art. We shared our soul to the world around us and hopefully enhanced one persons experience with a piece of work we created. Anyone reading this can relate. If you are an artist it is a caling to head to this warning. We are part of a cycle or cycles. Let our wheel be turning in the right positive direction. Let our magnet attract the good not the bad. Love, Create and inspire.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The right side of lala land.

I am changing my style drastically this week. Why?...well frankly I am not happy with my progress. I need to shake it up. I over think. I analyze. I try too hard. I do not let it flow. I want to create something different. I am tired of safe. I am not really worried about what people think because I have nothing to lose. I am excited for this week. It will be challenging and yet very enlightening. I will be creating my work with my left hand. I have never used my left hand in any capacity as a default limb other than driving. I am in my comfortable zone. I have been playing it safe for too long. I guess we are in denial when we say...yes I always try new things. I always shake it up. I have not been. I need too. If using my left hand will somehow open the creative process in my left lobe then I will go ahead and take a chance. It is not like I am a classically trained artist with all the education and experience painting all these years. I am new to all of this. I am taking baby steps in this world, art world. Sure I will get criticized for what I will create. No one will know I am creating this with my opposite hand. No one will know I am changing the course of my creative flow. Only I will know. to everyone else who will view my art they will either like it or think it is vulgar. Just like my right hand is all the same. Everyone has a style and a presence. Everyone has a following. We can all touch someone in this world with our art. We all have our fans. We all have that support group that enjoys what we do as artists. I will look for them for support. They will be my muse. They will give me the back that I need. I am not making sense. It does not matter. Only 3 people read this thing anyway. lol. Not even I read it. I actually writ ethis for the people in lala land. The people that are my imaginary group of friends. I tried having regular friends but they are so human. they are a disappointment. Now my lala land friends are my best supporters. Any way lala land friends....enjoy my art in the coming days and I hope you understood this posting. By the way. If you are reading this...YOU are in lala land. 

It's a Small World After All

Technology is finally being used the way it is suppose to be used in my little bubble. My little bubble called my life. I started a face book page in hopes of interacting with other artists and finding inspiration from like minded people. And I have exceeded my expectations in what I set forth to achieve. There is a very small world of artists in this facebook. I connected with a few artists here and there from some groups and so many have added me from all the groups. It is like a multi marketing campaign yet no one is making money just connections. Everyone is so wiling to give advice and support. It is a wonderful community of artists that truly care of the integrity of each others work and we all respect where we are going with our creative flow. No judgment...and of course if someone gets out of line you can always delete and block. But I tend to think a little healthy debate is fine. We all just to have to be humble enough to put it all into perspective. People are so giving of themselves in the online art community. They are quick to give offer positive/negative/constructive criticisms. It is all healthy! Everyone grows together and learns from each other. I interact with artists from all over the world. Everyone has the same goals. Everyone has the same dreams. We are all in a small bubble called earth. So changing the way the world thinks might not be so hard after all. We can all be an inspiration through our art. We can all reach out to artists all order and move OUR agenda of creating to inspire others. Inspire through art, love and peace.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Create with Integrity.

Something about this year makes me so confident that it will be a creative year. I see so much for me happening in my ever evolving journey I am enjoying in my art. There is so much experimentation I have to make up for 20+ years of ignorance. Not realizing my calling in this world. Art is not dead in my life after all. Ar tis more than just picking up a pencil and paper and drawing something. It is changing the way you look at the world. It is taking the creative process serious and using everything around you to express the true emotions through ideas and experimentation. there are no rules for the creator. There are no rules for the recipient of the gift of art. The person who truly appreciates the visual experience does not care for the rules that are put in place by people who think they are on top of the art universe. We have a heart to create and truly love and create. When we love unconditionally we do not have rules of how we love our loved ones. When we create and express our soul we should not put rules in place to hold us back. As for the integrity of the work...there is an understanding about originality. we should all have a sense of oneness with our piece. Uniqueness with our piece. Just as we are all different our art should have its own identity. We should be fair and give our work their own voice. It should stand on its own. Creating art is a sacred act. We are held accountable for the gift we have. We should experience the journey of discovering our style and own technique. We should learn who we are and give ourselves a chance to let our expression shine through our pieces.  Our work has a purpose. to inspire.