Thursday, July 31, 2014

Artists Who Fear and Loath their Own Work

So I want to address how you treat your own sweet artist self today.  And to help me with this I am bringing in one of my favorite people to boost me up on a blue day, Bryon Katie.  I have included the partial transcript of a podcast below.



But first I would like to encourage you to read this hysterical article in Cracked.  Most of the writing in Cracked is very funny...this is a great read too.

So the Bryon Katie transcript is about examining your thoughts toward others...but since that will eventually will lead you toward examining your thoughts about yourself...which is what I hope you will do, please read it with that in your heart...because...

Your success or failure as an artist is very dependent upon the thoughts you have about yourself.  So nourish them into kind and loving thoughts with all your might...I beg you.

Here's the transcript.  It's a bit of a read...so extend you attention span for a little while - you'll be glad you did :) 

I have edited this a bit, my own words are in parenthesis and some things are left out...interviewer comments and the like...just to keep things more clear, to the point, and less loooong.

'Till tomorrow!
~Alex

I woke up and I could see clearly that ...when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, and when I didn't believe them I didn't suffer.  And I've come to see that this is true for every human being.
...We (sometimes) just take for granted that what people tell us is true...especially as children.  And that's fine, it's how we create the world.
But the stressful thoughts.  (The thoughts that tell us) there's something to fear.
That is a breach of intimacy. There's no intimacy when we're in fear and there's no love when we're in fear.  (Intimacy and love) it's there - it just that our awareness of it is broken.  So we experience this separateness.
I invite people to identify when they're stressed out.  
(When we) look at what we're believing about our partner (or about ourselves or about anyone or anything else and we are feeling stressed...what is the belief that is stressing us out?)  (Because)...what we're believing, our feelings are the effect of that.
In other words - everything we experience emotionally is the effect of what we're believing.
So we've tried to change our feelings and change our feelings and it doesn't work as long as we're believing those unquestioned stressful thoughts, those thoughts that separate.
We're just...convinced (of some thought that is making us miserable), (but)...as we question them using these four questions, then we're shocked at what isn't true.
And our whole identity begins to change, and every time we question what we believe, our identity shifts, and then we just experience ourselves as kinder human beings because we have dealt with this underworld.
(I want to add here that many of us hang on to our "identities" for dear life.  No matter how much they may be making us suffer - no matter how much our story makes others suffer - if I am stuck in an unquestioning "This Is Who I Am" my mind will not be open to the questioning of stressful thoughts.)
For example; you know the thought “(S)He doesn't care about me.” You think the thought, “He doesn't care about me anymore. He doesn't love me anymore.” “She doesn't love me, she doesn't care about me anymore.” So I would...do the work on that.
I would work on that, and... “(S)He doesn't care about me.” Is it true? Let's see “(S)He doesn't care about you.” Is it true? (And you don't decide...with thinking...is it true?) ...you just open the space and wait. 
You just come up with a yes or a no. You just open your mind and you just very gently answer the question, it's not a huge big deal.
You're just answering the first question from as deeply within as you possibly can.
Now, what your mind did ...what the mind does when asked “Is it true?”
“She's cooks for me, she does this, she does that, duh duh duh, how would I know duh duh.” Ok just notice, notice, now. Answer the question. ("Is it true?"  Yes or No?)
It's like, (if you let your mind take over and you don't just answer the question from deeply within) ...the work stops working the moment you stop answering the questions.
And so all of that logic that was coming out of you, ... we still have war on this planet. We promise to love each other to the death and we don't have a lot of that in our heads (with our egos and personalities).
You know - I say personalities don't love, they want something.
...An ego doesn't love.  Love is our nature - it's our true nature, it's what we are already.  
(But)...we take on this identity, “I need your love, I need your love. I need your approval.” That's what we're seeking...not the truth.
We're seeking love, approval and appreciation.
If I had a prayer it would be “God spare me from the desire for love, approval and appreciation.” It's a full time job, it takes your life over.
And you miss love.
(The friendly universe) Well you know everything is for us, is done for us, not to us.  I found it's a friendly universe. 
You know Einstein said there's only one question, “Is the universe friendly?”
And I just fell into this awareness, this realization, that in fact the universe is friendly and I have been testing that for 23 years, and so far so good. It is ringing true.
So, in my world any time anything is unacceptable to me, I look at, my mind judges that to be a negative thing.  Not ok.
I'm going to feel stress. Because it argues with the true nature of everything.  That's Negative, and so we feel it.
(Because) you're at war with what is, you're at war with your own true nature. So I invite people to identify what they're thinking when they're feeling that stress.
And to put it on paper and to put it up against these two questions. In other words to work that concept, to work those concepts - to work that thought.
...“(S)He doesn't care about me?” So can you absolutely know that it's true? - that he doesn't care about me?  Ok so, about you.  So you just get very still with that and notice and commit to a yes or a no.
And notice how your mind wants to go nuts with logic.
You know, people, forever, have wanted the mind to stop. “Just stop, stop, I just want to stop my head.” You know, people kill themselves, they commit suicide, because they can't stop their heads.
And it's just too painful and it looks like the way out.
But the way out is in.
And you know, I did suicide enough years, and it was, you know, I obsessed over it - I was so depressed.
...So I died of the self, and this work ... is for anyone that is open to it and wants a way out.
So we're going in.
So the Yes or No, that's it.
But this work, ...what it equates to is the truth and it is the truth that sets us free.
So if we go back to the thought on, “(S)He doesn't care about me.”
And then we ask that third question “How do you react, when you believe that thought, what happens?  And get still with that one. 
How do you react when you believe the thought “(s)he doesn't care about you” ? What happens?
And you see the effects of what you're believing, how you treat him/her when you think that thought, how you treat yourself when you think that thought.
And the addictions that happen, that's the effect of believing this stressful thought. And it's not right or wrong and it's ok to believe it.
We're just looking at the effects of mind and the world it creates. And we begin to understand that it is the mind that creates the world. 
And who would you be without the thought “(S)He doesn't care about you?” And to just get still and look into that space only without the thought.
So we find opposites, “(S)He doesn't care about me.” turned around “I don't care about him/her.”
Now that can be very shocking, and your mind might go “Well, that's not true!”
And then you look at everything you've done for him/her and how you've sacrificed.
And then go back to it and look again.  Find examples, of how you've lead him or her to believe that you don't care.
Like where do you punish? and where do you apply guilt? And then get specific, and then make amends for it, for your sake.
And because when we make amends, we find examples, and make amends for it, it raises our awareness.
We're more aware the next time it happens. And we already have found we don't, that's not us.
That's not the us that we live well with, that there's guilt in it and guilt, that's hard, that's really hard, it's a busy mind.
So.. if we don't know... we need to do the work with, on what we're believing about them.
How irresponsible of me to see you as irresponsible, you know that's your path. It's necessary. And how unloving of me to see you as unloving. ...We can't get away from it.
...Attack is attack. And when we attack what we don't understand we never come to understand.
...When) we turn these around they're huge (She doesn't care about me." is turned around to) “I don't care about me.”
And to find the ways that maybe you, the way you treat you, could be less caring than what your partner is living toward you.
And probably is, you know, if we are not our own best friend, how can we expect them to be?
...And we're so hurt when they're unkind, and look how unkind we are to ourselves.
And .... maybe we can't change our partners - but we do have the opportunity to work with ourselves.
... and I don't expect anyone to love when I don't love, or anyone to be caring when I am so uncaring. ...I'm just having a love affair with myself and working on me, and people are calling me kind, and...I'm doing nothing more or less than just self-love and it is...it's a full time job.
(So another turn around to "She doesn't care about me" is).. “(s)he does care about me” and then to find examples yes, ...(even though she or he is doing that seems uncaring to you - no matter how mean...no matter how thoughtless) it doesn't mean that they don't care about us, it just means he or she is believing their thoughts. That's all anyone is guilty over.
I work in prisons where I have worked with people who have murdered many many people and people who have burned down homes with their wife and children in it.
They were believing their thoughts, and if we believed the thoughts that they were believing, then we would be there too. It's like, what are we believing?
What are we believing that is costing us our freedom, our birthright which is happiness? And basically (is costing) the awareness of our own true nature which is love?
... suffering is nothing more than the denial of that.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What is Art?


Lightening Field - Walter De Maria
My husband Mark suggested that this is a very controversial question...What is Art?  At some point in time he noticed that this topic sparked tons of conversation in LinkedIn or Twitter...I can't remember which. 
 
Recently, I was reminded of him telling me about this.  We were in a museum last week, the Western Heritage Center on the way back from visiting the town of Sturgis, South Dakota (pre-motorcycle rally madness, mind you) and one of the displays was one of these:

 
The sign on this pile of rock was this interesting sign:
 
 


if you can see it...maybe not...but there is a sentence in this sign that says "Since the purest form of art is art that is not made for a purpose, but rather is an action a person is compelled to do, they represent this action: the motivation came out of idle time...they were created to enhance the lives of us plain folks by people unschooled in the formal practice of art and art history."
 
So Stone Jonnie Art - there you go.
 
So the photo of the lightning at the beginning of this post is there because I wanted to talk about Walter De Maria today.  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia :)  is this:
 
     Walter Joseph De Maria (October 1, 1935 – July 25, 2013) was an American artist, sculptor, illustrator and composer. He lived and worked in New York City. Walter de Maria's artistic practice is connected with Minimal art, Conceptual art, and Land art of the 1960s.
     LACMA director Michael Govan said that "I think he's one of the greatest artists of our time." Govan, who worked with De Maria for a number of years, found De Maria's work "singular, sublime and direct."
So, Lightning Field is De Maria's best known works and it is an outdoor installation of 400 vertical stainless steel posts which give all sorts of interesting optical effects at different times of the day and night and also attracts lightning.  It can be seen in New Mexico and is maintained by the Dia Art Foundation...this from their site: 
Commissioned and maintained by Dia Art Foundation, The Lightning Field is recognized internationally as one of the late-twentieth century's most significant works of art and exemplifies Dia's commitment to the support of art projects whose nature and scale exceed the limits normally available within the traditional museum or gallery. 
Incidentally, I found this photo on a wonderful website which every artist should know about (IMHO) called Daily Serving - An International Publication for Contemporary Art

So that is all I have for us today.  What is art to you?

"Till tomorrow!

~Alex


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How Artists Make Time to Make Art

This is such a question on my mind this time of year.  August is fast approaching and my work is in three shows in August.  Many of you trying to get into even one show will be thinking that this is a good problem to have.  It isn't that I'm complaining.  Not in the slightest. 

I love this time of year.  I will be meeting past collectors and future collectors at two of the shows and the other show I simply cannot make it to.

This weekend you can find me and Mark in Colorado Springs at A Celebration of Horses Through Art and Music - an all equine art event and fund raiser with filmmaker Ginger Kathrens of the Cloud Foundation.  I hope you will come by and see the show and watch Ginger's presentation about our country's wild horses.  We would love to see you there!


The very next weekend is the acclaimed Sculpture in the Park in Loveland, Colorado.  What a show it is and I am looking forward to seeing past collectors at the Friday Patron's Party and am very excited to meet future collectors of my work during this this weekend long fabulous event!  I will be talking more about that in a post next week and about the American Women Artist's show that I will be unable to attend.

Which brings me back to the title of this post.  How Artists make time to make Art.  Some artist are diligent about making time to make art every day, (I have never met one, but I hear tell they exist) as is suggested by Alan Bamberger on his site Artbusiness.com.  But Alan - though very involved in the business art world - does not say he is a practicing artist in his bio on his site (although, he could be one...).  On artist's Dan Johnson's site Right Brain Rockstar there is an excellent guest post from artist Michele Theberge who also has a great site called The Mindful Artist.  This post suggests using mindfulness to cope with distractions. 

This time of year I need mindfulness to cope with not losing track of what my own name is.  I would love your stories of the strategies you use to keep your busy self in the studio.  Help me out here.

I'm going to try again tomorrow.

talk with you all then!

~Alex

Monday, July 28, 2014

GUESS who painted these ??? No fair peeking!

1908, Le Viaduc de L'Estaque (Viaduct at L'Estaque), oil on canvas, 73 x 60 cm, private collection
Still Life with a Bunch of Grapes - Georges Braque
Still Life with a Bunch of Grapes, 1912

1909, Port en Normandie (Little Harbor in Normandy), oil on canvas, 81.1 x 80.5 cm (32 x 31.7 in), The Art Institute of Chicago

Are you thinking Pablo Picasso?? 

Picasso this Picasso that.  He was not the sole inventor of cubism as so many people think.  He is probably the most celebrated artist working in one of modernism's most well known movements - but he alone did not construct this new type of painting which was derived from a re-imagining of the works of artists such as Paul Cezanne.

This is the work of Georges Braque (1882-1963).

This from WikiArt:

The development of cubism came shortly after Braque met and began working with Pablo Picasso, in 1909. Both artists produced representative paintings with a monochromatic color scheme and interlocking blocks and complex forms. The summer of 1911 was especially fruitful for the artists. They painted side by side in the French Pyrenees, producing paintings that extremely difficult to differentiate each other’s paintings. The ultimate result of their time together was the development of a new style of painting, Analytic Cubism.
The two artists worked closely together until the outbreak of World War I, upon which Braque joined the French Amy and left Picasso’s side. After his return from the war, in which he was seriously wounded in the battlefield, Braque moved away from the harsh lines and sharp pointed complexity of the cubist style, and instead began to paint pieces with bright colors and eventually return to the human figure.
Although he departed from his harsh lines and forms, Braque never abandoned his cubist style. Whereas Picasso freely painted in many styles, from representational to cubist, surreal, and abstract, Braque held true to his fragmented forms and simultaneous perspective. By the time of his death in 1963, he was regarded as one of the elder statesmen of the School of Fines art in Paris, as well as in modern art.
And so interesting this is to me.  To learn of the evolution of different artists in history.

Glad to be back writing to you this evening.  I hope you had a fabulous weekend.  I will be in Colorado Springs this coming weekend at a show and I hope if you are in the neighborhood, I will see you there.  More on that tomorrow!

'Til then!

~Alex

Copyright information about the images used on this site:

(if I have at any time deviated from these principles - I extend my deepest apologies and will remove the image in question)

Fair use rationale:
  1. it is a historically significant artwork
  2. the image is only being used for informational and educational purposes
  3. the image is readily available on the internet
  4. the image is a low resolution copy of the original artwork and is unsuitable for commercial use
Artworks protected by copyright are supposed to be used only for contemplation. Images of that type of artworks are prohibited for copying, printing, or any kind of reproducing and communicating to public since these activities may be considered copyright infringement.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Happy Friday

My technical difficulties are continuing and I will have to put my daily blog writing on hold until Monday.  I have only my ipad to work on at the moment and the blogger app is just too hard for my lack of technology minded self to deal with.  I hope you have a fabulous weekend and I will be back in a few days!
~Alex

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Academic and the Conventional

In the book written by Harold Speed (over 100 years ago) called The Art and Science of Drawing - in Chapter 6 "The Academic and the Conventional" he begins the chapter by writing:  "The terms Academic and Conventional are much used in criticism and greatly feared by the criticized, often without either party appearing to have much idea of what is meant."  he writes on about schools of art, etc., and then says something that makes me think of my own work - for I very much feel it speaks with my own authentic voice.


Speed goes on to write "There is much foolish talk about conventional art, as if art could ever get away from conventions, if it would.  The convention would be more natural or more abstract according to the nature of the thing to be conveyed and the medium employed to express it.  But naturalism is just as much a convention as any of the other isms that art has...been so assailed with.  For a really unconventional art there is Madame Tussaud's Waxwork...they have real natural chairs, tables, and floors, real clothes and even real hair.  Realism everywhere, but no life.  And we all know the result.  The is more expression of life in a few lines scribbled on paper by a good artist than in all the reality of the popular show."

And that's what I think my sculpture conveys; expression of life; the personality of the life and spirit of the animal portrayed.


What do you think about your own art or about the art you collect?  Does it, no matter the ism represented, portray an expression of life?

I will continue to share my favorite insights from this book in the days to follow so stay tuned.  Oh -and sorry there was no post yesterday but there were technical difficulties beyond my control that prevented access to the internet.  It happens.

'Till tomorrow!

~Alex

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

UNCLE!


I have had an Uncle-y month.  Today has been hell-ishly busy...and I feel the necessity of making a meal especial for one uncle visiting even so.  But still there is the matter of a daily blog post.  Another Uncle has come to my rescue (he knows who he is).  I hope you also enjoy this link he emailed to me several days ago.  http://www.boredpanda.com/worlds-most-creative-statues-sculptures/
Hope you enjoy this link - I know I did.  
'Till tomorrow :)
~Alex


Monday, July 21, 2014

Unlimited Power

God help me, I do indeed have an Anthony Robbins book. 

TONY ...yes. 

Well.  I could only wish to have half his energy.  But, you know.  If wishes were horses....

So Unlimted Power is the last book I pulled from my library to turn to a section.  And what I found in Google Images when I put in "Unlimited Power Art" took me on an interesting journey.  I saw a photo of an artist, Alvaro Cardona-Hines standing in front of a painting of his.  This is the image:

 
But that's not the whole story.  Because in discovering this image I discovered something even more interesting. 
 
As you may know, in Google Images you can choose to just view the image or visit the page where the image is located.  I did both and I'm very glad I chose to push the "visit the page" button because it led me to a very wonderful and inspiring blog and I hope so very much that you will visit it.
 
It is contains humble stories of one artist's journey and sprinkled within its pages are many words of wisdom for artists.  This particular blog is written by  .  Her blog is titled High Road Artist.  I liked it very much and maybe you will too. 
 
This particular blog entry was written in February of 2011 and is titled Art Matters: Alvaro Cardona-Hine Answers Why is Art Important?
 
I hope you will check it out and give it a read.
 
So - now lets go to the random-opening-to-whatever-page of Tony's intrepid book, Unlimited POWER ...shall we?
 
Here goes:
 
Okay.  My finger landed on page 214 - right in the middle of the page.  This quote is there:
 
"Where there is no vision, people persish."
 --Proverbs 29:18
 
and the paragraph under that reads:
"Now you should do one final thing:  make a list of the things you already have that were once goals --all the things in your ideal day you can already do, the activities and people of your life you are most grateful for, the resources you already have available to you.  I call this a gratitude diary.  Sometimes people get so fixated on what they want, they fail to appreciate or use what they already have.  The first step toward a goal is seeing what you have, giving thanks for it, and applying it to future achievements.  We all have ways to make our lives better at any moment.  Achieving your wildest dreams should begin today with the everyday steps that can put you on the right path.  Shakespeare once wrote, "Action is eloquence."  Begin today with eloquent action that will lead to even more eloquent outcomes."

I think that is a very good thought to end the day with.  May it make you tomorrow even better than it would have otherwise been.

"Til then -

~Alex

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Artist Inspiration Sunday

I'm back to artist inspiration Sunday.  A little inspiration to get us all through the week.  I tell you what, I can use it too.  I don't know about you - but for me, every summer is so crammed full of activities and family and shows and trips that having enough energy left to create art is sometimes a very hard thing to muster up!

So if you don't know from reading my earlier Inspiration Sunday blog posts, I have a book in my library called Artist to Artist Inspiration and Advice from Artists Past and Present compiled by Clint Brown.  And I randomly turn to a section of it and share with you what is in that section.

This part of the book are quotes about artists and gender and race.

"I believe that it is crucial for women artists to situate ourselves in the context of our own gender, class, and ethnic histories and struggles rather than in relationship to male histories."
-Judy Chicago

"I don't paint like a woman is supposed to paint.  Thank God, art doesn't bother about things like that."
-Alice Neel

"True strength is delicate."
-Louise Nevelson

Shinique Smith in her studio
"Maybe in that earlier phase I was painting the woman in me.  Art isn't a wholly masculine occupation, you know."
-Willem De Kooning

"I find that women can be creative in total isolation.  I know excellent women artist who do original work without any response to speak of.  Maybe they are used to a lack of feedback.  Maybe they are tougher."
-Elaine De Kooning

"All artists, Negro and white, have the problem of making a living, of finding a gallery or a place where they can display their work and often with the Negro artist these problems are attenuated."
-Romare Bearden

Pinaree Sanpit

I love to tell a story.  The history of the United States fascinates me...The part the Negro has played in all these events has been greatly overlooked.  I intend to bring it out.
-Jacob Lawrence

"I feel that women 'and men,' but I mean the 'individual,' can be totally feminine and still be totally powerful."
-Louise Nevelson

"I don't think the quality of being a good teacher or a good artist has anything to do with sex.  I think it's objective:  you either are or you aren't."
-Alice Neel

Alexandria Smith
"At no point do I wish to be in conflict with any man or masculine thought.  It doesn't enter my consciousness.  I think art is anonymous.  It's not competitive with men.  It's a complementary contribution."
-Dame Barbara Hepworth

There you are alone in the huge space and you are not conscious of the fact that you have breasts and a vagina.  You are inside yourself, looking at this damned piece of rag on the wall that you are supposed to make a world out of...Inside yourself you are looking at this terrifying unknown and trying to feel, to pull everything you can out of all your experience, to make something.  I think a woman or a man creating feel very much the same way."
-Grace Hartigan

"I think it would be reasonable for critics to look upon the art scene and ask themselves 'What are women thinking about the world?'...If men seriously said, "What are women?  How are they responding to life as shown in the art?' it would be so interesting!"
-Isabel Bishop


Mona Shomali

"I feel totally female.  I didn't compete with men and I don't want to look like a man!  I love being a lady and dressing up and masquerading and wearing all the fineries.  I'm breaking down the idea that the artist has to look poor, with berets.
-Louise Nevelson

"Historically, women have either been excluded from the process of creating the definitions of what is considered art or allowed to participate only if we accept and work within existing mainstream designations."
-Judy Chicago

So that is it for today's inspirations to start you on the way to a fabulous week!
I hope you have a mountain of creative work and inspiration.

'Till tomorrow ~

~Alex


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Beyond Fear

8 Bits of Wisdom From Neil Gaiman to Graduates on Being a Creator
 
 
Today I don't have any photos of "fearless art" - as that is what I looked up in Google Images.  Instead I found this photo of Neil Gaiman.  In 2012 he addressed the graduating class of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.  I guess his speech was pretty fabulous.  Perhaps you graduated that year and heard him speak.  You may enjoy reading the article about it I found on the web...I know I did.
 
The book excerpt I have for you today is from a book titled Beyond Fear; A Toltec Guide to Freedom and Joy - the teachings of Don Miguel Ruiz the author of The Four Agreements (another must read book IMHO).
 
So opening the book this is what I have for you ...
 
     "Always look first for happiness.  Happiness can come only from inside us.  No one can make us happy.  Happiness is an expression of our love coming out of us.  We are not happy because others love us, but because we love them.  The purpose of Toltec training is to convince a person to love herself or himself.  Everything is here so that we may love it, including ourselves.  When our love for ourselves is conditional, our love for others is also conditional.  Through our woundedness, we first deny ourselves love and then we deny it to others.  Therefore, self-love has to be the first goal.  If you have enough self-love, you do not need the love of another person.  You can enter a relationship because you want to do it, not because you need it.  If you are needy, you can be manipulated.  If we are happy, we do not need another person to make us happy.  We share our happiness, not our loneliness.  Self-love makes us lovable.  Others always move toward the person who is a peace with himself or herself."  (pg. 89)

Oh!  I suddenly thought of Peter Max - who I saw at an art show years ago...he was showing his Heart Series.  Here is one of the paintings from that series.

 

 This is how beautiful one heart...your heart is.  Keep it faithfully - then share :)

Wishing you an artful and love filled Saturday ...and every day.

~Alex

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dog Days of Summer - Day 5

Happy Friday everyone!  Today's book is by Charles Portis and it is called True Grit.  Perhaps some of you have heard of it.

And our search will be True Grit Art.   Let us see what we get in Google Images for that!

Oh funny.  This is my favorite.  It was listed in one of the best of street art in 2011.

It's called True Grit Grin:


Isn't that just fantastic?  You just gotta love it!

And now for our book:

....I have opened to page.........163

Rooster was holding a bottle with a little whiskey in it.  He said, "You keep on thinking that." He drained off the whiskey in about three swallows and tapped the cork back in and tossed the bottle up in the air,.  He pulled is revolver and fired at it twice and missed.  The bottle fell and rolled and Rooster shot at it two or three more times and broke it on the ground.  He got out his sack of cartridges and reloaded the pistol.  He said, "The Chinaman is running them cheap shells in on me again."  LeBoeuf said,  "I thought maybe the sun was in your eyes.  That is to say, your eye."  Rooster swung the cylinder back in his revolver and said, ""Eyes, is it?  I'll show you eyes!"  He jerked the sack of corn dodgers free from his saddle baggage.  He got one of the dodgers out and flung it in the air and fired at it and missed.  Then he flung another one up and he hit it.  The corn dodger exploded.  He was pleased with himself and he got a fresh bottle of whiskey from his baggage and treated himself to a drink."
This is a wonderful book and was a great movie - twice.  My favorite will always be the first one though.

 
 
It is time for me to ride on to other adventures today.  I hope your day has true grit and you love your work and stick to your guns!
 
'Til tomorrow!
 
~Alex

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dog Days of Summer - Day 4

Today Yay - the week is well on it's way to the week's end.  For some of you that's a good thing, for some of you it is a bad thing, for artists it is a mixed bag really.  Today though - OUR BOOK!

It is.......The Art of Power by that rascal Thich Nhat Hanh

An images google search brings up many images after the entry ZEN POWER ART - but one that I really liked was this one:


This is a painting done by Marcia Baldwin called Power Inside of You.

And - as for our book quote today:

.....from page......112

At first, people are infatuated with an image they see as beautiful.  They want to possess this image, and they suffer because of this.  But after they wake up and see that it is a deception, they push away this image to look for another object of infatuation.  They may wander their whole lives, from lifetime to lifetime, unable to find the real object of their love.  But if we can find someone who has a steady faith in her own goodness, beauty, and truth, we can look at this person as a reflection of ourselves in order to return to ourselves and be in touch with the basic goodness, beauty and truth in us."
And, I think with all we create too.

Thank you for reading today and I hope your day is full of the steady faith of your own goodness.

'Til tomorrow!

~Alex

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dog Days of Summer - Day 3

Oh  -  this is just so darn much fun - a book - and image search based on it's title - and a random page transcribed from the book.  If you have just landed on this page - you may want to go back to the beginning of these posts...which would be Monday, July 14.

Today's book is one of my very favorite books, A New Earth written by the indomitable Eckhart Tolle.  First a visual.  I will put in Google Images search, NEW EARTH ART.  Let's see what happens....

 
 
This is known as the Star Tetrahedron or mystical merkaba.
 
Let us now open our book!
 
....and I find that the book is opened to page 77 and here is what is written there:
 
"You want peace.  There is no one who does not want peace.  Yet there is something else in you that wants the drama, wants the conflict.  You may not be able to feel it at this moment.  You may have to wait for a situation or even just a thought that triggers a reaction in you;  someone accusing you of this or that, not acknowledging you, encroaching on your territory, questioning the way you do things, an argument about money....Can you then feel the enormous surge of force moving through you, the fear, perhaps being masked by anger or hostility?  Can you hear your own voice becoming harsh or shrill, or louder and a few octaves lower?  Can you be aware of your mind racing to defend it position, justify, attack, blame?  In other words, can you awaken at that moment of unconsciousness?  Can you feel that there is something in you that is at war, something that feels threatened and wants to survive at all cost, that needs the drama in order to assert its identity as the victorious character within that theatrical production?  Can you feel there is something in you that would rather be right than at peace?"
I just love ET.

Time for me to get on with the day and I hope your day is bright and beautiful and peaceful.

'Till tomorrow!

~Alex

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dog Days of Summer - Day 2

Okay - you may be surprised to know that I don't just read art books.  '*GASP!*" you say? 

No - it's true.  My book library grows smaller these days though because nowadays I am working on art most all the time and have to use my hands to hold tools instead of books...but thank you books on tape.  Audible loves me.

Today's book is called "Growing a Business." by Paul Hawken.  So, of course - starting with a related Google Images search...I shall see what typing in "Growing Art" will...well let's see what that gives us?

Oh well!!   This is just too cool! 

I found this!  GROWING ART! 

It's from the My Modern Met website. 

Growing grass sculpture from artist Mathilde Roussel:








That is just amazing.   AMAZING!   Sorry - I'm a bit blown away.  Takes chia pets to a whole new avant garde level....

Okay - back to the book opening....what will it be???  ah...page 150...
"If you are fearful or grasping of money, your customer, the bank vice president, or the investor will spot this immediately, and the task of securing support will become immeasurably more difficult.  In order to be a growing business and attract capital, you must project a sense that the world is expansive.  Generosity, ampleness, and abundance draw money to ideas, people, and businesses.  This is not a mandate for waste or glitzy promotion.  It is simply knowing that your product or service touches a rich, fertile vein in the marketplace.  In other words, have confidence in yourself and your business.  This feeling will come through clearly in your dealings with people who have money, and they'll respond."
So what do you think?  Does that resonate with you??  How does that make you think about how your represent yourself and your art?  Interesting concept to think about, yes?

Okay - it is time to go on to other things...  TTFN :)

~Alex

Monday, July 14, 2014

7 Dog Days of Summer Inspiration

Every summer I marvel at how incredibly busy my life becomes and were on one hand I wouldn't trade it for the world, on the other hand I just want winter to be here NOW so I can hibernate and relax and languish in art once more.

Perhaps you are feeling the same way.  So I have broken out 7 books from my library to give us all some good thoughts to ride the wave of the remaining months of summer with our sanity somehow in tact.

I am just going to open each book each day to whatever page it opens to and write down the paragraph my finger lands on and the rest of the writing below that paragraph and we'll see what happens.  It may not mean a darn thing to me, but it may mean a whole heaping lot to you.

But first - a photo of a work of art.  Since the book I am opening is The Courage to Create by Rollo May I will do an image search for courageous art and see what comes up. 

Here we go....

Ha ha ha....See there?  This is EXACTLY how I've been feeling these last few weeks!

Ferdinand Hodler-The Courageous Woman
 
Ferdinand Hodler - his paintings are very illustrative and art nouveau surrealistic-ish.  (Take that artspeak!)  I like them.  The woman in this picture has much bigger biceps than I do, but otherwise the similarities are spooky...
 
But I digress.  Rollo May.  Drum roll please....and I'm opening randomly.....ah no.  I don't like that one...something about Stalin.  I'm going in again....ah yes.  Much better.  This is from page 21:
 
"Paul Cezanne strongly believed that he was discovering and painting a new form of space which would radically influence the future of art, yet he was at the same time filled with painful and ever-present doubts.  The relationship between commitment and doubt is by no means an antagonistic one.  Commitment is healthiest when it is not without doubt, but in spite of doubt.  To believe fully and at the same moment to have doubts is not at all a contradiction:  it presupposes a greater respect for truth, an awareness that truth always goes beyond anything that can be said or done at any given moment.  To every thesis there is an antithesis, and to this there is a synthesis.  Truth is thus a never-dying process.  We then know the meaning of the statement attributed to Leibnitz:  "I would walk twenty miles to listen to my worst enemy if I could learn something."
Paul Cezanne
 
 
Day One is done.  Check out day two tomorrow.  We will be opening a completely different kind of book :)
 
"Till then
 
~Alex