Saturday, June 21, 2008

Falling leaves not unlike the myriad of ideas that flood my mind.

Going back quite a few years to my stint in Tech school, I recall cramming for a BIG exam. It was the final in my COBOL II course. A few of my classmates and I decided to pool our new found tech knowledge and study together, quizzing each other and the like. Pool being the operative word, what better way than to study while floating around in a big blue pool with a margarita in our hand? So being the creative bunch that we were that is exactly what we did. First we decided to tackle the logic gates, “if this, then do that,” you can get the picture.

I was dead in the middle of responding to a classmate regarding a “Nested If” statement when suddenly everything went quiet, including me. Well actually being truthful about the silence, and unknown to me at the moment, the silence was actually initiated by me. I was mesmerized by a leaf caught just above me on a breeze. It was twisting and spinning downward and suddenly it fell onto a new cross directional air flow and immediately off to the left it went.

My concentration on the leaf and the path it was following was abruptly assaulted . . .by a couple words blurted out by my girlfriend; she was sitting poolside with just her feet dangling in the water. “Just like you artist types, the simplest otherwise insignificant detail and off you go – the rest of us just become invisible.”

I did not realize how easily or how often that happened to me. Nor had I realized that it didn’t happen a million times a second to everyone else.

But it was true, it is true now. About a million times a second my mind is floating from one thought to another cross wind. I could be drawing and suddenly I am thinking about false eyelashes! You know how great false eyelashes look on some women? I can’t figure out how they manage to apply those things with finesse.

My biggest, challenge is staying on point, mastering or being 100% the master of my own creativity. It seems to master me instead. Everyday I am muscled from one creative thought to another --even when I don’t want to be.

Thinking of being mastered by my own creativity, I read a BLOG post someplace the other day, it was about being a “self-taught” artist. I never really think of myself as “taught” at all. I most certainly did not go to school and study art history, nor did I attend any lectures on method. I have traveled to historically important works of art, where I was inspired and moved by what I saw.

I saw the “Mona Lisa,” I was moved by the sheer size of it….. in our romantic mind it is bigger than life. In reality it looked like a postage stamp to me.

I have wondered about the cave paintings discovered at Lascaux, in southern France. By my estimation they are “art”, but who taught the artist…or did the art simply occur spontaneously by the hand of the artist like a yelp when you step accidentally on a rather sharp stone?

I am more of the later, in my own view of me as an artist. I stepped on a lot of sharp stones and out came some art where others might have yelped instead.

Nonetheless, I subscribe to the ideal that whatever you see that moves you is art. The art born of nature, or found in a beautiful smile -- maybe a gorgeous cup of cafĂ© noire resting on a tiny red table outside of a Parisian bistro (that’s a beautiful thing!). It is all art to me regardless of how it came into being.

I am not self taught, but I am an artist who one day in the 60’s just came into being.

1 comment:

christine said...

i think some people are just porous, open to the world, open to images, ideas, influences. we are the self-taught. i watched a movie for the first time in months the other day (sweeny todd, if you're interested) and it felt good. i didn't just seem like a good flick, i felt a rush of ideas and concepts from the cinematography and the costumes and the make up and the next morning i woke up thinking about it and it felt good having visual information flowing into my mind. i realized i'd missed visual entertainment, without realizing it. this is just an example of finding a way to let random things in the world into your mind where they blossom and turn into something vivid and real (sometimes, hopefully). there are scenes in the film that inspire me to deal with the concept of light and dark in an emotional way and especially in an ironic way--you feel terrible but the sun is shining--a more advance concept of that. or, what do you bring to a physical situation with your attitude and mood. can you change things? my point is, if you are open to the world, things will absolutely pour in, teaching us about our environment, place in the world, and withing that our art and how we should express it.
--christine