Reinvention of the Artist

 

As artists with each brushstroke or each written word, we reinvent ourselves. With each painting and each article or story, we leave behind a piece of ourselves. We are expressing ourselves… we are finding our unique voice.

 

Reinvention through art becomes our focus. Without reinvention, the we repeat ourselves and work becomes stale. Today brings frustration… tomorrow resolution. Today the masterpiece is mud or a jumble of words… tomorrow, the message surfaces and gives voice to our art.

 

The Muse inspires “reinvention,” and we must put actions to that our transformation.

 

Actions to “TaDa”:

 

  1. Practice – We have much to share and we must practice our craft daily to become more convincing.

 

  1. Failure – Each brushstroke or written word is not going to be successful… a good reason to practice.

 

  1. Persistence – Another way to say continue to practice.

 

  1. Failure – Even though we practice and persist, failure is inevitable. Rinse and repeat. Professional athletes serve as good examples. They miss a basket or a touchdown and they immediately get back in the game. It’s persistence.

 

  1. Experimentation – We must step outside our comfort zones and try new techniques. As we do so, we become stronger. Our menu of choices becomes greater and be come closer to that “aha” moment.

 

  1. Failure – Not all experiments are successful, but we learn from these failures.

 

  1. “TaDa!” – That moment when we can exclaim “Look what I just did!” Finally, success.

 

Practice, persist, experiment, (add your own action), and reinvent yourself as you achieve your  own “TaDa” moment.

 

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MYSTERY OF THE LOST PAINTING – STRENGTH-DANCE!

Strength-Dance, Acrylic, 36×36

Previous Post, “Should Artists Donate Their Work?  On February 7, 2017, I posted an article “Should Artists Donate Their Work?” The President of the charity in question read that article. Being damned pissed, he insisted I post an image of the Lost Painting…. “Strength-Dance.”

 

I painted “Strength-Dance” especially for this charity with their theme in mind.   If it had been a small painting, I understand how it could have been easily misplaced. But this painting is 36×36… it had to have been removed from the event. My guess is it now hangs on a wall in someone’s home. It’s not the “Mona Lisa, ” but the mystery deserves to be investigated.  I would be asking the organizers and volunteers for the event the “who, what, when, where and how.”  Who last saw it?  What then happened?  When was it removed from the venue?  Who removed it?  Where was it supposed to have been taken?  Did it reach that destination?  How?

 

I provided an estimated value of “Strength-Dance.”  The value I placed on the painting of $5,000 was comparable to other paintings of that size in my oeuvre.

 

“Strength-Dance” hung in a darkened corner of the silent auction. It was difficult to see it’s true strength and it received no bids. It was then brought to the runway to be auctioned from there. In it’s final hour, it was declared to have been sold. Not true. It was as if the organizers didn’t want it to be sold.

 

I can only hope that the charity has learned from this unfortunate incident and that they will protect future donations and the artists who make them. Like the President of the charity, I’m damned disappointed.

 

Art Showcase: “Going Under” & the Story Behind the Painting

 

Going Under, Acrylic, 20x20x1.5

 Jerry Hardesty, Artist

$1100 – Purchase at: http://bit.ly/2kweyr5

 

Imagine that moment when you jump into the deep end of the pool and realize you’re going under! Or perhaps going into surgery and the anesthesiologist asks you to start counting backwards. All the colors of your reality come together as the sedation envelops your consciousness and blackness is your new reality although you don’t know it. Upon spewing that nasty chlorinated pool water or opening your eyes as if you were reborn, there is the first glimmer of light, and you’re grateful to be alive.

 

“Going Under” is my expression of a journey that I was somewhat reluctant to take. In March of last year, I underwent open-heart surgery due to an aortic aneurysm, a blocked artery, and a bicuspid aortic valve. I now jokingly note that I added a “snort” to my vocabulary. Had I not had that surgery, I would probably not be writing this blogpost.

 

Art – My “Sanctuary”

Sanctuary, Acrylic, 24×24

I have been doing acrylic studies on paper for over two months now. Rarely on canvas. Today, I chose one of those studies to enlarge onto a canvas. Keep in mind, abstracts are very difficult if not impossible to replicate stroke for stroke. Rather, I was recreating areas and colors. If I were to place the study and the canvas sided by side, you could see the similarity.

 

As my title indicated, Art is my “Sanctuary.” More specifically, painting is my “Sanctuary.” In 2006 suffering from depression after my poor health knocked me out of commission, my younger son encouraged me to paint to ward it off. I hadn’t painted for over thirty years. Painting became my saving grace… my lifeline… my “Sanctuary.” Today, it remains just that. My favorite quote is by Cecile B. DeMille, “Creativity is a drug I cannot live without.” If I don’t paint everyday, I become depressed.

 

Not only is my “Sanctuary” an emotional support, but I have created a sanctuary in my home where I can retreat and share my soul.

 

Recently, I have been sharing my soul through the written word (duh, you’re reading some of it, and I hope you follow my blog, “Studio Scoop”). Creating with words is now just as important to me as painting… my “Sanctuary.”

 

I Am An Artist – My Artist Statement

6 Tips for Writing an Artist Statement

There! I said it all in the title, “I Am An Artist.”

the-devils-in-the-details-playing-tenor-sax

See, I painted “The Devil’s in the Detail Playing Tenor Sax,” Acrylic, 40×30.  Therefore, I am an Artist.

That’s my Artist Statement. I wish this short statement would suffice. Unfortunately, writing more than a short statement is a more daunting and arduous task.

So much of who-we-are is wrapped up in what-we-do. The “Artist-label” denotes what I am, but does not indicate what I do, how I do it, and why I do it. Hence the “Artist’s Statement.” According to a Wikipedia article, “writing artists’ statements is a comparatively recent phenomenon beginning in the 1990s.” The same article states that an artist statement serves as a “a vital link of communication between you [the artist], and the rest of the world.” Well, it should.

The question becomes, “why is it so daunting and arduous to write a dynamic artist’s statement?” Like other artists, I would rather be in the studio creating more art. Typically, artists are not writers or even conversationalists. As an artist, I communicate through non-objective compositions on canvas. Furthermore, I am a loner, spending most of my time in the studio without communicating to others. Through my Artist Statement, I need to answer the following questions

  1. What do I do?
  2. How do I do it?
  3. Why do I do it?
  4. What do I want viewers to understand about my work?

Did I answer these questions in the latest version of my artist statement?

I paint emotion.  In my process, I take an idea from life experiences and respond to that idea as I build each painting layer by layer.  I am surmounting the negativities of those experiences and responding to each previous layer with a new one.  Marc Chagall stated it best, “Art seems to me to be a state of soul more than anything else.” [This paragraph answers the “what.”]

I do not wait for inspiration, I paint.  I know the act of painting, itself, will motivate me to be creative.  I prefer vibrant, saturated colors that I blend on the canvas creating a multitude of effects.  I paint with acrylics, house paint, spray paint, oil paint, ink, pastels, collage, transfers, sand, cement, and anything that will adhere to the canvas.  When I engage with my surface, I brush on the paint, scrape it off, knife it on, sand it off, and so much more. [This paragraph answers the “how.”] 

 Finally, I choose a title that compliments the theme of the painting and that is ambiguous.  I want viewers to have their own experience with the painting. [These final sentences answer the “why” and the “take-away for viewers.”]

I encourage you to reread my statement without reading the words in the brackets.

6 Tips for writing your own artist’s statement:

  1. Approach the task of writing with a positive attitude, otherwise you will be defeated before you start
  2. Avoid ArtSpeak, get to the point – avoid jargon, use a conversational style in the first person
  3. Your statement is not static – keep your audience in mind
  4. Take frequent breaks
  5. Have someone, other than a family member, read and edit
  6. Revise, Revise, Revise

I don’t care who you are, my short Artist Statement is: “I Am an Artist!

Hiding Under the Desk to Paint

My resume includes thirteen years as a choir and band teacher at a public high school. Can you believe after thirteen years, my highest annual salary was $13,000?  Poverty level.  Obviously this was several years ago and times have changed for the better, or have they?

It was during this time that I began painting with oils… wasn’t aware of other mediums. On my salary, affordable housing for my family and I was a mobile home. As you can imagine, an art studio was out of the question. When passion takes over, however, there is always a way.

I made do. I had a tabletop easel that I squeezed under a desk. I sat on the floor with my legs crossed and painted from photographs and magazines. My favorite subject was clown paintings. To this day, I still have three of those paintings. Each of my three kids have laid claim to one of them. I enjoyed clipping black and white photos from magazines and newspapers and imagined the colors for those clowns and their costumes. Additionally, I created still life paintings and gave them as gifts.

When I left teaching, I chose a different career path as a manager with a large transportation company. Having sacrificed my need to be creative and the stress of corporate demands may have contributed to failing health and I suffered two strokes and two heart attacks. I survived but lifestyle changes I made caused major depression. It was actually a blessing as my younger son encouraged me to once again take up painting. I did. I now consider myself a professional artist and I no longer have to “paint under the desk.”