The Painting Pundit started out as a blog for art commentary. As I soon learned, there are many bloggers out there. Instead of shunning a new comer, these fellow bloggers have willingly lent a helping hand. They very quickly jumped right in with encouragement and feedback. I have learned so much from each one. And a funny thing has happened for me. I have found a community of like-minded, yet diverse people. These talented bloggers are friends now. I may not meet them on the street. I may not see them at coffee. But they are friends, none-the-less. We may live in other cities, other states, other countries, and other continents but we meet daily, weekly, monthly. We share stories, we share art, we share life.
As the blog goes out, I meet more friends. Comments, shares, likes, tweets, all have come to mean so much. Each represents a new friend. From them I experience life and art in new ways. I learn what other artists are doing. I see what new and exciting things are happening to artists, writers, photographers and other creative people. Once upon a time, artists had to go to the centers of art happenings to see what was new and developing in the art world. Now one simply has to click on a web site, a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter timeline and all the wonderful things artists are doing open right up. It is extremely exciting, this bold new world of art and creativity.
Who knows where the creative world goes next. The creatives have always blazed trails, opened new doors. Anything is possible. One thing is for sure. Bloggers will be on top of the journey, chronicling all developments as they happen. Bloggers are the new town criers, informing, entertaining, illuminating and keeping up with life and art. I am very grateful to have been able to learn from this happy group of voyagers.
All the best to each and all for a very Happy New Year!
“He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, is victorious.” Sun Tzu (from Brainyquote)
For years the museum carries on its function of sharing great art with the world, opening its doors so young and old can enjoy the treasures it holds. Its sole purpose is to give the joy and beauty of art to others. The museum carried on quietly without engaging in politics or giving its opinion. It asked only to continue with its purpose. Without warning it was suddenly thrust into the limelight and held hostage by the very politics it chose not to take part in.
Suddenly this museum is fighting to stay out of the raging battle for the fiscal salvage of the bankrupt city. The PR war being waged basically says that art must be sacrificed to pay the pensions of the city’s retirees. Nothing is being said about how the pensions got in this mess in the first place. It wasn’t the art that did it but the art will be made to pay the price.
Lee Rosenbaum, author of the CultureGrrl at Arts Journal blogs, was interviewed by NPR on Christmas day about this subject. Follow the link for a wonderful interview. During the interview, there were several attempts by the interviewer to engage Rosenbaum in the game of pitting the art against the pensioners. Rosenbaum’s response on her blog was, “Its wrong to put this as an either-or between pensions and art. There are so many other players here. It makes it sound like this mean museum is holding onto its art while people are starving. Its not that.” It may not be that but the museum will still likely lose this war.
As each day goes by it is looking more and more likely that much if not all of the fabulous treasured art of the Detroit Institute of Arts will be sold to pay for the fiscal hole of the city of Detroit. Art has no hope of winning a PR war with pensioners whether or not the art had anything to do with the state of the pensions. This war is best not fought at all. Art has become another victim in this sad tragedy. We can hope for a victory by not getting sucked in to this battle. Perhaps the art will end up in a place where it can continue its role of bringing joy to others. That would be a victorious ending to this tragic war.
On a cold rainy December day, a look back at last summer’s butterflies seemed like a good thing.
“Draw everywhere and all the time. An artist is a sketchbook with a person attached.” Irwin Greenberg (from The Painter’s Keys)
Suppose you are out and about without a sketchbook when suddenly the urge to draw strikes. It’s in your head but you need to record it. What can you do? This moment may never come again. If the image isn’t captured now, will it be lost down the memory hole? Quick! Pull out your smartphone and start drawing right where you are. Record that image. Get some marks down to take back to the studio. How? There’s an app for that. Sketchbook Mobile by Autodesk is a phone app to download for $1.99. Open the app and start drawing with color or black and white. This app is amazingly easy to use. If you are already using this addictive little toy, please share your experience! It would be great to hear how others are using this fun app. Who needs games when you could be drawing!
But look out! This toy is distracting.
“A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great love, joy and health.” Leatrice Eiseman executive director, Pantone Color Institute
Frantically searching through paint boxes, “Radiant Orchid” is nowhere to be found. No “Radiant Orchid” in the watercolor box or the oil box. Can’t find it in the pastels either. Horror of horrors! What if the 2014 Color of the Year can’t be added to new paintings? Pantone has declared “Radiant Orchid” the 2014 Color of the Year. Nothing easy this year compared to last year’s Emerald. Anybody can find some Emerald and squeeze it right out of the tube. Not “Radiant Orchid!” No tube comes with that label. How can an artist paint something to go with all the “Radiant Orchid” furniture, walls, and other interior design features of 2014? The only option is to mix it.
Leatrice Eiseman of Pantone describes “Radiant Orchid” as fuchsia, purple and pink undertones. That could be any number of color combinations available in the average artist’s paint supplies. The quinacradones, magentas, and cobalts possibly added to ultramarine or alizarin crimson. And don’t forget the mauves. The only way to find “Radiant Orchid” is to start mixing. The problem is in knowing when the exact match for “Radiant Orchid” has been achieved. Which orchids are the radiant ones?
But, have no fear! Pantone also states, “An invitation to innovation, “Radiant Orchid” encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.” While mixing the various reds and blues to come up with a personal version of “Radiant Orchid” that “expanded creativity” will be available to draw on. What more could an artist ask? So get those paint tubes out and start mixing. Or risk being undervalued in today’s society!
No telling what will happen with all that expanded creativity. A completely original version of “Radiant Orchid” may be revealed. The new mix can become, as Pantone says, “a dazzling attention-getter” possibly hurling the artist into the glare of a radiant spotlight. Soon everything will be coming up orchids. Isn’t that “everything’s coming up roses?” Not this year, it isn’t. This year, it’s coming up orchids, at least the radiant ones.
For more on the Color of the Year 2014 click on the link to Pantone:
Wishing everyone a happy and enjoyable holiday time!
We’ll be back on Friday.
“Truth is the only voice free of selfishness.” John P. Lasater, IV
There are words that cause a response from the heart. And there are words that feel like the cold slap of a different reality. For the artist seeking to follow the heart, the difficulty can come in finding the balance where the heart and reality meet in harmony. It is a joyful sight to see so many artists answering the call without being slapped down by some description of reality. When profound words stimulate that heart response, it pays to heed them.
While reading the words of artist John P. Lasater IV in an article for The Missouri Valley Impressionists Society blog, I felt that heart response that is the big, “Yes!” Lasater tells the story of how his friend and mentor asked him to do a little exercise. The exercise entailed placing pebbles representing specific abilities in groups based on personal talents and interests, grouping them according to how each felt to the heart. A struggle to listen to the heart can emerge from the process. As Lasater describes the outcome, it can be life changing. Follow the link for the article to read the whole exercise here.
After reading Lasater’s wonderful story, I then ran across another story with the exact opposite effect. Writing for ABC News is Michelle Goodman with an article titled, “Memo to Artists: Don’t Quit Your Day Job.” My first response was, “Bummer.” However, the article has many valid points of practical reality to pay attention to. Once the cold slap of reality abated, it seemed there could be another way. Can the heart be followed while balancing reality without drowning the creative flow? The answer may be in how the balance is achieved.
Some day jobs are more draining of the creative flow than others. Since many artists are not independently wealthy, meeting practical needs without cutting off the energy needed for making art is where the focus must be. And therein lies the difficulty. Perhaps a second exercise can focus on the reality pebbles while continuing to listen to the heart. The heart will point to the day job reality least likely to drain the artistic energy. Some day jobs may even enhance creative flow. The point is to listen. The heart doesn’t lead astray. Follow where it leads. The heart always speaks truth.
John P. Lasater, IV is one of the founding members of Heart of America Artists Association whose blog can be found at:
These cute little guys love the feeder.