Thursday, June 27, 2019

Transition = Process - Part One

"Art is a process." This thought immediately chains itself to this next thought... together to read  "where nothing becomes something." This quote is borrowed from one of author Louise Penny's novels.I feel that her observation closely resonates with colorist-artist Casey Klahn's assertion that "A good painting never stops communicating."

The only difference lies in the fact that words used in the creative writing process are replaced by brushstrokes in the painting process.Both create a similarly full and equally expressive visual language. Both forms involve the use of composition, imagery, movement, color... and most especially... emotions. Each of these creative devices stimulate the viewer's imagination to invite deeper exploration, thought and involvement.

Like many of you, I have been examining my own process in regards to thinking about... and producing art. I find my creative spirit restless and uncertain as to how to proceed. What do I want create in this closing chapter of my own journey? Do I search for some path that is entirely new... or do I use facets of what I have learned and mastered to provide new connections, or extensions which lead to new learning and expression.

I have truthfully spent time seriously considering new mediums. But I have done before and in every case found myself circling back to oils. I have looked at new subject matter and forms of expression to infuse new interest. I cannot embrace a genre, say abstract expressionism purely for the sake of "breaking away." Although I may admire the results of many artists who excel in this genre, I simply don't have a feel for the underlying motivations to grapple with it.

After much thought, I have decided to launch this new direction using an approach that I have always felt comfortable using. The process offers me comfort because it continues to provide a foundation and framework for my thoughts and principles of learning. I think in layers of related ideas. I try to brainstorm ideas that I can connect into webs of measurable similarity. I refer to this process as Thematic Learning. The process that I employ, I call "Imagineering"... constructing using bytes from my imagination files.

I used the same thematic approach successfully for myself and my students in my classroom. To demonstrate this process... and to get myself off to a start, I refer back to an earlier project that
developed from this model. While carrying out my recess duties, I was drawn to how interested students were to a specific game in the yard that required very little space or equipment... and absolutely NO teacher supervisory involvement. Total... free play, quick decision-making, lightning reflexes, quick substitution and interactive cooperative gamesmanship.

From this simple exciting yard game template, I created my own variation... using canvas and paint... to play... instead of four players, a utility ball and asphalt.

"Fall Four Square" emerged from the extrapolation of (seemingly) unrelated situations and ideas. I think that the end result is successful and requires little or no further explanation on my part. The piece invites you... the viewer to "get a glove" visually and to get in the game.

"Come play in the leaves - if you are so inclined."

                                             "Fall Four Square" - oil on 12 x 12 inch canvas

Take Two!!!.... Roll 'em!

Represents a further extension of the "Four Square" theme on a single canvas... with a "twist". One which even I had not expected. That "twist" created a very valuable lesson... and new direction for my thinking. Such is the stuff of taking the time to look - to REALLY look inward. And then to see  and unlock unexpected joy and new potential.

The subject matter is likely one that most of you can relate to in your own current lives... or early growing up years. What started out as a pretty run-of-the-mill... ordinary still life subject soon took on new proportions and potential for me as I stared at it for (too long) on my easel. I simply became ... for the lack of a better term... STUCK!

What do you see in this initial frame of my new project? Can you see a point of transition... a place where this might move in another direction than I had first intended?

I wonder... and would be interested in hearing your ideas before I proceed to discuss the direction I took. And by the way... the piece... is still in a state of transition - a work in progress!!

Stay tuned...

Good Painting... and Happy Painting ... to ALL!!!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

How Many Thank yous.. can one say?

On this Father's Day, 2019, let me count the ways... using my paintings to express my gratitude and lasting tributes of respect to my very special Mom and Dad. The very essence of  "Who" I am... and aspire to become manifests clearly a living physical testimonial of your undying love and generosity.

"Good paintings" continue to effortlessly communicate. They need no explanation... they are universals. They strike a common chord in the hearts of whoever views them. Simply put, such paintings reach beyond what the eye can interpret... more deeply to the heart and soul of the beholder.

They affirm the old and cliched notion that "a picture is worth a thousand words." Your gifts to me during my own lifetime and during the entire course of my life with you in your home(s) create more words of gratitude than I can offer today.

Let my paintings humbly attempt to offer tribute and my gratitude to you... beyond your earthly presence.

                                                     "Thank you for the Music"

                                         The many forms of music that we joyfully shared... sang together

                                 "August ...on my mind"

The taste of ripening August summer celebrations of foods and birthdays, both of which still linger on my tongue and forever in my heart.

"Keep Smiling"... not just a funny card tacked up on your bulletin board down in your basement "Inner Sanctum" Dad. You taught me to always carry this calling card with me daily and to share my smile... copiously... with those I met along my daily path. It has served me... and a host of others well.

                                   Bountiful Blessings...
                                  Count your many blessings... name them one by one
                                  Count your many blessings... see what God has done.

                                  You taught me by your example... to have Faith -
                                   To believe... and to live by practising it.

                          Happy Father's Day Andrew!!

I am so very proud of the new Father you have become to each of the three new Sherman faces that you have ushered into this life with Melissa. You make all Shermans... past and present
proud. Grampa Sherman thought you special... way back when. You have followed his footsteps to the "T". He had a good eye for Dad talent! lol

Happy Father's Day... to all my Blogging families. Celebrate the Fathers in your midst.... and say your own BIG  Thank Yous in your own special way!!!

Good Painting and Happy Summer Painting to ALL!!!