Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Gauguin and a bit of Psychiatry

I finally finished reading Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. In need of another interesting read, my wife suggested a book assigned to her by her psychiatry program called "Is there No Place On Earth For Me?" written by Susan Sheehan. I'm only 16 pages into the book but already it's thoughtful, clearly written, and creates good mental imagery in my mind. Plus it deals with my wifes profession of psychiatry, following a patient Miss Frumkin's experiences in and out of the mental system during the 1970's. So why would I discuss psychiatry in my art blog?

Sheehan mentions Paul Gaugin's painting "Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?" . The painting was completed in 1897 before a desperate attempt on his own life that came about from isolation, fear, and poor health. Reading more about Gauguin he retreated to the island of Tahiti partly as revolt to everything that was convential and artificial. Gauguin left his family and five children to pursue his painting.

Despite what his mental condition was, Sheehan points out how his painting showed how alive and attentive he was to his surroundings. Sheehan goes describing how few of us have the genius to transform are thoughts into inspired canvasses or words. We lose this ability as we grow as adults if we don't engage in some form of creative activity. Sometimes I struggle with my painting asking myself what is point - the artist lifestyle doesn't always garner the respect and financial gain as in other more commonly accepted careers.

Craziness or mental conditions does not destroy the creative capacity. I was glad to read the authors acknowledgement of creative ability as measure of genius.

Here's the piece:

Monday, January 15, 2007

Here's a good article written by The Onion. The truth is that majority of enlisted soldiers of our branched forces come from lower income households and sons of daughters of immigrants seeking a better life here in the United States.

On the left is a black and white study of a house across the street painted from my studio window. The colors in the night remind me of an Edward Hopper painting, but I want to stick to black and white to get the values right. Lately, I've been attracted to the glowing light iluminated from houses in the late evening.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Welcome 2007

Another year has rolled around - and when I think that it's 2007 I just say to myself - What? How did that happen? I tend to like to think of things in 10 year fragments and in 1997 I was just getting out of college. The way I percieved the world then, and how I see it now has certainly changed. I'm still doing art and my passion hasn't changed. I just hope I can sustain my enthusiasm and fend of the financial demons that keep telling me I should be bringing in more dough, or what are doing being an artist. I mean common, get real job Jason. ugh.

And thee is a fear that all my work into this series I'm completing is waste of time. All I know is that when I'm in the studio working my mind is calm and craves to engage in the creative process. Seeing a white empty canvas has all of sudden become scary. Here's another piece that's an off shoot of the pixelated-fragmentation series I have been working on. Titled Cuzco Blue, the piece composition stemmed from a photo I took in Cuzco, the ancient Inca capital.