Rising Appalachia in Athens
Went to see/listen to my new favorite group, musicians, artists, poets, singers, sisters; Rising Appalachia Saturday night at the New Earth Music Hall here in Athens. Continue reading
Learning to trust in my eyes. We often hear the expression the eyes are the windows to the soul and they are. Our eyes are the visceral connection to the world. If an image speaks to the gut then there is truth in what you are doing. Piet Mondrian one of the most analytical of the Modernist Painters with his exploration of Neoplasticism still reaches the innermost parts of our soul. Continue reading
To quote somebody, “If I’ld known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.”…Naw..I would have missed all the fun. One of the really cool things about having a birthday that always falls around Thanksgiving (sometimes even on the day) is you get to really celebrate all the things you have to be grateful for.
At what was probably the lowest point in my life a friend demanded I write a gratitude list of at least 20 things I was grateful for. After several hours of writing and crying and with a list of well over 100, I was too exhausted and emotionally drained to do anything but fall into a deep and very, very restful sleep. I am very grateful for and blessed to have all you, my Internet friends, so I thought I should share with this little life saving gift of gratitude on this day.
Now I’m going to listen to the Dead for the rest of the night and if you don’t understand why…well then God Bless you child!
Every project has it’s beginning long before it starts and this painting is one of the seminal works for this 100 friends old and new project. Dogs are friends of the kind we most value because they because they give so much and ask for so little. Miss Beasley graced our life for a bit before she was taken from us. I did this piece back in August and when I went back and looked at last night something demanded to be included it in the project. Who am I to argue with this kind of inspiration. Continue reading
I have been writing about focus and concentration lately because I have lost mine a bit and allowed myself to become distracted by all the pretty little things; all the shiny beads baubles our life presents to draw our attention. Continue reading
I have always enjoyed the challenge of working on a project or series. The real challenge is being open to whatever direction the work takes you. These is the radical changes of execution that keeps it fresh. Continue reading
Frederick Franck is one of the most inspirational artists I have ever come across. His writing and drawings have always left me a better Human Being and artist whenever and wherever I find them. He has allowed me to see the miracle. We can all learn to see the miracle but first we need to learn how to see.
Understand seeing is not looking
Don’t look at a tree and think tree or oak or maple or hickory. Don’t look a a leaf and think vein or stem. These are all labels and once you put a name to something your mind does a wonderful and necessary thing: it stops seeing. We are so bombarded by stimuli in the course of our lives that our brain must find ways to filter and sort the information it is constantly flooded with. Once the mind has decided what something is it can stop searching for it’s identity; we know how to deal with it and we stop seeing. Labeling is vital and without it we would all be reduced to little blobs curled into the fetal position whimpering upon the floor; not a pretty picture for any of us.The miracle of seeing is we can shut off this labeling process. We can see no matter how brief or fleeting this quieting of the mind; the benefits are enormous. Frederick Franck calls drawing, “meditation in action” and it is. In the Kadampa tradition of Buddhism meditation is defined as turning the mind to a virtuous thought and a virtuous thought is defined as anything that brings peace to the mind. Over the next few blogs I will explain and describe exactly how I use this in creating my own work.
You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety.
15/100 friends old and new $100
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©Richard Huston 2013
How do you step into growth? You take chances, you do and art is in the doing. Maslow also tells us to, “Laugh at what you hold sacred, and still hold it sacred.” Kandinsky also tells us in Concerning the Spiritual in Art,“The artist must be blind to distinction between ‘recognized’ or ‘unrecognized’ conventions of form, deaf to the transitory teaching and demands of his particular age.”
I have often extolled the virtues of daily painting and I can think of nothing to advance your growth as an artist than producing a painting on a regular schedule. Growth flows from discipline and commitment. If you do not set goals for yourself and find ways to motivate and push yourself you will be denied the opportunity to grow. You are able to build a confident momentum through success and I define success as the doing. Whether you are successful in terms of aesthetics is another matter and really a function of the conventions of the day. Something Wassily Kandinsky tells us to be blind to.
For this particular painting I started to explore one of my favorite techniques. It is a kind of fresh paint scrape through to reveal the layers of color underneath. I did not start out to use this approach but as often happens the journey ended up taking a different direction. I haven’t used the scrape through on paper much because it can be destructive to the surface. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t use more in the future.
“The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short.”
I’ve been using quotes from Abraham Maslow lately because I find his approach to psychology very insightful and helpful for me as an artist. I think they are also important for anyone who wants to live a full and creative life. Continue reading
I have always had the goal of being present at my own life especially since July 28, 1989 but there in lies another story. Continue reading