Creativity is a muscle. Desire is innate. Creativity is something you cultivate, work at, strengthen. Desire is the hunger, the need, the "I'm not myself if I don't do this thing". You know it if you've got it. You know what you want. You know when it's real.
Creativity, like spirituality, is a muscle. I think they're the same thing, to be creative is to be spiritual. We are human beings. We work. We sweat, we bleed, we cry. It's not an escape, not real creativity, not real spirituality. It's getting right to the center of the dirt, the difficulty of life, the die hard challenge, and doing and trying and winning, not because you got it right, but because you worked, you transformed a thing. This time you worked. You really showed up and you know it.
There's no easy...full article
It was a gray rainy Monday late afternoon in Charleston, SC. I was feeling a sense of, "Well... I really should be doing something inspired, but I'm not sure what." I decided to pick up a broom and sweep my floor. I felt something would come to me as I'm sweeping, and I'll find some clarity on the next task at hand. Then I sat at my comptuer and wrote the 14 Principles of Intuitive Painting.
Here you have it. Some principles to live by, some things to remind myself as I walk up to the black canvas. Like the North Star, we go in this direction. We may not ever get there, but we always have the bright light guiding us when we need to get on track and focus on our purpose.
1. It is only through the unknown that we can understand the true...full article
I am teaching an Introduction to Abstract Expressionism Painting Workshop Saturday, February 2 and 9, from 9 AM - 12 PM, at the Lambert Gray Gallery, 54 Broad St., 2nd Floor. The workshop is open to all experience levels and will be an overview of abstract concepts and processes.
What makes an abstract painting work? How do I integrate these concepts into my studio practice? How do I open myself to new creative veins while maintaining the integrity of my personal style and vision? How do I expand my knowledge of art and grow as an artist?
This one-day painting workshop will be an introduction to abstract expressionist painting. Artists of this style will be introduced while a brief lecture and presentation will be given on abstract expressionism painting in art history. ...full article
"What concerns me when I work, is not whether the picture is a landscape, or whether it's pastoral, or whether somebody will see a sunset in it. What concerns me is- did I make a beautiful picture?" -Helen Frankenthaler
I don't make a painting for it to be "about" something. I make a painting to create beauty, to enter a beautiful place, to somehow transcend thoughts about a thing and just be... something beautiful. That's the conversation I want to have with the viewer, a wordless conversation, a mysterious dialogue, an unknown communication that somehow hits home. I'm not sure what that is. If a painting is "about" something, if there is a motif, it serves as a point of departure, and I realize what it is about when I'm close to being finished. It's like, "aha! I get what...full article
Every Sunday night at Redux Contemporary Art Center I administer a figure drawing session. I always enjoy the class and find that it is helping me grow as an artist. I feel this is a great way to practice drawing skills, unwind with other artists, and make new friends. No matter where you are with your studio practice or what your artistic goals are, drawing from life, especially the human figure, is always a challenge bringing you back to the fundamental skill of learning to see. It could also potentially open you up creatively in new and exciting ways.
Come join us! Every Sunday, from 5-7 pm, at Redux. All experience levels are welcome and bring any drawing or painting materials that suite your interest.
Looking for the perfect gift for someone who has always wanted to study art? I'm now offering gift certificates for private art lessons! I can work one on one with individuals or in small groups of up to 3 people from my studio at the Lambert Gray Gallery. I'll direct the lessons to suite each individual's interests and goals. I'll teach basic drawing and painting skills while also guiding students toward the exploration and devolopment of a personal vision.
I enjoy working with students of all ages, experience levels and interests. I'll introduce a variety of techniques, styles and approaches to students until they find what works best for them.
We can take a serious approach to the study of art, learning a specific skill, completing a specific project, working in a style of...full article
So what in the world are you going to paint? With so many possiblities, so many ideas, so many choices, what are you going to do?
If I've learned anything, you do one thing then another, and you have no idea what's going to happen. So get over your ideas, get over the details and start painting.
One minute a day painting will teach you infinitely more than all the hours spent thinking about painting. Pick up a brush and start painting, one minute, you'll learn more in that one minute, than you would in all the hours thinking.
I've learned, that you have no idea what's going to happen. Your results will be like nothing you expected. You'll go in a direction, you'll make paintings you had no idea you would make. That's how it happens.
The point of art making, is to be in...full article
"Just keep playing and let the muse back into the fold. Gently now. No searching. No working. No trying. Just let the spirit come back in and don't be greedy. Be ready."
-- Neil Young
Neil Young says it just right.full article
There’s no right or wrong way to make art. There are various degrees of intention, focus and experience. Essentially, it’s how you do what you do and how often that matters.
So if you’re afraid of making a mistake, well you needn’t be because there’s no such thing. Or maybe reframe the way you view mistakes. Get excited about making mistakes.
Art making is an experience, and if you explore you’re bound to figure something out, find some bit of joy, some marvel of your own.
Just jump in. You’re going to grow one way or another, and that’s the reason why you’re doing this. It’s an exploration.
Imagine your most genuine self at the beginning of an adventure. If you launch from this place you’re bound to find delight.
What are your goals with making art? How about...full article
Alberto Giacometti was noted for saying, "If I don't get better soon, I'll have to find another line of work." He said this most of his life. He is one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century and one of my personal favorites. Why would one of the greatest artists of our time say this? He was full of doubt and made great work. He is not Giacometti because he cared about success or fame or wanted to be known as one of the greatest artists of all time. No, he's Giacometti because was so full of doubt that he worked like crazy around the clock for most of his life consistently feeling like he couldn't quite get it, he couldn’t quite get out what was in his head, what he felt, the way he saw things, and thought if he didn't get better soon, he better go do something else....full article
It doesn't matter so much what you have to say, what's more important is how you say it.
Content is like a surprise, "Oh good news, I figured out what this is about." And this usually happens at the end, sometimes long after you've finished the work.
Style can't be taught, it's the magic inside of you. It's the spark that makes you tick. It's the fireworks in your gut, the explosions, the love, the power, the moment it all comes together.
Just because it's visually interesting, it feels right to you, and you want to, is reason enough and plenty validation to do the work. It's enough to make it matter and keep you going to completion.
What's vital is how you say what you're saying. It's about you're own personal mark. It's about letting the world know you were here,...full article
I believe being artist is about asking good questions. It's a lifestyle, in asking questions.
The minute you have an answer is the minute you're done. It's about curiousity and digging into the unknown.
And you don't get breaks. It's an around the clock job in asking questions. Every minute, every second, it doesn't end.
You are informed by everything in your life, every moment, every situation. You're constantly trying to see better, to find something, to understand what it's all about.
It's not about making a product, it's about living a question. It's about walking right into the mystery of faith and staying there, making something somehow someone connects to.
The stronger the work, the stronger the question. That's just the way it is. The more unknown you have,...full article
These images follow me. These ideas, I hold onto them. I wait for the right time to feed them, to give them life. It is the thing that sustains me. I understand that my only responsibility as an artist is to follow my intuition, to follow my gut. That means showing up, which is a tough job if you’re used to running away, which a lot of people are.
These images sustain me. They confirm my life. Without them, I can’t say who I would be or why. My very existence would be futile, like scrambling to make something happen, a dollar short, a minute too late.
The only thing that I can possibly understand is taking the risk to be honest, to be present, to make the decision to act in integrity.
Artists understand that if they are not doing this they are wasting their time, they are...full article
I love a big wild mess. Recently, I worked with the kids at the Mount Pleasant Montessori school making Venetian masks. We took a trip to Venice and made our carnival creations. What fun!full article
I've got a blank slate. I'm pondering the possiblities. The studio is ready for new work.full article
Recently I was interviewed by Jennifer Ervin of Redux Contemporary Art Center. We discussed my process as an artist, my current exhibition of works on view at the office of the Coastal Community Foundation, my figurative drawing classes, a little about me, and my favorite phrase, "Let's start a revolution!"
Let's start a revolution, baby.
Check out the inverview! And big thanks to Redux and everyone there. Much love!!!!
Let's talk about beauty. Let's talk about what makes you come alive. Let's talk about the heart beating inside of you.
How in the world can you listen to it, when you've been so distracted for so long?
That's a good question. That's a good thing to ask yourself.
What is your heart's desire? What is joy? What is beauty?
Let's talk about beauty. Let's investigate what this means. Let's create a new space for which you are safe to explore the possibilities. Let's go one step further into a personal territory that only you know, only you have access to, only you can understand.
To me, beauty is beginner's mind, simplicity, elegance, freedom. Beauty is riding a horse and feeling the rush of wind on your face. It is the joy of discipline, the surge of emotion, the...full article
I'm going to risk everything. There comes a point in anyone's life, where you have to make a decision. Sometimes it takes a lot to see that decision clearly, to see the crossroads, to see the dynamic point of change, recognition and desire.
Move beyond fear, move beyond words... what will it take?full article
I recently installed an exhibition of paintings and drawings at the main office of the Coastal Community Foundation located on 635 Rutledge Ave., Suite 201. The work will be on view until April 20.
The mission of the Coastal Community Foundation is to foster philanthropy for the lasting good of the community. They are committed to taking the broadest perspective of community, as seen through their extensive nonprofit involvement and initiatives. Ranging from arts or health-related organizations to education programming, conserving the environment, strengthening neighborhoods and satisfying human needs, they are connected to the full spectrum of charitable and nonprofit organizations.
Established in 1974, Coastal Community Foundation is a public grant making foundation fostering...full article
It's Dec. 30 and 2012 is two days away. It's a moment of reflection. What happened last year? What worked? What didn't? What do I want to keep doing? What do I want to quit?
I'm setting an intention for the new year. That is skill-buiding and experimentation. I seek to be strong and ready for the inspiring moment.full article
Outside of Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, SC where I have my studio, is a mural that says multiple times, Before I Die I want to__________ (fill in the blank).
Before I die I want to....
become a master draftsman/painter, travel the world, read a lot of books, write a lot of books, live in a tree
What do you want to do before you die?full article
Today I was thinking about inspiration. I said to someone, "I'm inspired". Then later I questioned what this meant.
You see, I don't believe in inspiration. The muse is oh so real, but it's not that easy. It doesn't just come when you're sitting around. It's not something you wait for.
It comes when you're mixing paint. You're caught up in the moment. You're trying, you're editing, you're piecing things together.
It comes when you breathe deeply, and keep going.
It comes when you focus, and hold on.
It comes when you're moving.
It comes after you've gotten over the terror of having having no idea what's going to happen.
It comes, and you know when it does.
So I guess you could say, I don't believe in inspiration. What I believe in is work and time and effort.... full article
I have been studying the etchings of Lucien Frued and what I find remarkable about his work is his honest mark. This inspired me to write the following piece.
An Artist and An Honest Mark
The point is that we are always trying to be honest.
What is important is not elegance or finesse.
What is important is honesty.
When I draw, I think of making on honest line, an honest mark. I am capable of elegance. I am capable of finesse and by all means I believe in beauty for the sake of beauty, love for the sake of love, art for the sake of art. When the sun is shining let it shine, but when it all is done and said, and I think of meaning and why I’m here, it comes down to being honest.
Honesty is the record of my life, it is the mark that tells of the fact that I was...full article
“Without a talent nurtured and perfected, the finest instrument would stand silent.”
There is nothing more sad than wasted talent. Artists have intense souls. When not used it can be devastatingly sad. You know it if you've got it in you. But often times you haven't had the opportunity.
If I ruled the world everyone would have paintbrushes and books.
Well, I don't rule the world. But I do rule my world. And I have a lot of paintbrushes and a lot of books.
If I could teach the world anything, it would be to find yourself in your imagination. Rather than teaching our children the pressures of success, how about teaching them the joys of our imagination?
It's a sensitive subject. As we humans, are sensitive creatures. One thing someone says to us when we are young can shape...full article
Great art consists of 3 things:
1. You own your process. You have clear intention. You know what you want.
2. You do it a lot, then you do it more. You don't give up. You push through all challenges.
3. You put it on the line. You seek an audience. You get it out.
These are the 3 things that make up great art. If you have skill, wonderful, you'll do all of the above more clearly and with strength. If you have time, lovely, you really have no excuse. If you have resources, the more the better, you are well on your way. But if you don't have the right combination of the 3 things above, you will not make great art, and that's the bottom line.
Steve Jobs said, "Real artists ship". He's right. Real artists ship. What he means is, real artists know that connecting with an...
What people aren't going to see are the details. What people are going to see is the soul of the piece. Why worry about details, when they don't matter? Why waste your time? Get into your guts and paint like you've got soul. Be bold and big and real.
Worrying about the details will cause you so much anxiety that you create failure. Failure is not really giving yourself the chance to explore anything. Failure is giving up too soon. Failure is sabotaging the brilliant work that you do when you are actually working from your guts with the fear that it's "not done". Failure is not ever beginning because you don't have time or the right materials or you're skills aren't sharp enough or whatever BS excuse your feeble mind makes up. Failure is doing your laundry when you could be...full article
I have been thinking about what an image is. The word "iconography" comes to mind. I love this word. I like the idea of being an "iconographer", and I think it's a very important job. I think an image is a powerful way to understand who we are and what we feel. An image is a portal into a space in which one can always go. An image is timeless. I think artists are very valuable and talent should never be overlooked.
An image is a window into the soul. My concern is to illuminate through process and media, the radiance, vision and spiritual power of what is within. I make images to stir a dialogue of energy that transmutes through the body. It is not for entertainment. It is to awaken a deep and powerful call of my spirit. I use metaphors to begin the process. I create...full article
My next art exhibit is called, "Fly". I am working with the lovely fashion designer, Rachel Gordan, at her shop, ONE at 478 King St. As I create new work for this show, my thoughts are along the lines of, "letting go and trusting the inner voice". Here is a piece I wrote, as I work through the creative struggles in the search for resolution, and somehow, in the search for myself.
You create a lot and then you edit. You create a lot you don't like and then you get to the good stuff. That's just the way it is. The more you let go of preconceived notion the better your work will be. Sure it's scary but isn't that why we came to this planet earth in this human form? Because we like the thrill. We like the ride. We like the struggle.
When you are really struggling, that's...full article
Quoting Helen Frankenthaler: "A really good picture looks as if it happened at once. It's an immediate image. For my own work, when a picture looks labored and overworked, and you can read in it--well, she did this and then she did that, and then she did that--there is something in it that has not got to do with beautiful art to me. And I usually throw these out, though I think very often it takes ten of those over-labored efforts to produce one really beautiful wrist motion that is synchronized with your head and heart, and you have it, and therefore it looks as if it were born in a minute."
This quote was written by one of my favorite artists of all time, and I agree.
I think good art comes fast. The stroke of a wrist, the gesture, the impulse, as if by sweet surprise. It's not...
Self-cultivation is being alone and getting to know who you are. It is just as important as the act of creative production. You can’t have results unless you have a process. Processing, cultivation and dreaming time for all creative people, and we are all creative people, is essential.
What is it that you do? How can you change your life so you can allow yourself this space? Let’s take a moment to reflect.
Make a prayer to allow yourself this time, this stolen gift. Take a moment to put a blessing for this space in your life on an altar of self-cultivation.
Can you make your own altar? What would it be like? What are your sketchbooks like? What are your journal like? What are your hard drives like? What are your notebooks, bookshelves, draws, boxes and closets like? I would go as...full article
Art is a need of the soul. It is not fun. There is a difference between need and fun. Passion is a vehichle from which one executes this need. It is not the need. I am passionate about a lot of things. I am passionate about art, but being passionate is not the need. Art is not "my passion". It is a need. Discipline is also a vehicle, as is dedication. But they are not the need. Art as "passion", art as "discipline" is different from art as "need". Need is "myself", a way to be who I am. There is a distinction.
Essentially, it is an expression of the "higher self", whatever your understanding of that is.
When I tell people that I'm an artist and they say, "that sounds like fun", I think to myself, it's really not fun. Going to the beach is fun. Dancing at a concert is...full article
I find my inspiration in trees, nature, the source of life, the luminosity that tells me where to go. I'm searching for color, for feeling, for something I don't yet know. I invite you to follow my journey, as I travel within, to find what matters most.
I'm on a journey to myself. What I will find, only time and the magic of life will tell. Join my adventure, follow the magic, support the work as I tell a story of my own. Inspiration, vision, color, dream, feeling, movement, passion... it's flowing... Today is the day. Now is the time.