The Dinner Party

I had this idea to invite all the people that bought work of mine in the past to a dinner party. Artwork is so personal and you don’t buy it unless it speaks to you so I figured that the same voice that spoke to each person would be a voice they all had in common. Getting them all together would be a way to meet that common link and it would make for some interesting dinner conversation.

I am positive that they will find the common voice quickly. Art is not just pretty or interesting or anything else objective. It has a invisible presence that is like nothing else. It has a spirit. Why do people feel compelled to do art? The spirit wants out. Nobody chooses to be an artist. I would have picked an easier career if I could. But it picks you. You do not have a choice. Believe me I think it would be easier to be something else. Staring at the canvas, or bland paper or musical score sheet.. and waiting waiting for IT to come. You can’t force it and if you think you can do it because you have done it a million times before and you are not afraid that it won’t come again, then you are a hack. Art will not be confined to skill or repetition. It has to come on its own terms.

Mel Blanc who drew the bugs bunny cartoons said he was terrified every time he finished a cartoon because he was sure there were no more in him. I feel like that immediately after finishing a painting too. Thats it there is no more. But we are compelled to do it again, We sit in front of the blank and pray “Dear God let it come”
that is what I am going to talk about at the dinner party and I hope they share what is in them that made them pick my work over someone elses. I really want to know.

Painting:

Nikolaos Gysis (1842-1901)
The Liberal Arts and their Spirits, 1878-1880

oil on canvas
(Collection of the Euripidis Koutlidis Foundation)

Change

People want to do something different. Anytime there is a revolutionary idea, soon it becomes normal and it loses its newness. Like Music. rock and roll was a rebellion against elevator music, then disco was a rebellion against rock and roll and then punk was a rebellion against disco and then grunge was a rebellion against punk then techno was a rebellion against punk then luxuria is a rebellion against techno. Luxuria is sort of jazzed up elevator music. So what was once scorned is now hip.

Of course it is the same with clothes and houses styles and everything else. The bottom line is you better change and grow and evolve into something that looks different pretty soon. That is what I am doing with my big painting. Looking for some new feeling idea. That is a challenge. You cannot rest on your laurels. We adore fresh looks. As an artist, your body of work better change at least a little.

This big painting

I am doing this very big mural like painting. Usually for paintings on a grand scale you work out the whole design first then just copy it. Even though this breaks every rule in the mural world, I am doing it one inch at a time. I am just being with it and letting it speak to me. I do not have a finished image i n mind.

I did another painting like this. Three French Hens. I consider it one of my finest paintings. I spent three weeks working on it day and night and what emerged was beautiful I think. Three French Hens started out as a woman standing beside a dresser. Eight million layers of paint later it turned into what you see in the post pic.

I have heard this technique called chaos painting. I call it looking for what the painting wants. When you do that you have to be in the zone where awareness of time is gone. You are just with it.  When you are in the zone you are in total right brain and it is hard to go to the left side very quickly. I cannot talk when I am in the zone. You pray for being in the zone when you are a painter. It is where you meet heaven’s time and you can fly.

Approval

Everyone seeks approval all the time. Everyone wants to be loved and so seeks approval from others. Artists are even more vulnerable to this. First we have this thing in us, this bent that compels us to do what we do. The way we do our art is not a personal choice. I am pretty sure it is chosen for us from the beginning of time. We do art that feeds our soul first.

Because not everybody likes all your work does not mean it is bad art.  Resonation is such a personal thing. There are natural laws that make something look right in our minds and when you disturb those laws it does give you an uneasy feeling. Depending on what is inside of you you will gravitate to the natural law or you will go toward the opposite. People can relate to you or they do not.

Art makes the unseen world visible. So if some art seems really too weird to be called art, just remember there is a  person behind it baring his soul. An artist is just doing what he must do. It is not a choice.