At the beginning of June, the director of Beauregard Gallery, Kathy Donnelly, asked each one of her artists to write their personal quote with a red sharpie next to their favorite quote in a book titled "Art Is The Highest Form of Hope" & Other Quotes By Artists. Kathy's reasoning was that all of us are in the same family of artists and our words are just as important as theirs. For they too started someplace for the first time, filled with passion, wonder, and inspiration.
I took the book back to my studio and poured through the pages for hours, day after day, reading each quote, then re-reading my favorites... I was amazed at how similar we all think and feel. How we pour our souls onto the canvas or through our lens. How we allow our inner self to appear on a canvas completely vulnerable, expressing our interpretation of our daily lives. For art truly does imitate life. It is why we paint, sculpt or photograph. It is our release, our mystery that surrounds us. And little by little we let go of something personal; a freedom that we are lucky to abandon onto a canvas. It leaves us with a smile or a tear, both of which are most fulfilling. Dorothea Tanning was quoted as saying " Art has always been a raft on to which we climb to save our sanity."
It is with this passion, intuition, and perception that an artist is able to give hope. One's soul can sing with complete freedom. Pablo Picasso had said "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life" and Jackson Pollock said "Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is." An artist must abandon oneself truthfully each and every day in his studio to be real. As Vincent Van Gogh said "One must go working silently, trusting the result to the future."
My best experiences in my studio are when I spend hours and hours working on one specific painting completely losing myself in meditative thought and all sense of time.
I recently visited the Museum of Modern Art to see Robert Rauschenberg Exhibit "Among Friends". I noticed one of his most famous quotes (not in the book) but printed in large letters on the exhibit wall. It said "The role of the artist is to see what is in the world today. My whole area of art has always been addressed to working with other people, ideas are not real estate; A life long exchange of ideas." His ideas came together by a collaboration of creative artists, musicians, writers and engineers while adding his personal experiences and exposing his soul. For me, I will continue to work among my artist friends collaborating ideas and thought as well as studying the artists that have influenced me throughout the years. And as we collaborate new techniques and ideas together, each one of us will add a piece of ourselves; our soul singing through the paintbrush, expressing our world today onto the canvas.
On my return from the museum, I stopped at the Gallery with the little black book in hand. With the red sharpie, I wrote my quote down on what would have been Rauschenberg's quote but writing on the MOMA wall would have been a bad idea! So instead I found Jackson Pollack's quote ""Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is." There beside his, I scribbled "My brushstrokes evoke my emotions, exposing my inner self onto the canvas, telling the stories of my life."
With a feeling of hope and wonder, I closed the book. And as I walked out of the Gallery with thoughts of my muse swirling inside me, my creative energy consumed me. Struck by my desire to reinterpret events surrounding me, I set forth to abandon myself onto the canvas. And just like that, my new series of works began...