Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Lessons Learned - Now I Have a Choice

Ann Rea - Artists Who Thrive

After many years with all my art education, I was forever attempting to navigate my way through the art world, figuring out what I could and couldn't accept. I found relatively few answers to my questions, in spite of how much formal art education I got. If I didn't want to pursue an art career, I didn't think I had any other choice or option. But I know now, I do have a choice!

 Sadly Universities provide next to no information for artists to survive within the art establishment, and I believe more importantly, how to thrive or support themselves through there art work. It was my opinion you might survive if you were a man, or if you were willing to do a lot of ass kissing. Neither was an option I wanted.

Ann Rea has been the one person I found affirmed my way of thinking, and provided practical suggestions to apply to making and selling art. I can not say enough about her, and the work she does to re-educate artists who simply want to support themselves creating art work that they love to make and that has value  over and above the art they make. Finding this out was a confirming enlightening moment for me as an artist.

This recent video she posted on her site, Artists Who Thrive, about Canadian artist Linzy Arnott, I couldn't find a more compelling reason to opt out of the 'art establishment' and become a fully immersed in the the 'new creative class' that Ann Rea advocates.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Spider Woman - Louise Bourgeois

Maman - Louise Bourgeois

 Louise Bourgeois born in 1911, was ahead of her time.
Although she never referred to herself as a feminist until later in her life, as she was born before this term was coined. She was a remarkable woman and artist, living well into her nineties, who thrived creatively I think, because she was willingly open about her life and the painful experiences she endured, growing up in a traumatic household with an abusive father, and no doubt an unhappily married mother, whom she loved very much, considered her to be her best friend, and who always encouraged her daughter creatively.

I am certain she spent much of her time feeling alone and isolated with her thoughts, which translated into her work as a prolific artist who understood the importance of solitude,which was transformed into deeply influential creative work. 

" Solitude, a rest from responsibilities, and peace of mind, will do you more good than the atmosphere of the studio and the conversations which, generally speaking, are a waste of time. "

" You are born alone. You die alone. The value of the space in between is trust and love. That is why geometrically speaking the circle is a one. Everything comes to you from the other. You have to be able to reach the other. If not you are alone…" Louise Bourgeois

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Kamal Al-Solaylee

Author Kamal Al-Solaylee says brown people around the world share identity as source of cheap labour. (Gary Gould)

Author Kamal Al-Solaylee gave the best interview I've ever heard regarding discrimination and the profiling that exists in the West, surrounding brown racial identity. Particularly in light of the whole political atmosphere in the U.S. with Donald Trump being the presumed Republican incumbent for coming presidential election.

The clarifying points he makes are incisive, and insightful. I listened to this interview twice. The second time was better than the first as I listened even more intently. If you get a chance, I would recommend that you listen to it twice.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sagging Panty Hose and Graduation Day


As a creative kid with an over active imagination, I was pretty typical as a young student in public school. I was bored, had little to no interest in the main stream lined education being offered, and was generally a 'bad' student. I could hardly wait to get out of there, and that's just what I did. Never did I ever imagine myself then, what I would be doing in the far away future, as an adult, but I did want to go to University, but never excelled academically.

Four years ago, I was sweating in a graduation gown, walking across the Mount Allison University Convocation Hall stage, with badly sagging panty hose. It was Graduation Day. It is hard to believe it was that many years ago, and I'll never wear panty hose again!.

 As a mature student it was pretty surreal. I felt like I'd really finally arrived as a mature adult, and was more than ready to gratefully be among the Fine Art Graduates at Mount Allison University. I truly was the best day of my life.

I found this link on line about education and the statement was made that all education is self-education. It is also life long learning. You can have degrees up the ying-yang but still not have a thirst for learning. You can go through the motions of obtaining that piece of paper, but if you don't have that innate desire and passion for learning, it's really a waste of your time, energy and money.

The internet offers immediate access to endless free open source education from Universities world wide and provides a really exciting opportunity for any one to learn in the comfort of you own home or space, and you'll never have to worry about walking across a stage with sagging pantyhose.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Donald Trump Is Just Made of Worm Shit Like All the Rest of Us

Anthony Atamanuil and James Abomian

 Until now I've refrained and yes avoided getting into the Donald Trump 'discussion' and brew-ha-ha. Because I find it all very surreal, and I'm sure like most people, was hoping and waiting for him to go away. But he just doesn't. The media is inundated with his obnoxiousness blow hard presence, and I am Trump tired!

Call it my coping mechanism, how I face the horrible, almost unbelievable fact that this man is running for president and that people are actually supporting him.  But I don't want to discuss all that, and so my other coping strategy is to use humour to divert my attention from this actual diabolical Donald and all it's seriousness, and just keep it light, funny and even a bit fluffy, kinda like The Donald's hair. I think that's a lot healthier, and well satire is a great way to diffuse all the Donald goings on, and keep the nausea at bay.

These two comedians, Anthony Atamanuik and Jame Abomian are exactly what the doctor ordered this morning while I was gulping copious cups of coffee, listening to the radio, contemplating my life and the serious state the world.

 I don't put my faith in politics or politicians, never have, never will. Three things that I take seriously is making sure I have a sense of humor, try to practice humility and a have love of humanity.

If Donald Trump was worth his salt, he'd know he's just made of worm shit like all the rest of us.

Donald Trump might think he deserves to be awarded for being in the lead.
This is the only award I'd be willing to give. My apologies to any of you sensitive types. I couldn't help myself, the Donald made me do it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

What's Your Purpose Over and Above Your Art?

Obama Visits Landscapers - Ramiro Gomez 2012

I first heard about Ramiro Gomez today on CBC this morning. He greatly impressed as a person who has found his purpose over and above his art. Something that is reflected in the subject matter of his work. Being only 29 years of age, and seeing a young artist who is so connected to himself and his identity makes me feel happy, hopeful and inspired.

The art establishment and the art world definitely needs more artists like Ramiro Gomez.
He is both humble, honest, with a deep social conscience, and his art work has great integrity.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Hope In Action

It the midst of so many problems throughout the world, plus natural disasters, like the wild fire in Fort McMurray, Alberta and in other parts of Canada, the knowing or perhaps not knowing, what to contributes to these events, may seem irrelevant to some.

First and foremost compassion is needed, putting aside all the political discourse and agendas, that will only antagonize an already disparate situation. After this, at some point, as human beings we do need and want to know why things happen. We try to either make sense of what has happened, needing to find some kind of meaning within these events.

It is essential that if we can know the antecedents or causes, then hopefully we can either find solutions or take preventative measures for a better future ahead, in being prepared so we can adapt. That said, hope alone is not enough. There must be hope in action.

Life can change and does change in the millisecond. Places and things can be replaced, but people can't. And what's most important in life, is our relationship with others and how we love our fellow human beings.

Educating ourselves, is key to change, so we can prepare ourselves as much as possible for dramatic change that we need to adapt to. Much of life is beyond our control and we can quickly drive ourselves crazy worrying about the people, places and things that we can't control. Learning to wear the world as a loose garment and to let go, is a very important life lesson, which I know is easier said than done.

Lately I found I kept coming back to a Ideas program I heard with journalist, social-scientist, and human rights activist Kevin Bales who wrote Blood and Earth. Frankly it shocked me, and would have left me feeling pretty hopeless if I hadn't heard his hopeful message of hope in action.