Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye… it also includes the inner pictures of the soul. — Edvard Munch (Virtual Art Academy)
A few days ago, I visited the Contemporary Museum of Los Angeles (MOCA) and saw and enjoyed Henry Taylor Side B show. The exhibition was a retrospective of Henry Taylor’s work—primarily portraits. The work, The Screaming Head, 1999, stopped me. Similar to Edvard Munch’s work The Scream, where I felt fear, panic, and anxiety down in my soul. Taylor’s screaming head, I got the absolute frustration and angst the artist must have experienced as a black man.
“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get the work done. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you’re not going to make an awful lot of work.”
Show up… An Advice for me. I took a bit of a break from drawing. Mike and I are snow-birding in San Diego. The weather has been great; while not drawing, I am working in Second Life. I am enjoying that digital world. Art is still front and center, and my work seems to be expanding but yet following a path. I am surprised myself by the direction. After deliberately studying color, color is slowly growing and being more prevalent in the images. The colors I am using are very limited, which is a problem, and puzzle. The Micron pens are available in green, ultra-blue, orange, brown, blue, purple, black, sienna, and red. I think I chose a very odd media. I am convinced I will not seek a gallery to show or sell my work. The body of work is building, but there are so many artists who technically express themselves so much clearer, but I do like documenting my work. Happily, I began this blog and avoided investing a lot of time building a <a href=\”https://mnartists.walkerart.org/\” data-type=\”URL\” data-id=\”https://mnartists.walkerart.org/\”>MnArtist, Walker Art Center</a> site. After many years, they are changing the focus and intent of this site. Sadly, many of these artists are losing years of blogging and expressing their ideas. I don’t think the Walker Art Center gave this enough thought. I believe it disrespected the artist who provided much content to this site and institution.
With art it’s cerebral, but there has to be a time to let go. In any craft, you learn the basics. And then you just go. An opera singer or jazz musician run scales all day and when it comes to performing they just sing or play. So photography was like that, you learn about lighting. You have the rudiments of the craft within you and then you just let it flow.
Ming Smith, member of the Kamoinge Workshop by way of an email from the Whitney Museum, NYC
Perfect timing! Just received an email from the Whitney, as I was examing the importance of intentionality. I believe it can be divided into at least two separate and distinct areas. Craft and knowledge of media and the artist\’s intention, whether it is to express an idea, story, subconscious muse, emotional outburst, an inner feeling.
My intention as an artist is evident. As clear as it was in grad school, a study of reality and perception… in short consciousness. Craft, on the other hand, I don’t know if an artist ever ceases to study the craft and technical aspects of producing art. I told a friend this morning that my retirement feels as if I have returned to college.
This semester has been a mixture of theory, dabbling and learning Blender, drawing, exploring the media I wish to use at this moment, learning more about color, and studying anatomy as taught by Loomis. I am seriously concerned about my grades this semester. LOL.