Friday, October 29, 2004

In control

In an earlier post, I mentioned some reasons for artmaking and suggested that being in control of one area of one's life is of paramount importance.

To be honest, I thought everyone must entertain similar thoughts, but it escaped me that some ffolks may find greater comfort in routine and conformity - the very thought of being different would be downright frightening.

I do agree that there's some insecurity (okay, a good deal of insecurity) when it dawns on you that you may be flying in a different direction. Always asking yourself if you should turn around, or perhaps compromise a little?

To my great delight, this gem from Robert Genn (check out Painter's Keys)

But even though it may be up to you there can be an ongoing disappointment that your honey is not as good as it could be.
And there's no passing the buck. One of us observed that how an artist might see and feel about his own performance is at the root of a great deal of the grumpiness and prickly defense that
artists put out.
Together with this understanding is the idea that artists need constantly to be in the fight against uniformity and conformity. As Glen Van Ekeren noted: "Creative people exhibit a continuous discontent with uniformity." Taking control implies building your own fortress and fortifying your own building. It's not easy. John Hall said: "I want to be different. Just like all the other different people I want to be like. I want to be just like all the different people and assert my individuality along with others who are different like me." By being different we can grab the thin brass rail of control. Then Joe said, "That puts contentment at risk, but that's when the good life begins."

Not sure about manufacturing of my own wealth though...otherwise I'd paint to match people's living rooms. But otherwise, it's nice to know that I'm not alone being different.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A photographer after my own heart

These photos say what I want to say - go look!

Abandoned Places

These are haunting, lonely and beautiful photographs and truly have a sense of Heiddeger's worlds worlding,

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Blast furnace: A nice place for ideas Posted by Hello

Art making: getting even with the world.

Some people say that they're driven to produce their art.

I can't - I'm driven to distraction more often.

Some people say that it must be nice to have a creative outlet.

"Only if you're a Sunday painter" I say, because the act of creation often stems from frustration and or despair, and I work really hard to reduce those moments in my life.

Artmaking, to me, is prozac. A genuine distraction from the affairs of the foolish. A time to resolve frustrations, not by painting pictures or entertaining tortuous revenges, but time to determine EXACTLY how much respect I have lost or gained from those individuals who populate my life.

A time to relax from disappointments, little and large. They'll still be there afterwards, but I might as well hold something in my hands that, for once, didn't have a committee to approve it, didn't compromise my ideas to make it palatable to someone else, didn't do exactly as I told it too, but came alive and blossomed with a life of it's own.

It IS really difficult to stop, once started, to finish the launry, answer the phone, or go to work.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Defeat (Nonsense) Posted by Hello

There WERE No "Weapons of Mass Destruction"


How much money did that startling discovery cost?

War on terrorism....war on drugs....war war war war war.

It's not going to go away as long as there are people (the only true weapon of mass destruction I can think of).

There's always going to be bullies and victims, whether it be on the school yard, on the highways, in a marriage or in government. There's always going to be the reminder that Mother Nature is far larger and more powerful than mere humans, and that she, too, will take her victims. As long as we remain human, we remain an animal, struggling for food and shelter, marking our territories, mating and reproducing.

And, as long as we are human -

our struggle also gives rise to great literature, great art, great theatre, great music as well.

May grace be with you should you, for one moment today, steer towards greatness.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

0 degrees (or damned close to it)

I read somewhere of an artist who actually prefers to paint dying flowers - and if you look beyond the ordinary - Plant, Flower, Brown - sequence, there is something sad but still beautiful about the shrivelled bloom that once was proud in it's glory.

LIke a childhood in Quebec, for instance.

Or my waistline, for that matter.

Meanwhile, note to self - bring the houseplants in.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Celtic: Sculpture Tool box Posted by Hello

Bonne Fete

I've kept my clay carving tools in a Pampers Baby Wipe plastic box for 13 years. Out of the blue, our accountant gave me a beautiful wooden box and a set of mini-clay tools for my birthday last week.

It was truly the most touching gift - so appropriate. So I made it beautiful.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Life in a Northern Town

I'm not sure what I liked so much about living in Northern Quebec. Probably freedom - we played outside all summer over 5 square kilometres of bush, populated by moose, rodents of a small furry nature and blackflies. There was Glass Hill, Lightning Rock, and a ton of fool's gold to be had. When we got bored with that, we went over to the White Slimes and the Red Slimes before you got to the lake. We were called home in September to get stuffed into school uniforms. It was about a mile to school, and we came home for lunch. Mom always had soup and sandwiches.

Then we moved to Ontario because the grownups in Quebec were arguing. I went back to Noranda in 1990 and they'd put a fence up around the fool's gold because the grownups found copper. The Slimes were off limits because they were tailings pits and probably an eco-hazard or something.

My son was 11 before he was allowed to walk a kilometre by himself, and children arene't allowed to eat peanut butter in public places.

People in Toronto think that Barrie and the Muskokas are "Up North".

I still love soup and sandwiches for lunch.

Rouyn Noranda - Quand j'etais jeunne Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Victory Mine, Cobalt Ontario Posted by Hello

Victory Mine, Cobalt

Cobalt used to burn down every five years. I remember going into a corner store that was built in an old headframe. The shaft was roped off, just behind the comic books. Those were the days - when you were trying to read Archie comics, you could just push your inconvenient kid brother down to the bottom of a silver mine if he bothered you.

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