Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Radiant Child

"I don't think about art when I'm working. I try to think about life." - Jean-Michel Basquiat

"EARLY MOSES" - 1983

I am convinced were he alive, Jean-Michel Basquiat would have been enamored with the sudden surge of people creating art in their journals. Truly ahead of his time Jean-Michel combined words, color and bold imagery that hinted at a deeper meaning. Something to scratch at until it bled. In the movie, "Basquiat" there is a scene where he approaches Andy Warhol in a restaurant and asks him if he would like to by some, "ignorant" art. When questioned, he responded, (link) "you know, like stupid, like ridiculous crummy art." This made me laugh as on the surface it seems self-effacing but if you think about it, how freeing is it to already say to yourself, "I'm going to create crummy, ridiculous, stupid and ugly art."  The pressure is off, there is no expectation to create some masterpiece just the void left where true expression can bubble forth.

While I find the movie a little pretentious it still has its moments but if you really want a wonderful view into the man they called, "The Radiant Child"  I highly recommend you watch the documentary that was released about two years ago by the same name.  I found myself charmed and fascinated by an artist that I never truly paid attention to before.

"Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump" - 1982
So open your journal page, better yet, get some canvas, paper, board or piece of wood and create a journal page you can hang up on your wall.  In the end, your expression - your view of the world and your place in it - should be seen and felt even if the only person who sees and feels it is you.

"What is it about art anyway that we give it so much importance? Artists are respected by the poor because what they do is an honest way to get out of the slum using one's sheer self as the medium. The money earned, proof, pure and simple, of the value of that individual, the artist. The picture a mother's son does in jail hangs on her wall as proof that beauty is possible even in the most wretched. And this is a much different idea than fancier notion that art is a scam and a ripoff. But you can never explain to someone who uses God's gift to enslave, that you have used God's gift to be free." - Basquiat Movie

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New year, new endevours

Mobile Art Box

I’ve been quiet for the last few weeks. Lots to do with the coming new year: Children off from school, my own job becoming hectic as well as some personal issues that resulted in getting myself hooked up to a heart monitor. (I’m fine, if you’re wondering). Anyway, lots of reasons why it was best to put the blog on an impromptu hiatus but I’m back and ready to kick off the New Year with some pretty cool things to share.  Two of these things I can’t currently share as I have to wait for the people involved to give me the okay but let it be said now that it is full of art and positive vibes and I’m excited to be part of it.

One of the things that I can speak on that I will be doing this year is hosting something on my blog as well as artjournaling.ning.com that will involve creating an art/visual journal out of a composition notebook. This of course is not a new concept but it’s been a long 7 month process of answering the question: Do I really need all this “stuff” to create something that holds meaning and is aesthetically pleasing to my eye? 

This is something I hold close to my heart.  When I asked the question, I was actually answering it for my daughter, who is a very creative soul. How can I look at a 10 year old and say, “Well, you’re going to need some gesso and some golden acrylics and if you’re going to get watercolors best to get the Winsor and Newton ones.  You can ask your parents to buy them for you, right?”  Obviously that’s not exactly encouraging or motivating. The same can be said for adults who perhaps are not brave enough or financially secure enough to justify buying expensive artist grade supplies. It’s a scary world out there, when certain industries have picked up on the fact that there is a market for those who enjoy journaling visually and have decided to make bank on it! What is a person to do?   I’ll tell you what you do – Ignore them all and do your own thing!  And that, my friends, is what I hope to encourage others to do.   So, stay tuned it’s going to get interesting up in here.