Welcome to Timeless Rhythms Studio, online art journal! Look at some of my posted art (above), read my entries and feel free to comment on any part of the blog that interests you! Most of my art is available for purchase and I can also be commissioned for a variety of custom painting projects, from portraits to murals. Contact me here by leaving a comment on any post. I look forward to hearing from you in my Timeless Rhythms Studio, online art journal!

Monday, December 10, 2007

A First!

I am on a journey. Perhaps this is a journey of reconnecting to a significant part of me.
Some moments in a life seem to happen as they are, and some happen simultaneously laden with wonder. It behooves us all to be conscious enough to recognize all the moments of our life when they occur... this is one for me:

Recently, I have been commissioned to paint a very special portrait_ the portrait of a beloved animal companion.
In order to keep my client informed of its progress, I have planned to post the portrait's drawing-painting process to my blog. This may happen daily, and posting the progress may also happen more sporadically.

Today, I begin posting with my first, very rough warm-up sketch started last night, and finished this morning. It is of a random puppy from the cover of a magazine. With it, I am simply warming up on many fronts, in choosing this image of canine devotion.
I am inviting you to join this journey; to tune in and watch the progress of this portrait.

The journey begins...

warm-up sketch in pen on paper, 12/09-10/07

Monday, December 3, 2007

Have a holly jolly Christmas! It's the best time of the year. Oh, by golly have a holly, jolly Christmas, this year!

Go to this link on the Portland Art Center website, and scroll down 'til you find my name. The "Almost Everyone" category means that we all help, and/or volunteer throughout the year in some small or large way to support our community art center!

Spend some time exploring the website this time of the year, to get inspired by the Willamette Week Give! Guide. Then, make end-of-the-year tax deductible donation(s) to the organizations and cultural causes that mean good things for you.


Monday, November 26, 2007

E. Dan Barker, artist

E. Dan Barker, the first person to ever walk up to me at a gallery, and in an 'auw shucks'- manner said, "I really like your artwork." E-Dan, as he is known to his friends, is participating in a unique one-week exhibit in Portland, OR, beginning on December 9th, and running until Dec 16th. There will be an opening reception AND a closing reception on the two dates mentioned above. The Mark Woolley Wonder Gallery hosts the exhibition space, for this one week display of the Springdale Art Network, of which E-Dan is part of it all! The unique MWWG's exhibition space is located at 128 NE Russell St., in PDX. Apparently a new curator named Jeremy Tucker, is responsible for this exhibition, as is Chris Tymoshuk _ and as the curator, Jeremy embodies a motivating story of his own beginnings in the art world... more interesting details to follow.

The emerging art collecting class of the Pacific Northwest are WELL advised to take notice of E-Dan's work. His paintings are SO relevant that it is intriguing, no one group of art collectors has begun widely collecting from his expansive oeuvre in the over thirty-five years that he has been painting! Ironically, this is because an artist is "so of his time, that he is ahead of his time..."

E-Dan Barker, will be showing his most recent direction of abstract workings. Paintings that are filled with powerfully thought-out approaches to the influences left to us by the great modern-era predecessors; work that is rife with social commentary! If thinking is what you shy away from, don't look at this powerful painter's messages. You will will not walk away from this outspoken visual conversation without some on ya!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


32 NW 5th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97209 | Wednesday - Sunday 12-6pm | info@portlandart.org | 503.236.3322

PAC is excited to be in the Willamette Week’s Give!Guide 2007. This is a Holiday fundraiser that expires on December 31st! The Give!Guide facilitates year-end giving to a cross-section of Portland area non-profit organizations. We have been doing very well during this challenging time but we still need your help.

This is an opportunity where every donation large or small makes a huge difference. Willamette Week gives you great goodies for any donation $25 or more so tell your friends. The organization that receives the most donations is awarded an additional $1000, help PAC be that organization!

For a $25 donation you get: a booklet of Tri-Met tickets; a card good at SmartPark locations downtown; a coupon entitling the bearer to a free cup of Stumptown French press coffee; a voucher for free samples at Kiehl’s; and discount cards at Cinema 21, Powell’s, Music Millennium, Mio Gelato, River City Bikes, Dragontree Spa, and Flexcar.

The race starts tomorrow! Pass this along to friends and family. Help build the momentum! This is a fun and easy way to get involved. All you have to do is click the link below, follow the instructions and sit back and know you made a difference.

Join The Fun!

Thank you Willamette Week and to all of those who have recently made donations and become members. We sincerely appreciate your support.

To donate or for more information about the Give!Guide go to: www.wweek.com/giveguide.

PAC is a gallery and resource center for the contemporary visual arts. We showcase new art that pushes the boundaries of both form and content from local and national artists at all stages of their careers. PAC’s mission is to facilitate a dialogue between contemporary visual art and the community. As a hub for the arts, PAC is a vibrant element in the literal and cultural center of Portland with up to six exhibitions monthly. As an emerging institution, PAC bridges the gap between the commercial galleries and the Portland Art Museum with its unique and dynamic programming.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Artists all, bring your funding issues forth and rally in support around your community art center


32 NW 5th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97209 | Wednesday - Sunday 12-6pm | info@portlandart.org | 503.236.3322

Dear Friend of PAC,

Portland Art Center has reached a critical point in its fiscal abilities. At this juncture, the organization has exceeded in programing and community resources, yet financial support has not kept pace with the growth and successes of PAC.
In the short term, we need to raise $40,000 by January 1st, and at PAC
we feel a responsibility to our community to be transparent concerning this current situation.
In our efforts to overcome this real obstacle in time, we are presently in negotiations with potential donors who may help PAC through what we are committed to as a momentary challenge. At the heart of these negotiations, is our strong plan for implementing fiscal stability for PAC in 2008 and well into the future.
The current exhibition fund raiser, "PDX Panels," scheduled for December will continue as planned in our commitment to PAC's ability to overcome what we firmly believe is only a brief barrier in the continued success and longevity of growth and development of your community art center.

In the urgency of this situation, please feel free to contact us with contributions as soon as possible, all inquiries concerning the challenge of the day, and your helpful input on implementing long-term development programming for the fiscal robustness of the future of PAC.

Professionally yours,

The staff, PAC Board, and Volunteers

Become a MEMBER of Portland Art Center

Remember First Thursday is tonight, 11/01/07!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Home for the Holidays?

Since making money is the first priority of any self-respecting human being, without adequate support outside of one's self, I have taken on a temporary job for the holiday season. At first offer, it appeared to promise to pay relatively decently, and at a rate I could accept for the time being. The hours also appeared to be something worth doing, but they don't quite seem to be stacking up. At first I thought this might be pretty nice really, yet now I think is it in reality?
Since, I also have a slim shelter resource where my housing needs are concerned, I would very much like to be able to save my earnings for the time-being. Will this be a first in many, many years, or is it not going to make even the barest cut?
For now, the goals stated in the last two posts may be on hold because current employment represents another turn that will require imagination, to correlate it to the goal of employment in the curatorial world of art.
It is too much on my shoulders alone, being thrown from one off-beat, distracting frustration to the next. I sure wish I had a reasonable network of friends and acquaintances.

So far, this all is adding up to the ludicrous. Even so, I must keep on... plug, plug, plug.

The Artist, created in Adobe Illustrator, 2006

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My own responses to an imagined availability from PAM

Since it has been more than a week from my last post, I would really like to just move forward and give myself the opportunity to develop the solutions already in my open letter, with an offer to assist PAM's development department_ by researching and writing a grant that brings artists in as residents, docents, teachers/trainers, to expand their programming and fill in the gaps or extend the dreams of the museum, or to meet their needs, or to fulfill their short or long-range planning.

• I will follow that up with doing the research to learn what the goals and dreams of the museum are, as well as where their strengths and weaknesses are, in accomplishing these goals, etc.

• Interviewing teachers, fine art directors, or their docents are good ways to find out stuff.

• Then, I may make an appointment with PAM’s Director of Development to outline or brainstorm this in person, and leave my résumé.

• Finally I will find a need, and offer to work one day a week or more, if I choose, for free so that I can get a feel for this environment to see if I’d really like to work there!

My assessment is, this is all about having a mutually respectful chance to be heard and seen when applying in the first place.

study after T.H. Benton, prisma colour

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

An open letter of inquiry for the new Director of the Portland Art Museum

I am a new artist in transition to the Portland area since June of this year, having moved from another Western Oregon town in the Mid-Willamette Valley. I have been planning on this move for many years while I have been a full-time single parent. During those years, I accomplished many tasks in order to develop the skills I would need for my new life. It is with the help of friends, that I was finally able to afford my epic moment early this summer.
Upon arriving to the city, one of the first contacts I made was to the Portland Art Museum because this is the institution in which I really want to be employed and pursue my art career.
Yet, as a result of the quality of my employment inquiry experiences, through the website initially, and as well as in person by phone, thus far_ I write this as an open letter from my blog to Brian Ferriso, Director of the Portland Art Museum.

My inquiry is this: why, as a new artist to Portland, would I want to be ultimately negatively impacted by something of a standardized statement: that the PAM is inundated daily by too many artists seeking employment within her walls?
I hope that you very carefully consider that as an outsider and new arrival_ my perspective may offer fresh consideration that is worth your time.

What I think is that here is an institution on the verge of its own success, yet this institution is perhaps inattentively engaged in an unwitting habit of throwing away its own riches!

The obvious solution seems to me_ IF one is inundated with an overflow of offers to help then, why not assign a currently motivated administrator to apply for the size grant that would provide the funds to HIRE all of us educated, motivated, intelligent, and talented 'inundators?'

We can do the menial tasks within the institution to free up the talent at the top, so that you can all get on with the success of the Portland Art Museum, and assert her potential for a real change! Personally, this is my motivation for being employed at the PAM.

Innovatively invest in your institution's success, Mr Ferriso. We are living in times in which it truly takes all of us, to participate in the process of how everything in American society moves successfully toward a quality of life that is again people-centered.

I hope that I will hear back directly from you, very soon!

L'orgie du printemps, oil

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The road to resettling

Having one's own room; home; a place one can lock and unlock the door_ is everything.

Land of Plenty Series, oil

Friday, August 3, 2007

Now a first-timer of First Thursday

First Thursday was a wonderful experience to the extent that there was great receptivity to my work, that all of my business cards disappeared, and that my prices were equally seemingly well-received. Having directly tested my work in the marketplace, I believe that last detail about prices can be trusted...
So naming the reality of the artist/ single-mom in transition from deep healing, to much deep nurturing, into the world of work, etc... One simply cannot finance an American life as a single woman who is NOT, dependent on "male" income-ability_ by compliments alone. Wish it were true. But then how else can a general maturity concerning the desire to consciously surround a life in beauty, occur? What are you worth? These are incredibly worthy thoughts!
A cognizant sense of response-ability is what distinguishes the collector of art from unconscious frenzy trend-following. Art is a tradition of work, rich in history and work ethic that makes room for the entire being in the process of creating, no matter who one's employer might ultimately be; Pope, Emperor, self...
The cost to me to set up my booth is enormous right now. Saying so quite forthrightly, I must respectfully request that one's perceptions which may be rooted in that traditionally pedantic sense of unresolved Puritan shame-reactionism; concerning HOW to define and accomplish the fruits of one's labor, as only looking like the expected mainstream defined sources of work-for-pay_ I forthrightly request these reactions be kept to oneself.

Can American people of socially mainstream/ traditional perspectives begin to do this kind of self-observation consciously?

Ok_right here, right now_ that is that. Stress over everything on the tenuous bridge of transition swallows up one's ability to breath, and get enough oxygen to the brain that could otherwise bathe one's capacity for inspired thought were one able to breathe without undue stress! So, come on America, stop being so insecurely stand-offish about intelligent cultural reflection. Do you like my work? Then, I say, get on with solidly matronizing/patronizing my work_ I have a life to live, and messages of beauty to chorus into the betterment of this world! Reacting can go on ad infinitum, such is the drastic battle of the ego identity in it's false belief that letting go to wisdom, means some dramatically final death... reaction can just be a stuck place, simply put. Trust yourself more_ clearly resolved of reaction!
I am also grateful to have been at the First Thursday in The Pearl street booth event, as I would not have these experiences to respond to, otherwise. For these alone as it turns out, I am the richer, and wiser! You, the onlooker? What have you taken away in your eyes that consciously connects you to your heart...?
Which brings me to the observation that this blog may need to begin an evolution for the purposes of being in a "more" public, professional context: strictly focused on the images for instance. But not to hastily will I adjust this particular detail just yet. One's differences in communication, perception, etc... is so layered and varied, and hence complicated that this kind of switch may be prudent only in the long run after all. This realization too, came about last night as result of the experiences of being there_ thank-you Portland, sincerely!

Waiting, oil

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

First Thursdays for newcomer and ungalleried artists

I have spent a little time since arriving in Portland with some of the painters who regularly keep booths at the Saturday Market. What I have learned from them respectively, is that First Thursday in The Pearl is a good place for artists without gallery representation to show and sell original works, and actually make money.Hence, I am throwing my hat in that ring this coming Thursday since it is the first one of August.
Traditional employment is not panning out with any efficiency, and so my efforts to be a cross-over or cultural hybrid income production-wise are stuck in the inertia of social goo.
Maybe returning somewhat to my true calling out in the marketplace will, if not meet the requirements of the universal life force, attract the support of guardian angels at least...
In Corvallis, I have been blessed for nineteen years to have the benefits of a relationship with a very special matron to my art work_ at ninety-seven, her name is still Hope. Perhaps Portland will be so benevolent. Perhaps a few of my dreams of a community that is seeking my work will begin to come toward what I do, in this bigger pond. To be sure, I am the newbie here, and still dusted with the inner idealism that is most easily preserved in small town life, particularly over thirty years.
As always, there is also the opportunity to be that patron, and pledge a guardian angel's support to my fiscal sponsorship account! Thanks for your continuing or developing vigilance concerning your own educational exposure to art appreciation, and proactive collecting, and for your continued support for all the arts that enliven your quality of life in healthy, and meaningful ways!

Just Another Girl from the Neighborhood, oil

Friday, July 13, 2007


We have been in our first semi-permanent home for almost two weeks. More tomorrow!
It is July 18th, and adjustments indeed to city life take some doing_ the job search goes on. I wish I had the wherewithal to back up enough to be able to see the big picture right now.

Ce Chignon, après Eva Gonzales, graphite

Saturday, June 16, 2007

We did it!

From my observations, since our arrival in the big town/city of Portland, OR_ it would seem as though we may have found handsomely adequate housing in record time reflective of one's status on the economic ladder. More will be shared in the next two weeks, as we begin the larger transition to our new home... thanks for everyone's interest. The journey opens a new chapter!

après Suzanne Valadon, prisma colour

Friday, June 8, 2007

First week out & we return to our former home town for appointments...

The end of the first week, and how I am wanting life to say yes to me! It helps to see people who wish the best for us, and have shown up as new friends right as we are leaving home. All in life is a process... of waking up and letting go.
My anxiety is up, and so are my desires to provide well for us both. How will this transition actually pan out with just over half the initial capitol gone? Not possessing a personal history of social spontaneity or networking at this point, all my panic responses about the great unknown are on alert!
I feel like I am learning the hard way about the sheer magnitude of finding reasonably affordable housing in an inflated metro environment. Easy to see that choices would be greatly helped to enter the game from a much more reasonable personal sense of financial resource in the process of looking.
Why most people acquiesce to paying four-digit figures only in throw-away RENT is crazy! Then the vainly competitive application process saturated with fees giving sheer strangers access to one's personal information as a matter of course _ in "applying" for a much more complicated rental environment is equally unfathomable to the common sense of this country mouse! Is it really a wonder there is identity theft?!
The great illusion of America is her attachments to money... that it is too bad most of her "free" citizens do not more consciously comprehend the basic ideas behind defining a medium of exchange... yet philosophizing right now about the hard facts of finding a suitable dwelling place before the roar of the current machine of big-city housing, may be that which is only drowned out. The realities of finding housing are what they are, and yet talking about it helps to empower, and embolden the spirits of this tiny country mouse in the beginning steps of a new (old) process!!

Summer solstice will be here before we know it in this (modern) crazy world!

L'orgie du printemps, oil

Next time_ gratitude for a wonderful daughter! Gratitude for my own strong sense of self as expressing healthy empowerment!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

First full twenty-four hours in Portland!

After almost twenty-four hours in the big city, for a couple of country mice, I may be making the big compromise and swallowing all pride to share a room in a house rented by a bunch of Reedies for a month! Not bad kids_ just kids! A house full of them_ for the summer!
Living with twenty-somethings again as a fifty-something is not my favorite thing to do anymore, but saving my pennies is more important right now. In our brief time in the city, the feedback we are consistently getting from the young people is that (at basically the same income/resources bracket), if one has some personal standards about housing given Portland's relative housing competitiveness, it seems to be averaging a couple of months finding something that doesn't nickel and dime you to death just "qualifying" for a rental!

The potential in these looming potential experiences brings up issues from the distant past that are truly reflective in those figures who occupy that distant land... sigh-h-h. To them I say that building a successful female life against the grain has its relentlessly tedious hills and valleys! In my moments of personal vulnerability I must voice_ that perhaps these facts are to the enjoyment of those too afraid to confront the status quo and live a life of change. Yet, as I am taking one step at a time_ I will one day financially get to that place my own experiences and awareness will define by doing_ what successful means are for this independent artist, and full-time single feminist mom_ female person!!
Those not wanting to share in the toils today are part of my current pain and inconvenience, and will not be invited to the celebration when my moment comes_ as they want it.

First Steps, acrylic

Saturday, June 2, 2007

First post on the road!!

I am on the road and we are officially out of our home as of yesterday! A new chapter in the great adventure that began before we left.
I woke today thinking about vulnerability_ if only more people would spend time in self-reflection_ there are GREAT things there to discover about self!!
This is a short entry to keep you posted on my moorings shift and what that brings... the images accompanying my posts will continue to be recycled_ that's a good thing in the world of the artist_ like self reflection, there is a lot to discover!!

As always, contribute to my Fractured Atlas fiscal sponsorship account! Listed under...?
"TIMELESS RHYTHMS"_ (like the name of this blog, yes?)!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Selling Fine Art in a small American town

What is that process? For me, it has been an on-again-off-again relationship. As a working artist, I definitely have a reputation. I consider it the big fish in a small pond syndrome. What is now grasped at in the marketing world, and rearranged in whatever way highlights a person's best assets. Sure there are lots of things I am able to say about my own artistic development and personal vigilance over the years of being a citizen of this small pastoral locale, and... there is equal criticism about what isn't supported that is not all lacking in constructive merit.
However at this exact moment, because the sale was hoisted to achieve a certain financial goal_ that of funding a moving deadline that is financially out of my control at this time_ my hands, head, heart, and soul are all overwhelmed with the pressures we face as a hardworking family. There is no let up to the level work I have put in on the intrinsic level of developing a human life from very compromised beginnings, to graduation that meets reality where it is... in all that values quality of human life, there could just be reasonable transition right here, right now. I would just like unstressed sleep, healthy nourishment, some time of deep inner cleaning out of soul and body, and the appearance of renewing friendships that embody healthy relational skills, that could help facilitate with this huge moment of change and transition...

How did the sale go? Stay tuned...

As always, thanks for sponsoring my campaign for fiscal matronage/patronage_ there is a tax-shelter incentive for donor-contributors to the project of a 501c 3- umbrelled artist!

Study after T. Hart Benton,
Prisma color on archival paper

***(Remember all images that are available are listed in detail under the heading: "Details of Available Posted Artwork" on right of blog page.)***

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Artist's Sale

Why do some women turn to art to interact with life?
Are women artists still ignored?
What about their families, if they have them?
How accessible is a healthy marriage, or other healthy relationships in general for women artists in the modern era?
Is material success in their work, and as relational beings also generally possible for women artists?
Can contemporary women artists continue to develop from their/our experiences and gain what is worth passing on to the future of women in the arts?
How does being female continue to affect the ways our art is received or not?
How do our duties as wives and/or mothers continue to affect our abilities to produce our individual creative work?
Are there now any great art movements that our works forge, define, shadow?

Unfortunately, my daughter's purchase of a modest digital camera this past winter did not make it home from her school year, intact_ alas, I am not at present able to post photos of my art sale-in-progress!
I will ask that a borrowed camera "appear." Stay tuned!

My Funny Valentine, oil

***(Remember all images that are available are listed in detail under the heading: "Details of Available Posted Artwork" on right of blog page.)***

Monday, May 7, 2007

Unique Opportunity for Serious Collectors to Advance Fine Arts Collection of Local Painter's Works: Artist's Estate Sale - May 18th, 19th, 20th

Click on image for my ad on Craig's List, thanks!

Also check out my
new painting series project proposal, now in the fiscal sponsorship campaign phase! (To donate scroll to near-bottom of page to: "Timeless Rhythms")_ Thanks again!!
Additionally, click here for samples of my work and trust your responses to connect more personally t0 this work!!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Invoking Virginia Woolf

Stay tuned...

Ce Chignon, après Eva Gonzalès
Une image centrale de ma recherche sur
un artiste impressioniste féminin

***(Remember all images that are available are listed in detail under the heading: "Details of Available Posted Artwork" on right of blog page.)***

In the meantime_
Support my "Timeless Rhythms," painting project :
*scroll down to "Timeless Rhythms" and contribute to my project and U.S. cultural vitality!

Click here for the greatest U.S. Cultural Ambassador since Louis Armstrong

American's For The Arts, Arts Advocacy Day, March, 2007

Oregon's Political Advocacy for the Arts, April, 2007


Thursday, April 26, 2007

A general and urgent call for help

When I was a little girl, one thing I was known for saying was: "when I grow up I am going to leave and find my real family!"
Many years later, after the years of therapy during my own single-parenting years, I have come to the hard realization that what I was trying to be heard to articulate in a child's way of knowing the truth, was that the absence of love inside that family of origin was not normal! That as a child, I was so impacted by the chaotic reality of that primary world that there were no other choices for me to be safe, but to eventually leave. What I did know was that love existed out in the world because I could feel it, so, in a child's way of knowing, I would just leave when the time came to find this love with others who would want me.
I now sadly understand that the there in fact exists in the world, many different expressions that are jaded perspectives on love... that more families come from a lack of whole, healthy love than not, and that chief among this state of world-wide sadness is the negatingly limiting view that: " well, we just get on with our lives anyway."
Without going into the complexity these views represent right here and right now, let us consider this door ajar to be returned to, at another time during this coming next twelve months after I can get my household moved, and can begin my studio work on the painting/ research series that now has earned fiscal sponsorship. (scroll down to "Timeless Rhythms")

This is my call: I need (outright personal) financial help today plain and simple in order to make this move. Yet, the details surrounding the urgency of my need for us, vacillates between the concrete and the abstract, and yet this is a wholly realistic frame of reference taken in context. I have initiated on many fronts over a period of a few years a unique transition from the chosen social isolation when my path into therapy, and new parenthood path began in 1987.
In 2004, as I prepared to turn fifty I initiated, planned, and found the support of my mentor of five years, the creation of a 'return to community' ritual to celebrate this benchmark birthday on many levels. Once I realized this was something that I wanted for this time in my life_ I gave myself to weeks of listening and following inner visions that guided how this ceremony would manifest and express itself.
My vision, her ceremonial guidance and intonement as my witnessing elder-mentor, guided my preparations for such a healing celebratory approach to this life-milestone.

I found inspiration in the work of Karla McLaren, "Emotional Intelligence," and the words of Carol Lee Flinders, "at the root of this longing, reconciling a spiritual hunger and a feminist thirst."
In Karla's work is a blueprint body of wisdom compiled by her training in psychology and study of African culture, in combination with her own healing from a marked experience with childhood trauma. She has made the brilliant connection that in a primitive culture's transparent practice of stealing a young person from all that is familiar to them, lovingly taking them into the natural world to enter their own vision quest for a defined period of time, and then ritualistically returning them to all that was once familiar but is now different as it is they who have changed and are returned to family and community as a young adult, we as modern displaced persons who all share at some point more primitive origins, can look for creatively intelligent ways of healing in our journeys here in this life. Karla McLaren's work reasons wisely that in primitive culture are our own roots for recognizing what is lost to us creatures of a 'removed' modern society. Briefly, and yet specific to my own history, I continue to learn the value of healing this non-ritualized practice in Western culture; that of traumatically stealing a young person's life away through sexual trauma, and then never returning them... could in fact, in my mother's name, as an impacted young child of her traumatized legacy of being stolen away from all that was familiar and was supposed to have protected her_ I could definitely choose to return myself as part of this life healing path I am on. My mother's own experiences of never being returned even to this day, my own many years of wandering lost after the knowing I had to leave if I were ever to find my real family of love, to reaching out and making my own connection to resources in order to do the hard healing work, I approached turning fifty with a sense of recognition for the gift in this milestone birthday. That to act on this knowing would be deeply empowering in the ritualized returning myself to an inner, and eventually, an external sense of community. Briefly, as a result of fasting and sitting with visions over a precursory period of time, I ultimately enacted a series of ceremonies both private and public over a four-day period with words, music, food and celebration that culminated in my fiftieth birthday party! The impact inside me has been powerful!
And yet it has been surreal socially-speaking in the town where I have lived beginning in 1979, since this ceremonial celebration. I have come to believe that I am truly one of the many of those who is pioneering living this path of a consciously healing life. There are no joiners from the community to my circle at this time even two years later. I admit that having a simultaneous desire to leave plays a roll in not attracting people to me, but mine has always been a personal desire to leave. As this has been the place of my healing work, and a place I can be from, where there have been thirty years of opportunities to bear witness with me. Few have shown up, but they are the keepers, wherever I may go from here!
Since my "return to community" birthday, even as my daughter and I have gotten her off to a good college which is now coming to a good conclusion at the end of her first year, I am facing a deadline to get our life moved from our home of seven and a half years, by June 1st. Without the monetary resources to do anything but sit and wait to be victimized by circumstances is unacceptable. In general, this referential description sums up the adult relational context around my life of the past twenty years.
More concretely today, I am looking for a transitional amount of $18,000.00 or greater to move out by June 1st. Then, look around for a home base in a metro environment_ I currently have two cities intuitively in mind. Get settled in and either continue looking for work, or have the good fortune at last to follow an application/ interview process to one or both of these locations. That would definitely influence my decision to move to (a) particular area because I have found the "day job," and believe I could be relatively happy there. My success work-wise is also a strategic factor as is my daughter's relative comfort with a new home-base for her emerging adult life.
Over the past twenty years, I have worked very hard at keeping our home-base as reasonably stable as possible even as this has been very difficult and challenging. This practice of consistency is one measure of how I have gotten on with my life for us both thus far on many levels.
Please contact me here. I know that you are out there. Consider that your support is also an investment in what your life is also worth_ that an investment or contribution to support my need to move and relocate to a job market environment now, is also a psychological and emotional investment in your own willingness to be well, and to live in a world that is well around each of us.
Perhaps taking this detail of my personal life out into the world this way, is also part of my path... that in doing so, I can learn directly that there really are people who care about me, and would want me at least functioning well in my own life. Able to continue contributing to what healing work can be and look like in the world, to the best of my abilities as an artist and an individual who is another healing pioneer, and as a single mom thus far.
Healing work, IS life-long work. I know no other better way to live my life.

Thank-you for hearing my request for a dignified sense of loving support, to transition our life into the working world for me, and a new home-base for us both. Time is of the essence, so it is with hope and trust that you can see yourself as available to show up for my request for reasonable financial assistance today. Blessed be!

The face of a dignified female artist in her chosen life career

Monday, April 16, 2007

Fiscal Sponsorship!

The following is a project description as it appears on the website: fracturedatlas.org
As I have recently earned an artist's true resource that is a tax incentive sponsorship! This resource is legally sanctioned under the umbrella of this arts and artist advocacy organization...

(Following the description are instructions concerning the steps
you can follow in order to contribute to my project. Thank-you!)

Timeless Rhythms

My painting processes represent on-going studies in visual communication that utilize a variety of traditional media. At this point in a fifteen-year painting career, my approach is now primarily concerned with understanding historical, family-centered female empowerment and inner well being, through focusing visual attention on the body. These current studies draw from a personally evolving investment as developed through body-intelligence awareness. An investment, quite naturally influenced by a life in the dance, a life of meeting the challenges of single-parenthood, to a life of discoveries for the brilliance that is yoga, and a life recently side-swiped by the leading edges of somatic psychology. Through this body intelligence-focused project, the paintings speak about a very interested life-path continuing to visually explore the now historical risks of inheriting that which most think is to be avoided personally, psychologically and emotionally, over the course of a lifetime. My paintings speak to what is more truthful, that this avoiding phenomena, simply reflects a common and painful truth that many do not know HOW to look. How to look straight at what is an all too commonly inherited pain.
This painting series attempts to point to a very practical set of considerations that are centered in skillful personal tenderness, that (also begins to) say this incredibly common pain inheritance, CAN also be healed.

l'étude après Suzanne Valadon

***(Remember all images that are available are listed in detail under the heading: "Details of Available Posted Artwork" on right of blog page.)***

There are two websites of note that will increasingly be pertinent to this painting series project: http://ducorps.blogspot.com
and: http://kerriebwrye.blogspot.com (X= you are HERE!)

I will be working out the first draft of this painting series beginning this summer_ a draft that I see taking shape through research, studio, and body work over the course of a twelve-month period. I will work from live models, and will travel to conduct some aspects of my research.
This statement will be subject to numerous revisions as the process takes on greater clarity in production.

Instructions for finding my project online:

... See my official project at Fractured Atlas, an arts and artist advocacy organization doing great work nation-wide! They are based in New York City.
... Next locate the “Fiscal Sponsorship” link on the menu at the top of the page.
... Scrolling over the link, click on the “Sponsored Artists Profile” link on the drop down menu.
... Then notice the ALPHABETS at the top of that page, and click on the “T” for “Timeless Rhythms.”
As many artists have been granted fiscal sponsorship status, the “Ti...” listings will be near the very bottom of the page, meaning scroll JUST ABOUT all the way down the page to find my project description, under: “Timeless Rhythms!”
... At the bottom of the description will be a link titled: “Make a donation in behalf of Timeless Rhythms.”
... Follow the directions from there, and contact me here, with any questions or concerns. Thanks in advance for your support.

Please note: that as I figure out the long packet of sponsorship information, I will post more pertinent details to sponsoring my project here also, so that interested viewers can follow the links to drop their coins into my account. If you are an artist reading this, contact Fractured Atlas on the web, and become a member. The annual membership costs have the artist’s budget in mind, and happy resource discoveries!

Friday, April 6, 2007

A Work-In-Progress

I am the artist, and I am writing today to say that I am leaving the blogging world for awhile to return to my studio(s), at the same time that I am building a business.
Whether funders to support my dreams out in the world, show up when those resources are needed, one moves forward with one's own life-vision regardless.
Human consciousness is still in its infancy... people of all stripes must be convinced first that something or someone is a sure thing, or a safe bet. Here is where you have been invited to get acquainted with my soul, and yet_ on that level of universality, the habit of clinging to surety first, reveals so much about the lack of conscious development around true personal power. This habit pattern is rampant in the world. Here in living one's own life, is where one truly finds heaven. Here is paradise_ as I am saying, that reality is about conscious awareness in THIS life, not the next. Not a one is here to remain stuck in fear or ignorance.

I am a creative builder of my own life. It is a story or a living example of hope and inspiration, for my tools built over fifty-two years, come out of my own belief in self. There has been no other adult, and no money in twenty years, yet I did come from means before choosing the long road of social and (thus) material consequences. Consequences that have contributed to, and compounded financial and social poverty. Is this blame? Even experiencing the social version of that, there is no blame from me... Accountability, yes.
I am an honestly spoken, and direct person. Want more historical context for this development? Imagine the urgent immediacy of poverty with a child, and a beloved and devoted dog. Now, include consciousness from before birth, that has always been oriented to a deeply internal yearning for truth in the center of these conditions, and marry them to an instinctive search for the clarity of healthy love out in the world. Stir in isolation with said child, and dog, create art, go to therapy groups, passionately cook organic food from scratch for pleasure, and nutritional health. Add bouts of homelessness while maintaining the same personal standards with child, and dog in shelter systems... dog sometimes in the car, keep up a car, vigilantly deal with exposure to lice, three different times.
Well, you can begin to get the picture. Over-whelming? You bet. Ever give up? Not an option. Low moments? Like Bonnie Raitt in essence said, "even the strong get sad, lonely, and in need of a friend."
What I have described is just a momentary flashback of some instances in the early years_ 'cause there was also home schooling, earning my own four-year degree... but those are details for paintings, and another round of true life-stories on other journaling occasions.
Today, I am putting into context here in my journal, that I am taking some time for myself, to focus as I said on building a business centered in my art making and in the health modalities needed to live well. This building process will involve finding a day job, (keep all shame, insecurity, defense about the nature, and definition of work to yourself. Consciously WORK on that, then we can talk.), as I was saying_ covering the day-to-day, reestablishing home base in the very near future, producing creative and healing work again in two different sorts of studio environments, establishing a new community rapport from each of those studio disciplines, for volunteerism and remuneration, when I figure out where that new socio-economic/ geographic setting is going to be. Finding other similarly-disciplined artists, and cultivating a social circle. Here's my ideal social circle: a group of about twelve people who do all kinds of things with healthy passion_ who share one of them as a close-knit group_ the passion of healthy, organic cooking! Yeah, I know, don't limit yourself. Healthy and organic is the focus.
So, a circle of twelve people bound by their similar passions for cooking well_ who regularly cook together. Sharing food! Love, not necessarily sexually, with each other, just love, family, life, and all the grey areas in between, where those lives intersect always over the preparation of good food, together. Is this a description for friends? Is that a real question here? Trust yourself.

So, in the middle of dreaming, envisioning, writing it all out_ the point (for the third time) is that I am leaving the blog/post maintenance for perhaps the summer while I establish, and situate myself in the next chapter of my adult life. This summer, is my passage to a more adult-centered life-experience for a change... and never separate from my familial ties and responsibilities.
You drop me a line now, for a change. Tell us all what you have liked about my blog. Explore it's linked resources in depth. I invite you to write here, what you think, what you each feel? How you have responded to this blog in particular? To my art work? In essence, journal here yourself while I am gone_ that will be exciting to return to.

Only two ground rules in this space: (1)_ clear and vigilant self-respect, while always speaking your truth on any subject important to you, and (2)_ DO so (self-respectfully), without attachment or aversion. Am I repeating myself?!


Sensuous Calla Lily, acrylic on paperboard

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The Artist's Creed

I believe I am worth the time it takes to create
whatever I feel called to create.

I believe that my work is worthy of its own space,
which is worthy of the name sacred.

I believe that, when I enter this space, I have the right
to work in silence, uninterrupted, for as long as I choose.

I believe that the moment I open myself to the gifts of the Muse,
I open myself to the Source of All Creation
and become One with the Mother of life itself.

I believe that my work is joyful, useful, and constantly changing,
flowing through me like a river with no beginning, and no end.

I believe that what I am called to do
will make itself known when I have made myself ready.

I believe that time I spend creating my art
is as precious as time spent giving to others.

I believe that what truly matters in the making of art is
not what the final piece looks like or sounds like, (or tastes like)
not what it is worth, but what newness gets added to the
universe in the process of the piece itself becoming.

I believe that I am not alone in my attempts to create,
and that once I begin the work, settle into the strangeness,
the images will take shape, the form find life, and the spirit take flight.

I believe that as the Muse gives to me,
so does she deserve from me:
faith, mindfulness, and enduring commitment.

from Winter Series, oil on paper

***(Remember all images that are available are listed in detail under the heading: "Details of Available Posted Artwork" on right of blog page.)***

Monday, April 2, 2007

Credo 1- Human intention

Be the naked word.
Be here in the world
with sacred passion
with sacred wildness.

Be the wild naked moment
unthought, in all her innocence.

The audacity
The unabashed daring
to say I am.

Be the wildness
that runs in the woods
in the moonlight.
Be the wetness opening, the idealistic nakedness
welcoming the lover.
Be the kiss, the caress,
the murmered word,
the tasted touch.

The tongue,
the word, the naked self,
the breath and pulse
of passion.

Be the passion.
Be the tongue of flame,
taste the fires
of inspiration.
Hold the burning seed
on your silent tongue.

Taste and be.

L'orgie du printemps, oil on board

Friday, March 30, 2007

Journaling and Art...

Because journaling & posting my traditional art work online is a new experience for me, and even the computer-generated image-making is new for me... I wanted to begin my online presence with no real rules for presentation. I have though, allowed my love for the academy to inspire the personal standard I do create for myself. Allow me to qualify that I love the academy as an artist, certainly therefore as a non-conformist. Yet in my life there is enough life-circumstance conservatism, the reflection of full-time single parenting for twenty years, to make for an overly controlled tone of voice in the entries at times. It bothers me. I look forward to moving away from this particular detail, toward a more free state of being in my own skin and bones.
What is your point here, Kerrie? One: that inserting someone else's writing into my journaling is a long-standing practice. What I call here online a breadcrumb pageant of personal wisdom, inspiration, thoughtfulness, and motivation that I want to share with many other people now.
Two: having a place to further one's own conversation with the world on what is being developed through art productivity, and writing from a unique personal standard to build the working foundation under an individual life_ a w-i-p since 1972! This standard embodies deeply held desires and the goal to become reasonably materially successful in the world as a single person. In this case as a single woman_ not too UNCOMMON anymore, right? However, because this direction in life is not destructively selfish just commonly unfamiliar, and I have gotten this far alone_ my life is currently without any immediate, or externally supportive spontaneity since my daughter left for college. I keep working to get out of this place but yet my life is just stuck!
I want, yes I said, I want a more worldly life of action with others. For me, that would follow a continuity, that mine is a life outside that general social anesthetism of the senses. A life that does not deny what is seen, felt, touched, experienced, understood personally, wondered about outloud, explored, or discovered internally through trusted astute observations that are brave and hence shared no matter how intimate, within reason. My life always has been expressing that which gets the messenger in trouble. My experiences growing up were dominated by being harshly criticized as odd, and being frequently left out of the circle of family acceptance. That of habitually denying from the intensely, negatively harsh criticizing reactions, having just witnessed what was real! What is now called "shielding." Or in other circles, "a presbyterian habit of burying real feelings." I wish the affect was that simple on a child trying to grow up in the chaos and abuse.
This family history profile then, in combination with the therapy years, being the student of eastern healing modalities, all combined with a focused single-parenting of both of us_ has lead to strengthening and clarifying individual voice. Duh!
Yet, so far either online or in real life I encounter: 'don't tell me the details of your struggles to get to your successes until you ARE successful.' (More shielding?) So far, in this global village, it seems journaling and art posting continues to be encountered only with those who do read and listen quietly, privately, but who also keep moving on. Is it because the reader traffic is dominantly young and still forming the individual foundation of values? Is what I post too different? This is the point, correct? So, don't be afraid, or negatingly insecure_ just try to balance personal voice without reactionism-only, is all.
For me, this phenom is just not clear why not knowing about each other is seemingly prevalently preferred. Is it the convenience of emotional sterility that won't distract from being in marketplace-killer mode? What?!
I am already paying the price of social isolation for this very human path, and more than ready for that to end. A reasonable period of rest would be nice, in fact on order from these recent years in the trenches, before I jump into the main confluence of life... affording it is tricky right now without apt alliances, and this is also the point.
Many women, couples, men of a more conservative history in my experiences, perhaps men at all now that I look back_ nevertheless, people seem to take for granted the cumulative ways rest is built into their own life; a day at the beach, a trip to the beauty parlor, a facial, a massage, a week-end on the river with the guys, or just time at the end of the day checking in with the spouse who happens to bring home pizza from time-to-time. Even the presence of another adult on a regular basis, with whom you know you can count on to debrief even a little, makes a lot of difference in the quality effects of carrying any sustained responsibility over the long haul. I have had to do it all, and by myself.
Now though, I sometimes wonder why it has been so easy to remain alone in a world full of other people. The town I have lived in like a hero for my daughter and myself, does not easily foster people just showing up at the door with goodwill_ it is a quirky social corner by reputation. Just not one that is easily decipherable at a distance... so after thirty years with a deep desire to follow through on the original plan to move on, I am stuck. No resources, no allies in this individuating process.
I have a lot to offer, just not a fit where I am. I confess that I didn't want to fit either, but don't be too quick to judge, I am a friendly sort, and my reasoning still is sound on this front.
I am an artist in need of greater access to a more sophisticated metro-market environment, and I like greater flexibility present in my abilities to make choices. So my valid question is: anybody out there available to interact / to play, with maturity, with effective helpfulness?

study after Thomas Hart Benton,
prisma color on archival paper

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Mess

The Chronicle Review of Higher Education, from the issue date June 3, 2005
by Laurie Fendrich
(this image is changing, keep checking back...)

For centuries, aspiring artists got their starts by observing and practicing what professional artists did inside their workshops. After mastering enough skills, they would then head off on their own. Modern art, starting in the middle of the 19th century, changed all that by calling into question what constitutes a work of art. Art began manifesting two things in tandem_ radicality for its own sake and self-expression. Aspiring artists no longer needed to go to workshops or studios to become artists because being avant-garde and self-expressive did not depend on learning crafts, techniques, or studio methods.

For 100 years, from the mid-19th century up to World War II, artists flocked to Paris in droves, absorbing the spirit of the avant-garde in bars, cabarets, theatres, and salons, and developing their styles either as loners in their ateliers or as members of various bohemian groups convening over absinthe. But after World War II, when the center of the modern-art world shifted to New York, the education of artists began to take place more and more in colleges and universities. In the United States, part of that was due to an influx of government money, much of it disseminated through the GI Bill. many artists who were perceived as avant-garde, and who therefore couldn't support themselves through their work, found that they could support themselves by teaching in the academe. Ambitious young art students gravitated toward college art departments where these avant-garde artists were teaching, if only to hang around other artists and pick up their bohemian attitudes.

Although plenty of solid teaching and learning has gone on in art schools and in colleges and universities, by the 1900's, as Howard Singerman argues in Art Subjects: Making Artists in the American University (1999), art education no longer demanded the acquisition of specific skills, but instead became simply a shortcut to an artistic identity.

Now, however, a tug of war is going on over what exactly constitutes an artistic identity. the result is that art education (by that I mean the education of artists for the professional contemporary art world, as a opposed to the education of high-school art teachers, which is an entirely separate matter) has become a hodgepodge of attitudes, self-expression, news bulletins from hot galleries, and an almost random selection of technical skills that cannot help but leave most art students confused about their ultimate purpose as artists.

This mishmash approach has been going on for so long that it amounts to an orthodoxy. It dominates the education of artists both in colleges like my own (Chicago Art Institute) and in such schools as the Otis College of Art and Design, in Los Angeles, and the Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn. In this aleatory orthodoxy, it falls to first- and second-year "foundation" courses to provide any meaningful link to art of the past. Those courses -- "Basic Design," "Beginning Drawing," and so on -- teach line, tone, shape, form, proportion, color, and some fundamental "hand skills." On the opposite side are what are sometimes referred to as "post-studio" programs, which are growing increasingly popular. They, too, offer "foundation" courses, but instead of studying techniques and studio skills, the would-be artists, often fresh from high school, study ideas and concepts -- the putative social, cultural, and theoretical issues having to do with art. This kind of program is the visual-arts equivalent of the liberal arts' "critical thinking." Its premise is that only by shaking off the dust of the past can students become viable commercial artists or successful artists in the 21st century; it directly transfers what's trendy in the galleries or advertising agencies onto the plates of undergraduates. Its overriding assumption is that although 21st-century art may contain some keystroking and button-pushing references to old-fashioned, handcrafted beauty, most of it will be otherwise engaged.

The seeping of more and more theory as well as "critical thinking" and new technology into traditional studio-art courses make sense if art is seen as the product of a conceptual educational rather than the result of acquisition of the creaky 19th-century skills that are are attached to now-defunct ideas about beauty. At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, for example -- where I did my graduate work in painting in the late 1970s, when video art had just been added to the M.F.A. program -- the revised first-year program instituted last year requires all incoming undergraduates to purchase a laptop computer. Students are given special lockers for their computers that, in effect, pre-empt space that otherwise would be designated for such messy art supplies as paint or charcoal.

What happens at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago matters: It is one of the nation's oldest and largest art schools and is therefore seen as a leader in art education.

One of the two required first-semestre courses in the new SAIC program is "Core Studio Practice," whose catalog description begins: "Core Studio Practice is an interdisciplinary investigation of technical practice and conceptual and critical skills common to various areas of creative production." The description of the other required first-semestre course, "Research Studio I," begins this way: "Research Studio I offers students an opportunity to explore creative research strategies used by artists and designers."

The words describing those courses jolt old-school professors like me who are oriented more toward drawing and painting than theory. Keep in mind that as late as the 1990s. Art Institute students were required to take 12 hours of drawing.

Because much of the de facto curriculum at the Art Institute is determined by what individual instructors decide to teach under the loose rubric of course descriptions, there is no way of knowing for sure exactly how much development of studio skills goes on. But by using such terms as "creative production" instead of "creativity" and "critical skills" instead of "skills," and in citing drawing as just one among several "notational systems," the catalog descriptions make the practice of skills appear to be a very low priority. The first-year curriculum seems to promote a web-oriented workplace full of computers, where students work to promote antiseptical and collaboratively with others, behave like wannabe public intellectuals, and develop "concepts" that borrow heavily from the vocabularies of sociology, computer science, and government bureaucracy. Within this matrix, artist develop "research methods" for their "studio practice." Whatever odd tool is deemed necessary for their "practice" (formerly known as "work of art") -- whether it is colored plastic bags, city-sewage-system diagrams, LCD displays, Webcams, or however unlikely, a piece of drawing charcoal -- is picked up and used without benefit of prerequisite courses that teach specific skills with a specific tool.

Instead of students individually observing art and life, steadily focusing within an art discipline, and working toward developing a signature style marked by self-expression, the "studio practice" has its practitioner busily collecting data, working in groups, constructing theoretical systems, and participating in interdisciplinary projects. "Studio practice" and "creative production" are conveniently nebulous terms -- it is unclear, in fact, if they even need to culminate in a work of art.

As uncomfortable as I am with this sort of curriculum and "practice" of art making, I recognize how attractive it probably is to 18-year-olds who have grown up with the ubiquitousness of computers and an industrial-strength popular culture. By patting their most facile drawing protégés reassuringly on the back, art professors cannot really protect the foundation-skills courses that they profess to love. There are, after all, some aspects of the new programs that will prove useful to the next generation of artists, who will grapple with an even more digitized world than our present one. Besides, in a short time many of the same fine-arts students nurtured in foundation courses offering traditional art skills will invariably turn around to metaphorically slay their old teachers by making their professional debuts not with tenderly painted easel paintings but with sexy video installations or cool interactive Web sites.

On the other hand, educators who love traditional art but who, out of fear of being left behind, are jumping onto the theory-driven bandwagon are marching off to a land ruled by dilettante sociology, bogus community activism, and unrigorous science and philosophy. The notion that there could be fusion of "studio practice" with old-fashioned artistic skills that would yield a wondrous hybrid in the same way that African and Western music together produced jazz hasn't panned out, at least not yet. The reason? Whereas African and Western music, for all their differences, were both about how things sound, theory-driven art and traditional visual art are not about how things look. In art, fusion merely strips the traditional art object (that is, one well-crafted physical object) of meaning while replacing it with a jumble of fatuous words.

The heart of the problem lies in the fact that ever since the birth of modern art 150 years ago, all artists -- no matter what their visual style or theoretical intention -- have been riding a great wave of Romanticism which has been rolling across the arts for almost 300 years. With Romanticism, the autonomous self as the basis for all knowledge trumps everything. And even though the Romantic, "authentic" self of Odilon Redon or Lee Krasner has been adulterated by postmodernism and turned into constructed, artificial self, today's artists remain exactly like their early modern counterparts. Deep down, they consider themselves to be morally superior non-artists -- more intensely emotional and sensitive -- and pitted against a cold corrupt society.

Artists justified the esoteric nature of modern art with the idea that if something came from an authentic artist, it didn't need orthodox social justification. Modern artists define their work as worthy, and themselves as special people, simply because they were artists. The audience for modern art long ago gave up expecting or wanting skills, or beauty from artists and willingly acceded to the idea that an artist is a creative outsider whose usefulness lies mainly in being critical of everything. Think "court jester" without the humor.

Before modern art, though, artists had to take account of the larger society because they were forced to, by either the limits of patronage or official censorship. Since the advent of modern art, however, few artists consider the larger society beyond the art-world cognoscenti. To do so would mean either selling out to some version of Thomas Kinkadian aesthetics or, equally frightening, assuming a massively difficult chore.

Yet reassuming that task is precisely what artists must do. The future for thoughtful artists lies in rethinking how art fits into society as a whole -- and not just as self-righteous, intellectual fashionable social or political critique. The time has come, in other words, for artists to think about how they fit into society. What do they really give to it? Are they necessary to it? Who, exactly, constitutes their audience?

In this case the only way to leap forward is to go backward -- to ideas that had credibility before modern art. We need to dig them out, however, from beneath the accumulated rubble of history. The idea I have in mind is one of the oldest of all -- that artists need to consciously consider their audience.

The basis for a truly interdisciplinary art education of the future requires art students who read some of the great treatises on the role of the artists in society. Without turning students into research scholars, we can guide future artists to be more philosophical and relevant to our culture as a whole than most artists -- even those with the best intentions -- are today. We need to direct art students to serious thinker of the past who have reflected on the nature of art and the artist, in philosophy, history, or fiction, and whose whose historical distance allows us to see ourselves, in effect, from the outside.

For example, by having art students read Leonardo da Vinci's paragon (a rhetorical device used to explore the merits of the different arts developed during the Renaissance) on painting -- without an art-historical or philosophical intermediary -- college art professors would expose aspiring artists to an articulate master whose thinking about art led to art's being accepted into the university in the first place. Moreover, younger artists would learn not to dismiss Leonardo as a mere archaeological relic of 15th-century Italy, as so much current theory is inclined to do.

When students read Laocoön, written in 1766 by the Enlightenment essayist Ephraim Gotthold Lessing, they are prompted to think about the differences between the spatial and temporal arts (in Lessing's lexicon, painting and poetry). Laocoön contains a down-and-dirty struggle over what constitutes our visceral reaction that something is ugly and whether, or to what extent, we can get around our aversion to specific physical things or our attraction to beauty.

If you really want wake up 18-year-olds, discuss with them why a mole located very close to the mouth ( an actual Lessing example) makes so many people squeamish. Talk with them about the risks artists take in using visually disgusting subject matter ( which Lessing also writes about) without historicizing Lessing into an "example" from the Enlightenment. Talk about, as he does, the natural limits imposed on the arts by our sense of smell. Point out to them that so-called risky contemporary artists like Paul McCarthy, who uses bloodied meatlike figures in his art, or Karen Finley, who notoriously smeared chocolate over her naked body a series of performance pieces, implying all the while that she was smearing excrement, are actually not that risky. Both are merely simulators of the disgusting.

By teaching students Rousseau's "Letter to d'Alembert on Theatre," an attack on the arts that recapitulates Plato's examination of the generally uncritical assumption that art has some inherent social vale, students would be prompted to ponder whether art is automatically good for people, in all times and all places. In that context, students could be asked to think through whether becoming an artist is actually closer to becoming a swindler than a social worker. Selected passages on art from de Tocqueville's Democracy in America would reveal the particular pressures on artists that result from living in a democracy, compared to living in an aristocracy, and lead them to see the inevitable tension between social equality and excellence in the arts.

For art professors whose cup of tea is not hardcore philosophy, why not teach fiction that puts artists in real predicaments about their purpose? For example, in Balzac's allegorical short story "The Unknown Masterpiece," the lead character, Frenhofer -- a character who loomed large in the imagination of Cézanne, Picasso, and de Kooning -- gets sucked into the black hole of artistic self-absorption. In John Fowles's The Ebony Tower, two artists clash over the meaning of artistic freedom.

Readings from outside the modern and postmodern box would shake up art students who have learned bromides in high school such as "Art is a form of communication," only to have them replaced by gaseous pseudosociological truisms along the lines of "Art derives from myriad socially constructed 'truths' based on the repression of the Other," or "global nomadism produces hybridized cultures." Wrestling with perennial questions about how art fits into a good society, or how it might function differently in a bad society, would inject an intellectual and moral rigor into art education.

A new reading curriculum such as the one I am suggesting could prove stronger at salvaging hand-on arts such as drawing and painting than the head-in-the-sand, keep-on-truckin' attitude now favored by professors who believe in the centrality of drawing and painting. For it was art that inspired Leonardo, Lessing, Rousseau, Tocqueville, and Balzac to think so deeply in the first place.

In any event, the most crucial job at hand is to steer art students away from the self-congratulatory, self-indulgent deconstuctionesque platitudes that increasingly guide their educations. After all, why major in art just to become a half-baked social scientist? When things things get this messed up, it's time to go back to the future.

Laurie Fendrich is a professor of fine arts at Hofstra University.

Section: The Chronicle Review
Volume 51, Issue 39, Page B6
To be continued...

The example art process behind this link represents a sublime contradiction in my humble opinion, and simultaneously a good study in the new media, of the professor's educational and skills development challenges।
Take a look:
Chiani paints the Mona Lisa in photoshop, watch this as a slide show!
Here's another albeit "traditionally" commercial example, of current 21st C media advances in the visual arts:
digital painting forum

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A seminal designer

the designer william presents to bioneers

Who is this "William?" What are "Bioneers?" Click on 'presents' statement, and follow a natural inquiry after watching the video, to expose yourself and then find out?
This is an inquiry-invitation for those who want to look in order to see_ because the work of this person is valuable for the world, and his challenges to us all are important to get the word out, and set about understanding in order to get going on it, no matter who we are, or what we each do!
Coming from people who are 'white Presbyterians, and who do only continue to bury their feelings' (behind "Christ"), I am skeptical yet desirous of more naturally curious people's perspectives who are less fearful, and who are more constructively intra-participative on the leading edges of living consciously. In case this hasn't been obvious.

a graphics student-project
that I originally reproduced
in macromedia Freehand MX

Friday, March 23, 2007

Words are not the enemy...

On Thursday evenings from 6 to 9, I am attending social service agency-level series on money awareness. I really cried in that class last night...it was a crisis experience for me. Listening to a twenty-something lead the class with the sheltered, good-child's youthfulness of: 'cover-all-the-material-in-the-time-allotted, life-in-a-straight-line perception.' Hey! What's so hard about this stuff_ is probably the developmental view on reality that dominates for this youngster's life-view at this point... It's a drag for me as the idealist and artist. I really counted, a lot more than I know how to change right now, on the off-spring of my generation to be cultural allies, and to be so much more enlightened because they are the off-spring of my generation who collectively have looked beyond the veil. You kids have been cheated, and now you are no more than programed to be good corporate fodder. Guarding your own thoughts in trade only for money!
My journal writing here is not for soapboxing, and this sadness I feel today, is principally about what is unresolved yet in my own life: the relationship to money. Poor money, it's just an abstract concept really, but its power is in the idea really that it is an abstract that has global agreement_ I mean entire countries, like the good ole U.S. of A. are built on this abstract idea!
It 's power then, is really in the world-wide, subconscious agreement that keeps spinning through us all. So, what provoked my crisis responses in the 'Financial Fitness' class last night?
Very simply, all the anxietal tension that accompanies the subject.
This entry may take a lot of hits that result in more avoidance, but I write on the subject because it is deeply part of my work as an artist_ not just in reciprocity in the market but also on the canvas. So much of human subconscious self-worth is entangled, unresolved here in this concept that is called money. Since very young, I have just wanted to function as the artist in a world where more are clear and brave about money and worth. I think this view was at the core of my childhood logic of wanting to leave and find my real family. That the two, a human being and money can stand independent of each other, and, where love for one another is not caught in the web between. That's the part I believe that is unconscious in all of us the world over. Internally we are not separated from the values about self that we place on money, nor hence are our relationships with money itself, or as a result, are those relationships any more clear with each other. On some level everyone's everything is tied to this unresolved set of ideas about self-worth on an abstract concept that amounts to no more than the energy of exchange, using paper and metals as symbols of worth.
I was sad last night to the point of tears at the memories and still am processing the residue of that sadness today, because I grew up around adults with an overwhelming set of messages for a child to encounter, as they expressed very unhealthy dependency on the ideas of money and personal worth or identity.
My journaling in this blog, alludes to notions that I have done a lot of personal work to change (this) family past in my life even as it materially is not good right now. All changes in their time, the dominant chaos that impacted my childhood is not to be my daughter's inherited influences. At this point money issues are emerging for their turn to be recognized and acknowledged, in all the ways I have learned, now having done the main psychological and emotional healing work of the past, for both our benefit. This new work leading my awareness, will impact what is historically internal, yet in the near future will predictably gain in greater inner cognizance. Clearer integration about being available to, as well as deserving of, supportive relationships that can be trusted. Growing more independent of the past chaos that once, were only strong but confused instincts about self-worth. The cumulative consequences long-term? Healthier internalized references about exchanging energy with others through my art_ the facilitating means from childhood for understanding healthier self-possibilities. It has been, and continues to be, a lot of good hard work_ and that real family imagined as a young child, then sought out in the world, is made up of two at this point.

visiting summer rose, acrylic on board

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