That Feeling, That Love

This.  This right here is how everyday as an artist should be, needs to be.  I have so many people that have kept me going with art.  They have been my support system and the backbone of all that I do.

The Astonishing Concept of Art

I type this as i sit in the classroom as i have done for almost four years now as a substitute teacher. While most subs would be content to bring along a book to pass the day of being a babysitter for high school students, I have taken a different route to pass my time. I bring along my pieces of artwork to work on and pass the time with. I have become almost famous to the students as "that sub who does the cool artwork."

Now I do love me some good old fashioned adoration of my work (this ego does not inflate itself), the one question that continually arises is..."did you draw/paint/do that?" To which i reply with a grin at their naivety, "Yes, I did." However, the snarky SOB deep down inside me wants to retort back at their folly.

Now herein lies the question...is it really all that astonishing that one individual could do the things I do? In art programs across North America, students are learning about the masters who paved the way for artists like me. With the awe inspiring sites of these pieces, how can what I do even hold a match to these greats? This generation seems to believe that things just are and have always been. That there i noe creative process, that time and sweat had to go into these pieces. That it takes practice and patience, not luck and the right genes to become an artist.

Maybe I'm reading into this almost daily interaction i have with students. I'm just starting to feel that the concept of creation an originality are being lost on these children. Let me know your feelings on the subject and we debate this out.

The Power of Art and the Man Who Revolutionized It

70 years ago today, a man was born that would revolutionize how we viewed art.  In his hay day many, including myself, probably viewed him as annoying and unimaginative.  But with just a black room, a blank canvas and his signature afro, Bob Ross invited us into his world to explore the Joy of Painting. 

I was never the biggest fan of Ross.  I felt that he was the laughing stock of the art world the way that he would refer to everything as happy this and happy that.  As a budding artist I found greater creative release in drawing band logos, horribly disfigured monsters and super heroes on my own time when I wasn't instructed by Beth Yoder, my elementary school art teacher.  I wasn't until recently that I truly began to appreciate what this man has done for the art world.

Where most individuals wouldn't take the steps to visit an art museum, let alone a small gallery of an unknown artist, many people knew who Bob Ross was and his work.  He brought art to those who would never go out and experience it for themselves.  He made the individuals who would paint along with him each week feel like they were creating new worlds for themselves.  He introduced us to the true power of art, how it can make a person feel to create something new.  And he nailed it on the head when he expressed each show that it is a good day when you paint.  Even if you are the only one who will ever see your own work, you have added something to the world by doing that. 

He talked about painting from the heart and art for the sake of art (a theory I hold very dear to my heart).  As an artist and no longer a student I have grown to appreciate what this man has done for the art world.  His mentality, his passion, his love of painting.

Read First, Theft Disclaimer

In a world that has existed for over 4.5 Billion years and has only been inhabited by creatures with intelligent thought for only 2.5 Million of them, the concept of "originality" has lost its meaning from then to now.  All that is new is just a remix of something already done. A word written, an idea thought, an image captured.  What are we...the creative spirits to do when all that is worth saying or doing or thinking has already been done by someone else?  I know, I know.  I'm a real Debbie Downer here right now.  But don't worry my little Picassos and junior Chaucers, I have a secret so share with you...come a bit closer and I'll tell you...

People are horrible listeners.  And it is our job as creative individuals to reinvent and refresh these old ideas and concepts to present them to the masses in a familiar yet new manner of seeing them.  Take a pinch of Art Nouveau here, some Industrial elements here and mix it all together with a familiar medium and you have yourself a wonderful remix of old concepts and productions wrapped in a shinny new casing for the masses.  But do not attempt to do this theft out of malicious intent...NO...celebrate the theft, honor where your stole from.  Transform the  process and relish in the creation of this memorial to your creative theft, 

I strive as an artist to view the world as my looting ground.  Words, buildings, ideas...all things waiting to be amalgamated into my artistic habitat.  The world is mine for the taking and ready for my artistic heist.

Idea and image "stolen" from Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist