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Art Fanatics Thread of Visual Dominance


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On 12/9/2022 at 12:02 AM, HamsterHookah said:

@RDCanecutter would you ever break away from your production to humor us and answer questions-- or maybe just give a short lecture-- on what it is to be an artist. A professional artist even?

I'm specifically curious about your theory, your motivation, your muse/voice, and what you are aiming to say. If it's simply "just make money" that's cool too.

I won't get around to writing a long post, so I'll break these down one by one.

Theory: not sure I have one. When I go out back with my dog, and she spots a rabbit, that moment when she kicks in to chase it is how I feel when I start a new project and get caught up in it. Time stops. Rabbit-chasing is inside the dog and art-making is inside the artist.

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I won't get around to writing a long post, so I'll break these down one by one.
Theory: not sure I have one. When I go out back with my dog, and she spots a rabbit, that moment when she kicks in to chase it is how I feel when I start a new project and get caught up in it. Time stops. Rabbit-chasing is inside the dog and art-making is inside the artist.
@RDCanecutter I don't think you could explain it better. I dabble with "art/creating pieces" but that adrenaline rush at the start of a new design/project is fantastic.
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15 hours ago, Irwin F Fletcher said:

@RDCanecutter I don't think you could explain it better. I dabble with "art/creating pieces" but that adrenaline rush at the start of a new design/project is fantastic. @Irwin F Fletcher

To question of whether an artist born or is made, it seems by the poetic answer provided by RDCane that it is innate and preternatural in a small population of humans who were created to be artists by our God Creator?

And to the point of that adrenaline rush and finding an inspiration to get started, I'm reminded of the quote:

“Someone once asked if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. ‘I write only when inspiration strikes,’ he replied. ‘Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.'”

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With me and probably most artists, there are different stages in the work. Some require a spark of creativity, others are an almost comfortable series of repetitive tasks. I go from one type to the other almost like battery recharge time.

Sitting down to work for a set block of time can oddly push someone into the creative zone. eg if you draw a small number of pictures, you tend to rehash your usual work. If you set some crazy quota, you do the usual stuff at first, then start pushing more and more into new territory.

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Motivation: being able to get a job (commission) without sending a resume full of currently-popular key words. Being able to pay bills without filing TPS reports or Student Learning Outcomes. The money is occasionally low (grossed a dollar one week, not net, gross,) but when approached with an insane dedication to output, and places to put it in front of people, can be done. It helps to have simple tastes and a stubborn skull.

Plus, I've wanted to do it since I could hold a crayon. Did other things instead, time now to really jump on it.

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8 hours ago, RDCanecutter said:

Motivation: being able to get a job (commission) without sending a resume full of currently-popular key words. Being able to pay bills without filing TPS reports or Student Learning Outcomes. The money is occasionally low (grossed a dollar one week, not net, gross,) but when approached with an insane dedication to output, and places to put it in front of people, can be done. It helps to have simple tastes and a stubborn skull.

Plus, I've wanted to do it since I could hold a crayon. Did other things instead, time now to really jump on it.

Awesome. Is living as a professional artist s calling fulfilled then you would say? Stripping away all the romance and “starving artist” poetic aesthetics, I can imagine times when the growling of your stomach is telling you it would be more comfortable filing TPS reports for a predictable pay check…

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22 hours ago, HamsterHookah said:

Awesome. Is living as a professional artist s calling fulfilled then you would say? Stripping away all the romance and “starving artist” poetic aesthetics, I can imagine times when the growling of your stomach is telling you it would be more comfortable filing TPS reports for a predictable pay check…

The Starving Artist thing doesn't really exist in my experience. If somebody's finances are totally wrecked, there are probably other reasons that is happening. Back in the early 80s I met an art student, the obnoxious successful kind who always had paid gigs. What was her secret? Just going out and finding the work.

Of course, picking up gigs doing illustration or graphic design for local businesses is still one foot inside "Real Job" territory. Sucks less I guess.

To do more original work ie work that nobody already agreed to pay for, it's a numbers game. If one in a thousand sets of eyeballs like your work enough to buy, then you need 10,000 and you might sell ten. Multiple venues, in-person, on-line, lots of inventory at different price points, it tends to overlap so you don't hit a brutal slow spot. And then there's old-fashioned saving money during flush times.

It's more fun if you act like you're playing a live-action farm game.

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On 12/9/2022 at 12:02 AM, HamsterHookah said:

@RDCanecutter would you ever break away from your production to humor us and answer questions-- or maybe just give a short lecture-- on what it is to be an artist. A professional artist even?

I'm specifically curious about your theory, your motivation, your muse/voice, and what you are aiming to say.

To finish up the questions:

Muse: 99% my wife, who gets the whole Ape world since before a drawing existed. She is like Marissa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny telling Slingblade (me) to draw more. She comes up with plenty of good ideas that I steal.

What am I aiming to say: The pictures should say it, but some general principles are to spit in the Devil's eye, fear nothing, and maybe enjoy a cartoon cigar, which, unlike real ones, cause no harm. Maybe watch some Rat Pack era movies too.

I am trying to make money but that's not all of it since I could make as much greeting people at Walmart. Also, anybody nice who's broke will still get some free art at my booth. I am a saint, a veritable saint.

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It would be awesome to have support like that.

Your art stuff is about like my sports photography freelancing thing. I've been doing it for ages, but changes in things have made it less worth it financially every year. A Wal Mart greeter's pay would actually be a major step up for me at this point. But I do it because it's what I'm on the planet to do, or something. I don't feel worth a shit if I can't do it. I feel I need art back in my life the same way, just to make me feel more whole again. It hasn't been there, but it's like the itch of a fantom limb that was amputated long ago. My soul misses it, even if nobody else cares about it. Photography is just easier, I guess. But it makes me more dependent on the whims of others. Nobody stops me from making art but me. And I kinda suck about that over the past decade or three. It would be nice to have someone close to share it with and have that kind of support and understanding.

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29 minutes ago, DougO said:

It would be awesome to have support like that.

Your art stuff is about like my sports photography freelancing thing. I've been doing it for ages, but changes in things have made it less worth it financially every year. A Wal Mart greeter's pay would actually be a major step up for me at this point. But I do it because it's what I'm on the planet to do, or something. I don't feel worth a shit if I can't do it. I feel I need art back in my life the same way, just to make me feel more whole again. It hasn't been there, but it's like the itch of a fantom limb that was amputated long ago. My soul misses it, even if nobody else cares about it. Photography is just easier, I guess. But it makes me more dependent on the whims of others. Nobody stops me from making art but me. And I kinda suck about that over the past decade or three. It would be nice to have someone close to share it with and have that kind of support and understanding.

Man! Maybe offer paintings of their kid's finest sports moments to parents who already fork out cash for travel ball?--[Me turning into the people who drive me crazy telling artists what they need to do.]

I get that phantom itch thing. In school I self-discouraged myself from anything that wasn't graphic design, because art-art was for trust-funders (in my imagination.) Made a brief stab at freelance art in my 20s and got beat down HARD, but looking back I just needed better management skills and maybe a side gig until I got airborne.

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On 12/19/2022 at 11:51 AM, DougO said:

It would be awesome to have support like that.

Your art stuff is about like my sports photography freelancing thing. I've been doing it for ages, but changes in things have made it less worth it financially every year. A Wal Mart greeter's pay would actually be a major step up for me at this point. But I do it because it's what I'm on the planet to do, or something. I don't feel worth a shit if I can't do it. I feel I need art back in my life the same way, just to make me feel more whole again. It hasn't been there, but it's like the itch of a fantom limb that was amputated long ago. My soul misses it, even if nobody else cares about it. Photography is just easier, I guess. But it makes me more dependent on the whims of others. Nobody stops me from making art but me. And I kinda suck about that over the past decade or three. It would be nice to have someone close to share it with and have that kind of support and understanding.

Prob silly but others chose sports cars and I chose to rent a studio. I haven’t regretted it. Has a roof deck where I can drink a beer and watch people throw hatchets in the building next door. Absolutely love it. I can be there and paint late and listen to tunes. It’s beyond great—keeps me sane. 

Edited by Mdhorn
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2 hours ago, Mdhorn said:

Prob silly but others chose sports cars and I chose to rent a studio. I haven’t regretted it. Has a roof deck where I can drink a beer and watch people throw hatchets in the building next door. Absolutely love it. I can be there and paint late and listen to tunes. It’s beyond great—keeps me sane. 

I have part of a metal garage/barn space that is 12x24. My intention was to have a corner of it for tools and stuff, but the biggest part to be open for use as a makeshift photo/art studio and hang out. I was having coffee with my best friend there every weekend. I had it foam insulated, popped in a window unit and bought some vinyl flooring to put in. I have a couch in there and a table  with coffee station. Those plans went on hold when life delivered a couple of serious blows that I won't go into. I hope to get back to it again someday, but there's too much other shit I need to work on that takes priority, and really, the motivation just took a major hit after early 2021. The plank flooring is still stacked up in the boxes on the floor.

Edited by DougO
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Clutter! I could open an art store with the extra supplies I have socked away.

Unrelated news, massacre on the print table an hour ago. I was going to knock out piles of US, Venezuela, Guatemala, and Argentina flag apes. Was going fine but then I had to break out a new tube of ink, and clear liquid poured all over my roller tray, while the actual black ink stayed up in there like Heinz ketchup.

I got it halfway sorted out, but instead of cleaning up and starting over, I tried to drive on with this thinned-down mix. Nasty smudge-bucket everywhere. So then I cleaned everything up and am waiting to start the factory up again.

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I believe creativity is a mostly uniquely human trait present in all of us. The artists I know and who are quite successful won’t necessarily shy away from the romantic but they would say the art is made with much less romance and a lot more hard work. Like sports, lawyering, sailing, fly fishing and any profession or hobby in between there is a skill that must be practiced over and over again. Certainly moments come together in a flash of brilliance but that flash of brilliance occurs from a foundation of discipline and drudgery of practice. Much like the perfect fly cast 60 feet from the bow to catch the redfish in two strips in front of his face which required years of practice, the right gear and convergence of circumstances, the artists moments we awe over that seems so easy to them is built on years of preparation. And the amount of garbage that has to be recycled and painted over is as many as 10-1 when compared to the masterpiece sold at a show.  That doesn’t even begin to touch on the professional artist who has to master the art of the business of art.  Of course innate talent is always, always a factor and the determining factor at the apex but in a sense it goes back to Picasso - something like all children are artists the problem is how to remain an artist when they grow up.

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On 12/20/2022 at 10:57 AM, Mdhorn said:

Prob silly but others chose sports cars and I chose to rent a studio.

More than once I have thought about grabbing store space in my local cutesy downtown. Lots of folks bopping around with the accoutrements of money, which may mean they are just in debt, who knows. Would probably require a lot more cash than I have available to sink into it.

The best deal I ever had was splitting a pop-up store in a mall with several other artists. Steady foot traffic. We stayed busy selling art, working on new art, and getting commissions. It was great, just leave all your heavy junk at the mall at night after you lock up, then first one to "clock in" next morning gets security to open it back up. And you're working among kindred spirits. Sweet deal, and rare, because malls that offer pop-up opportunities are malls that might not be there next year.

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5 minutes ago, RDCanecutter said:

More than once I have thought about grabbing store space in my local cutesy downtown. Lots of folks bopping around with the accoutrements of money, which may mean they are just in debt, who knows. Would probably require a lot more cash than I have available to sink into it.

The best deal I ever had was splitting a pop-up store in a mall with several other artists. Steady foot traffic. We stayed busy selling art, working on new art, and getting commissions. It was great, just leave all your heavy junk at the mall at night after you lock up, then first one to "clock in" next morning gets security to open it back up. And you're working among kindred spirits. Sweet deal, and rare, because malls that offer pop-up opportunities are malls that might not be there next year.

That is the way--soon to be condemned buildings become art studios until they are sold or house group exhibitions until torn down.  Any building you look at that is empty in the city has already been scoped out by an artist collective--facts.  A lawyer nearby bought a firehouse that was on the market for awhile and turned them into art studios--going rate city wide is about $18 a square foot, or was.  But that firehouse was looked at by multiple other art groups that couldn't get through the red tape housing an antennae at the back of it.  Finally, said lawyer entered the fray, and the rest is dull, local history.   

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@here Good conversation you great people. I'll leave you with this last excerpt, again, from Kandinsky's "Concerning Spiritual in Art" manifesto:

 

"The artist must have something to say, for mastery over form is not his goal but rather the adapting of form to its inner meaning.

The artist is not born to a life of pleasure. He must not live idle; he has a hard work to perform, and one which often proves a cross to be borne. He must realize that his every deed, feeling, and thought are raw but sure material from which his work is to arise, that he is free in art but not in life.

The artist has a triple responsibility to the non-artists: 1) He must repay the talent which he has 2) his deeds, feelings, and thoughts, as those of every man, create a spiritual atmosphere which is either pure or poisonous 3) these deeds and thoughts are materials for his creations, which themselves exercise influence on the spiritual atmosphere. The artist is not only a king, as Peladan* says, because he has great power, but also because he has great duties.

If the artist be priest of beauty, nevertheless the beauty is to be sought only according to the principle of the inner need, and can be measured only according to the size and intensity of that need.

That is beautiful which is produced from the inner need, which springs from the soul. 

Maeterlinck**, one of the first warriors, one of the first modern artists of the soul, says: "there is nothing on earth so curious for beauty or so absorbent of it, as a soul. For that reason few mortal souls withstand the leadership of a soul which gives to them beauty."

 

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joséphin_Péladan

**https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Maeterlinck

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On 12/16/2022 at 2:00 PM, Planet Houston said:

I'm lined up to buy a great piece by Paul Kremer.  I can't get enough of his work and excited to finally own a piece.

Paul Kremer | Artist at Alexander Berggruen

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Paul Kremer Opening 06, 2021 acrylic on canvas 40 x 60 in. (101.6 x 152.4 cm.)

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images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS2HAx80yDz9ZI8eK7vqzdmQnOMhrltF8kBI3okhLuks_Sxx_tIfq881sGUtT9SffvoAns&usqp=CAU

 

I pulled the trigger and surprised my wife (no pics) for Christmas. Doesn’t do it justice still under wraps and not on the wall - I’ll post another when it is. Fucking love it. 
 

48 x 36

DBECD33C-2F24-4018-9566-75AF05589E9D.thumb.jpeg.2442e8261e3769efd095ab855fcdc459.jpeg

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Happy New Year. For 2023 am looking to expand to art shows outside the Birmingham metro-- we have several good (pay all bills for one month) shows here, but there are also slow times. Idea is to add "Good" shows from other towns. 

Could probably stay busy working the Birmingham-Atlanta-Nashville triangle and just leave it at that, but of course I have to go all flamboyant so I added Florida and Mississippi to the mix. (Are there big shows in Mississippi? Time will tell) Also plan to hit every Bama metro on down to Mobile, which honestly might as well be Louisiana.

Gonna load up the credit card with a better tent, a cart so I can quit making 5 trips to set up, and maybe a van. Looking for used and boring.

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  • 3 weeks later...

@RDCanecutter, et al. I don't know what the universe and God is trying to tell me as an artist, but I've been drawn to the investigation and introspection of the pretentious question "What is Art?" and "How do I serve the artist within me?" and I somehow ended up with some weird reading-- the aforementioned Kandinsky "Concerning the Spiritual in Art" and now Rick Rubin's book The Creative Act.

I'm halfway through the book, which I mentioned on another thread is equal parts, half imbecilic and half genius, but a few excerpts that stuck out that reminded me of our conversation the last page or so:

This quote I think embodies the reason I even started asking you about your process and your intentions and your why:

Quote

"The act of creation is an attempt to enter a mysterious realm. A longing to transcend. What we create allows us to share glimpses of an inner landscape, one that is beyond our understanding. Art is our portal to the unseen world. Without the spiritual component, the artist works with a crucial disadvantage."

I liked these as well. It's rooted in something I've always known and anchored my art in, which is, create for your own soul first and an audience last. Create what you want to consume. And in a lot of ways, the reason we set out to create is because what we are longing for and what to consume doesn't yet exist (or we know of).

Quote

"All art is a work in progress. It's helpful to see the piece we're working on as an experiment. One in which we can't predict the outcome. Oscar Wilde said that some things are too important to be taken seriously. Art is one of those things."

Quote

"It is impossible for anyone to experience your work as you do, or as anyone else does. The purpose of the work of art is to awaken something in you first, and then allow something to be awakened in others. And it's fine if they're not the same thing. We can only hope that the magnitude of the charge we experience reverberates as powerfully for others as it does for us. What is considered art is simply an agreement and none of it is true. What is true is that you are never alone when you're making art. You are in a constant dialogue with what is and what was, and the closer you can tune in to that discussion, the better you can serve the work before you."

These speak to the transcendental nature of art and being a human. We are woefully lacking in spirituality as a feature of our existence:

Quote

"Our work embodies a higher purpose. Whether we know it or not, we're a conduit for the universe. Material is allowed through us. If we are a clear channel, our intention reflects the intention of the cosmos (or God)."

Quote

"Impatience is an argument with reality. The desire for something to be different from what we are experiencing in the here and now. A wish for time to speed up, tomorrow to come sooner, to relive yesterday, or to close your eyes then open them and find yourself in another place. Time is something we have no control over, so patience begins with the acceptance of natural rhythms. The implied benefit of impatience is to save time by speeding up and skipping ahead of those rhythms. Paradoxically, this ends up taking more time and using more energy. It's wasted effort. When it comes to the creative process, patience is accepting that the majority of the work we do is out of our control."

Quote

"The goal of art is not to attain perfection. The goal is to share who we are. And how we see the world. Artists allow us to see what we are unable to see, but somehow already know. It may be a view of the world singularly different from our own. Or one so close, it seems miraculous, as if the artist is looking through our own eyes."

 

Edited by HamsterHookah
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I always thought you were your first audience, so you gotta like it or it's not worth pursuing--there's not much to share.  You need to be passionate about it or you won't pursue or sustain it.  If you don't like drawing and/or painting, you won't continue drawing and/or painting.  Or more to the point, in the words of Shakespeare--To thine own self be true.  

What I like about drawing and painting, is unlike electronic mediums, I can trace marks by a hand from several centuries ago.  I can follow the movements of someones hand, see their thoughts in action, impression and pressure and perhaps even where they reworked an area--a compilation of a visual record of an experience and thought process.  

Edited by Mdhorn
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Couldn't edit to add, but for further reading on the source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassily_Kandinsky#Artistic_and_spiritual_theorist
Probably mostly subject matter and discussions in MFA classrooms and in performative spaces or New School, but thanks for humoring an old chunk of coal like me.

Kandinsky is a favorite of mine. Went to The Guggenheim for their 50th anniversary. They were showing the first full-scale retrospective of his career in the United States since 1985. It was awesome.
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1 hour ago, TexPx said:


Kandinsky is a favorite of mine. Went to The Guggenheim for their 50th anniversary. They were showing the first full-scale retrospective of his career in the United States since 1985. It was awesome.

Guggenheim loves Kandinsky for some reason. I had a family friend who went for the 50th as well and bought a bunch of prints.

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This is a wire sculpture I didway back in my early college days. It's a fun medium but demanding on the fingers. It's interesting how it's hard to tell in the photos whether the subjects appears to be coming or going unless you look at the base to see how the legs are oriented.

wiregiraffe1.jpg

 

wiregiraffe2.jpg

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15 hours ago, MalibuSheriff said:

It’s been since pre-kids or at least early pre-kids since I’ve picked up a paintbrush.  I used to dabble around with both watercolor and egg tempera, generally painting rural landscapes or outdoor scenes since those are my two main connections that put me at ease.

This is an egg tempera of an old Pecan tree and windowsill in Fisher County, TX that was opposite the entrance gate of our old hunting lease.  It always struck me that the tree and window were last visual elements looking out to the northwest before the landscape opened up and seemed like you could see to the end of the Earth.

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Watercolor of the Devils River:

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Overcast sunset - County Road near Webbers Falls, OK:

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Beautiful.

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Today I moved a couple of pieces of paper from a pile of clutter, and underneath were two little boxes full of little baseball-card prints I used to sell on eBay about ten years ago. They weren't big earners online what with shipping costs, so I let them drop and forgot about them.

However, they're perfect for the kind of shows I go to now. That size is real popular, I have to constantly make more. And here were more, a time-capsule from 2013. Some of them were from a Loteria set I started but stalled out 1/4 through.

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On 1/24/2023 at 6:26 PM, TexPx said:


Guggenheim was a big fan and long time collector of Kandinsky.

Our boys at the Gug are being sued:

  • The Guggenheim is being sued over a Picasso masterpiece by the Jewish heirs of a previous owner, who they say was forced to sell the painting as he sought to flee Nazi persecution. (NYT)
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