Sundays Special

Twelve Steps of A.R.T.S.❤

We admitted we were powerless over our creativity — that our lives had become unmanageable.

  1. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  2. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  3. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  4. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  5. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  6. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  7. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  8. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  9. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  10. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  11. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to artists, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

THE DARK SIDE OF BEAUTY ❤

tumblr_static_5j9tuaydweckcgkwk0ogkoswo Beauty, however, has a very dark side to it. This really should not be  surprising since most powerful human emotions are double edged  swords – the same knife that the surgeon uses to save a patient could be  used to kill another.

In particular, Hitler employed his sense of art and beauty (he was an  artist) to enthrall the German people. The Nazi swastika was used as a  symbol of how German power would dominate; the torch light pageants  were designed to recall the Nordic myths and German heritage; the  massive gatherings were created to make people believe they were part of  a magnificent larger whole and also to realize that they played only one  small part, and that at the top of the structure, the highest point of the  pageant, stood their leader, the Fuhrer, whom they would follow. In short Hitler’s carefully crafted sense of beauty was used to enslave an entire people to do his bidding.

And to make the question of beauty even more complicated. How should we regard the music of Richard Wagner. Wagner’s music was deliberately created to be very Germanic. It was revered by the Nazi’s and used to inspire their regime. Can it be seen as beautiful in and of itself irrespective of how it was used?

Art as a Verb and Noun ❤

The only point of asking an artist for a definition of “Art” is to learn about that artist. I am not a theoretician so my definition comes from a deep inside place that is visual and is as basic as a noun and a verb. As object and action it defines who I am as I interact with and interpret the physical world outside, the emotional world inside, and the science that explains it.

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“Art,” as a verb, is a basic need of mine like eating, loving, talking—but mostly it is about making. I am compelled to make things: to draw, paint, and take photographs. I dream in images. I react to other images. I see patterns and colors before I read words. Making art drives my being—I cannot go too long without doing it—art sustains me.

272d496e2ef4fa2aee5125e3d099d94fArt” is also a noun—an object like a commodity, a fashion statement, an item of status. It can also be an object on display that inspires contemplation, study, and discovery as it presents complexities, challenge and joy. That sense of joy visited me at a very early age. As a first generation American, an only child who grew up in a home with no more than three books in our apartment, visiting the Brooklyn Museum’s children’s art classes revealed a world of visual wonder that continues to inspire.

That nascent introduction to the magic of a created object is the core of my personal definition of art, which drives my desire to make paintings and photographs. I think it was that urban childhood which sparked my fascination with open spaces—those of monumental, geological landscapes. I need to share that obsession with the natural world, how it looks and how it works. Now I must share my growing concern that our land is being irrevocably altered by climate change.

My reason for making art has evolved—the noun and verb conflate: it is now an object of beauty and a vehicle for action, to inspire protest. I struggle to merge my personal need to paint with my political desire to change the world—my love of the art that opened up a world deep inside me with the world around me that is being threatened.