Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Reading Four- Searching Beneath the Surface

Some of the pieces that were included in this chapter:

Gaylen Stewart- New Covenant

Gaylen Stewart-Wounds of a perfect life series

Gaylen Stewart, Incarnation

Here are some quotes that stuck with me:

"Sometimes an artist who desires to make a significant statement about concepts that they are impassioned about find that their thoughts have been reduced to heavy-handed, illustrative representation. The visual culmination appears too obvious, overly self-conscious and overworked. In actuality, the artist may be too 'close' to the content and not see this obvious obsessiveness." (Pg. 143)

- I have to admit that this is something I struggle with. Sometimes I get to wrapped up in a concept because it came out of a significant event in my life or the life of a loved one, and I just can't let it go. I obsess over it, and try to make this vision happen, even when circumstances aren't gracious. I have had a concept in my mind for up to a year, and I just couldn't complete it because the models that I had envisioned weren't available or the timing was never right, but I held onto them. My story plays a big part in my art and I am not sure I would know how to "reverse" that.

"The most obvious solution to a problem isn't always the most interesting. In this line of thinking, much is to be said in favor of the struggle to stretch oneself to new dimensions of creativity, rather than doing what comes most easily." (Pg. 143)

- This is one of the reasons I am excited to be out in the "real world", because I will be able to stretch my concepts and ideas and expand upon my vision. Sometimes I feel as though I can't do this at George Fox because of the various policies and codes of ethics present. I want to be able not only to fully express my vision, but also to work with other crazy artists who have big visions and stories to portray.

"The work may still move people even when the viewer doesn't completely understand it. This subliminal connection with the viewer is one of the powerful aspects of the visual dialogue that the artist strives toward." (Pg. 144)

- This is what I seek to do in my work. I don't want people to necessarily see my picture and be like "Oh, yes, this is what it means", but to be able to apply their own story and experience to it. To be okay not understanding it, but to someone connect profoundly with it.

"I begin the process of creating art by searching for meaningful ways of expressing myself through my visual language, my repertoire. During the formation stage of musing, praying and dialoguing, I visualize images that I'm connected to already or have an affinity toward and imagine them in context with the concepts that I'm weighing. I search my mind for the best way to visually represent a particular thought, idea or experience..." (Pg. 146)

- I just thought this was a really cool way to approach brainstorming and the art process. To muse at the stars, to pray to the Creator, and to dialogue with self and/or others. I find that when concepts don't work out, it is because I have neglected one of these steps.

"I want my art to say something about what I'm experiencing in a relevant way to the audience. I continue searching for creative ways to share my experiences. If a symbol or image communicates a concept well it can be repeated --especially in new dynamic juxtapositions. If not, then, it may be discarded or filed for later use." (Pg. 148)

- Gary subbed for Mark in Senior Thesis this morning and we talked about how to say what you are experience whilst still keeping relevant to the audience and it was a long conversation. It is hard knowing what you are passionate about and wanting to express that, but also understanding that you have to make a living, and that people might now buy your work if they can't connect with it. Gary talked about having painted 4 copies of a painting, because that is what the client wanted, but initially he didn't even like how the painting turned out. He also talked about the importance of critique, both by peers, supervisors, and the market. It was an interesting conversation.

"My desire to make art is not so much a feeling as it is a decision. I choose to continue in spite of my ineffectiveness. I try to do something- anything- to force myself to continue. It doesn't have to be successful." (Pg. 148)

- I need to do this more often. Sure I might not win the award, get into the gallery, or sell my piece, but I need to keep making art. When I interviewed Martin French I asked him if there was ever a moment in his career where he thought,"Screw this, I don't want to do art anymore", and without hesitation he said no. He said that he could never see himself doing anything else. That despite having married a biologist and having difficulties expressing this passion to her, despite having dry spells and artists blocks, he could never have said "screw this" and walked away. And no true artists should be able to do that either. I need to constantly make art, despite the circumstance.

"My worldview is inseparable from who I am, and to avoid that would be dishonest in my work. To embrace one's own worldview and give it life in visual terms conveys a level of integrity that is missing in much art." (Pg. 153)

- As an artist I am not called to mimic the work of other artists, and all though history is very important, I shouldn't look there for personal definition either. As Peter London says in No More Second Hand Art, "All creative journeys begin with a challenge to introspection, to fathom not only what's out there, but what's in here".

- Bustard, Ned, and Sandra Bowden. "God Is Good like No Other." It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God. Baltimore, MD: Square Halo, 2000.

- London, Peter. No More Secondhand Art: Awakening the Artist within. Boston: Shambhala, 1989

- An interesting meditation with Gaylen Stewart:


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  2. I like that you find a lot of parts of the chapter you resonate with. Once again though it would be more readable and helpful if this was in paragraph form. This was fine for a few of the blogs, but the material and your thoughts come across as choppy and need more connection. Nice thoughts brought in from Gary's class and another text.

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