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March, 2010

Wonderful Experiences in the Mind Eyes

March 31st, 2010

“Tim with window reflections”, Leica M8, 35 mm, Summicron, 2010/03/22

At a certain point in the process a Visual Living experience distills itself into some kind of essence. Something remains: not a mental reflection, the memory of what was seen, or the relationship between them which has now passed.

Luckily, we occasionally through our lives gain insights that give us a warm glow. Time stands still and the Universe sings us a wonderful song, some time passes, much of the glow diminishes but the wonder of the remaining essence can remain for a lifetime.

These experiences, the visual experiences and the magical moment experiences are, I believe of the same nature. Most of us have them. Some of us attach more importance to them. And many more are simply oblivious to them. Someone recently said: “The world without Art would be like a parking lot.” True. And, I would add, life without the soul of experience would be the cement that paves the parking lot.

The above is some reflection on a telephone conversation tonight with a good friend. We talked about understanding life, health, selling an apartment, relationships, the emphasis on technique in painting today, friendship and other things! Why am I rambling on like this you ask? I am afraid I’ll have to answer with a question, “Would you read this if it was poetry?” It seems to me that in the days in which poetry was part of our literary lives things were much different. Words had deeper meanings, paintings and photograph had deeper meanings, our lives had deeper meanings and the world was not becoming a parking lot.

Reclaiming the words used today by main street to make that cement is important, no?

Published in french as Merveilleuses exp√©riences des yeux de l’esprit


Can a Painter also be a Photographer?

March 29th, 2010

“Two Ducks in a Pond”, The river Doubs, Leica M8, 35 mm, Summicron, 2010/03/22

This is not intended as a rhetorical question. Today, when asked the seemingly inevitable question “What do you do?” (Yes, even in France) my response is now “I am a painter – also a photographer.” So, I think maybe the question is “Can a person in today’s world be a generalist?” I’ll back up a bit, say 50 years or so. During this time I’ve spent the majority of my creative effort in the process of the understanding and the practice of painting. No doubt much more time spent in the understanding. Much study and reflection. During the times when there was some clarity the painting itself was relatively easy. This, of course after years spent studying the practice and the understanding of how different pigments behaved in different mediums and so on. However, doubt has dogged my every effort. Painting is, today, very very difficult if you approach it sincerely and consciously. As for photography: this has for me been a breath of fresh air. It can be a creative response to a relatively short period of time – a mere blink in the span of history.It directly speaks to contemporary times. In point of fact, it was invented the day before yesterday – a little more than 150 years ago. We have cave paintings dated something like 30,000 years old. We are not in this case, talking about the same ball game.

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