A friend pointed me to this art by Irene Kordalis Pedersen which is created in the spirit. Moved by her faith in the God of Abraham, she uses scripture from the Bible as a backdrop on which she hangs words, colours and shapes as she is so moved by her God-breathed inner spirit. Otherwise known as the "Holy Spirit" or the "Rouach HaKodesh". In order to successfully do this, a person must clear the mind of any cognative thoughts, those of order, reason, evaluation, critisism and let the tools and the paint flow. I believe it is possible to connect with the creative spirit of God and let God move and direct the painting of a visual. These paintings by Irene are amazing and have some very interesting colour and symbolism that I immediately recognize and relate to. Others who have seen her work in person feel the same. This "spirit-led" work is not an isolated incidence. Musicians have attempted "spirit-led" Jazz, like my friend Jeremy Stewart. This work is large!
Two have caught my interest today; Samantha Keely Smith who is painting in New York. Her work contrasts light and dark, heaven and earth. The net does not do justice to the riches and depth she manages to get with those oil paints. And Rick Bartow whose drawings articulate feelings of fear and discomfort. He quotes an influence from Mark Chagall, but I find his work more reminiscent of Francis Bacon or the illustrator, Marshall Arisman.
Have a look at The Fire Painter, Russell Maier. One foot in the analog art world and one foot in the digital world brings about some surprising results. Right now he has a feature on Perry Rath who recently had a solo show at the Two Rivers Art Gallery. I find Perry's work to be conceptually sound, speaking about topics that are sometimes tough to talk about, like our mortality. Thought provoking work.
I attended an artist's talk at the Two Rivers Art Gallery last Thursday by Gary Pearson. His show One Way Ticket is a body of work that seems to be related through colour, size, and biographical mystery. Gary spoke through waves of sound and words emitting from 2 of his video installations which made it difficult to absorb the words he spoke, and as he spoke he gestured to various large canvases with faces which seemed familiar, and yet not. Words visually raced across his paintings in the same manner that they were audibly racing around the room. The result was an assault to the senses which, when tolerated for some time produced a dizzy, light-headed, feeling. Like the work hanging on the wall, his talk was filled with light drivel, punctuated with the occasional interesting, intriguing statement. It was humorous and light...until he began to unravel the mystery of who the individuals in the paintings were, and how he had produced the work. Admiration for perspective, size, and palette choice was replaced with disappointment that his schtick was no more that commercial art gimmicks. His skill seemed to be ability to use an overhead projector, photos and ads from old magazines to construct the paintings. And his concern seemed to be with his reputation, style and marketability, more so than any message his art might be conveying. May be I'm a romantic, but I was enjoying the work more before I knew this, it was too much information for me. Sometimes a person can say too much and a mystery is better left that way.
It's amazing how pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone can create growth. Every so often I do that to relieve the stale feeling that comes over me. I guess accepting this teaching job is one of those times. As I worked on the curriculum, I spent the day checking out art history resources, actually digital art history resources of which there are very few. I did come across two very interesting sites I'd like to share. Check out Paul Brown's work called Chromos at www.paul-brown.com.I also found this site for the Museum of Bad Art. There is some really bad art out there! Good thing someone is keeping track.