methods of the masters

The way the artists of the renaissance era were able to Inspire and uplift and deepen us:

  • Demanding the highest standards of excellence from themselves
  • Improving upon the work of previous masters
  • Aspiring to the highest quality attainable

on the way to the 20th century something happened which replaced the PROFOUND, INSPIRING, BEAUTIFUL with THE NEW, THE DIFFERENT, THE UGLY.

how did the 1000 year ascent towards artistic perfection and excellence die out? it didn’t. it was pushed out. The impressionists pushed back on the Beaux-Arts control of classic standards and sewed the seeds of aesthetic relativism. the first generation of artists that pushed for this revolution were themselves disciplined artists that produced work at a high level of craft in their respective arenas of creative exploration. The showed disciplined design and execution and we all love their work. but the door was opened for a decline in the very standards that gave us their timeless and enduring gifts of art. with each new generation standards declined until there were no standards. All that we are left with is personal expression.

“Quality in art is not merely a matter of personal opinion but to a high degree…objectively traceable” – Jakob Rosenberg

The idea of a universal standard in art is openly ridiculed or at least resisted.


Video from Prager University Link

Ken Robinson on creativity in children

this is a fantastic talk on how education has been driven by the University institutions to mine the minds of children the way we strip mine the earth for a very particular commodity that makes us productive in the work force. He believes along with Picasso that all children are born creative and are trained out of it as they grow up. Ken has a great sense of humor to go along with a weighty subject.

Link Here

related links:

couple of books of his:
The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative

notes from Denis Brown online course

Pumice Powder and Gum Sandarac are two options to provide resistance to bleed and nib slippage on the page.
Pumice Powder allows thin strokes to flow better than Sandarac for dynamic writing.

Avoid inks with shellac or waterproofing ingredients that would restrict the flow.

Notes on Revelation – Brian Buhler

How should it be read?

Reading Revelations leads to many problems when try to interpret it literally and look for one to one equivalences in our modern times, i.e. this person is the anti-Christ, this describes this country, etc. Revelations is Apocalyptic literature (like Narnia books), which means that it transports you to another universe in order to help you better understand your own universe.

Eugene Peterson says,”I do not read Revelations to get additional information about the life of faith. I have read it all before in the previous 65 books of the Bible. The Revelation adds nothing of substance to what we already know. The truth is in the Gospel and it has already been made complete in Jesus Christ. There is nothing new to say on the subject.”

“But…there’s a new way to say it. I read the revelation not to get more information but to revive my imagination. St. John uses words the way poets do, recombining them in fresh ways so that old truth is freshly perceived. He takes truth that has been eroded into platitude by careless usage and sets it in motion before us in an animated and impassioned dance of ideas.”

Quotes about art

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Pablo Picasso

-Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.

-Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.

-Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

-Everything you can imagine is real.

-God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style, He just goes on trying other things.

-I don’t own any of my own paintings because a Picasso original costs several thousand dollars and that’s a luxury I cannot afford.

-No, painting is not made to decorate apartments. It’s an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy.

-Painting is a blind man’s profession. He paints not what he sees, but what he feels, what he tells himself about what he has seen.

-The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place; from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.

-We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.
Pablo Picasso

When I was the age of these children could draw like Raphael: it took me many years to learn how to draw like these children.
Pablo Picasso

Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
Robert Bresson

Book of my Calligraphy…wohoo!

I just got my calligraphy book in the mail yesterday. Gotta admit it looks pretty cool to see a bound book of your own work if full color. didn’t even think about this until I got a promo email offering a free 8″x8″ book. I was thinking, “now what would I put in a book in such short order? I don’t have pictures of the kids organized.” This will be a great gift idea for family.

Click here to view this photo book larger

article about arts in BC

This is an article copied from this link:
I found it quite insightful about our society and balanced in it’s value statements…

Tough Times for the Arts in BC

The current arts funding crisis in BC has reignited embers of debate that have been recurring as long as our forest fires. I recently attended a closed-door rally for artists and arts administrators held at the Museum of Vancouver to strategize an industry response to the government’s recent draconian cuts to arts funding in BC.

I was in a room with a whole bunch of people facing a future without revenue they were certain was theirs, furious with a government also facing a future without revenue they were certain was theirs. Ironic, eh?

I see no value at all in anger. If we get angry and try to communicate, the people with whom we are trying to communicate will respond to how we are speaking, not to what we are saying. If we want to be heard and understood, we have to communicate calmly and with all the cleverness and relevant information we can muster.

So I am not angry with our government. The government is us; we put them there. The trouble is, we artists are part of a larger we – the people of BC. And we artists justifiably feel that the people of BC do not value the arts enough. We see our collective lack of respect for the arts in BC in the priorities of our educational and political agendas and budgets.

And now, as the shock waves of the global financial meltdown ripple through our society, we find ourselves in an urgent and critical situation. Hard decisions have to be made now by every economic ecosystem: individuals, families, small businesses, large corporations, cities, provinces and our nation. No one is exempt.

When hard decisions have to be made, it takes time to make them fair, and when a crisis takes hold of the whole world, there is not time for wisdom, and a lot of decisions are made in panic. And in times of crisis, sadly, it is often the loudest or most aggressive (or corrupt) of us who win, not the most deserving.

When times were good, I learned a lot about the arts working at the Arts Club Theatre. At the time, under the inspired and visionary leadership of Bill Millerd, both the man and the institution seemed pathologically averse to debt. Most, if not all, of our peer organizations, however, seemed not to be. They routinely amassed debt and were bailed out by government.

I loathed this public policy of rewarding fiscal malfeasance while punishing responsible arts administration, but now that very policy is being applied to the banking and automobile industries worldwide. I abhor this policy, yet it is deemed wise by many experts; so suddenly, a lot of long-held social covenants seem to be being turned upside down.

We seem to be suddenly surrounded by paradoxes. What has long been deemed wrong is suddenly right. There are contradictions everywhere. Frankly, I find the current times frightening and not only because of the financial crisis.

Besides the financial meltdown, I am seeing a social meltdown. Manners are virtually gone. The concept of what is polite has disintegrated. I see elderly disabled people forced to stand on buses while young and able bodies people sit. And I hear hate and anger constantly spewing from the media.

Worse, I see an emerging population of people robbed of their futures. Instead of degrees, they get debt, a lost hope of owning property, impossible odds for the establishment of a life-long career and the probability of divorce. Where and how, exactly, do we foster a love and respect for the arts in the next generations?

And how do we expect government arts subsidy policy to change, exactly, in the face of the current financial and social problems? As I said, wise decisions take time. Our current government is in panic.

The arts community of BC has to think about what we want in the way of arts funding policies and express it, not just vent our anger. And we have to face that things are going to change. They have to. And government has to think about what is best for us – not about what’s best for their party and the retention of power. Stephen Harper learned the hard way from the people of Quebec that cutting arts funding was not acceptable. He heard from everyone, not just artists. Gordon Campbell must hear from the people of BC that we value the arts. But we must also communicate wise and practical direction.

We must fight to restore a higher level of funding for the arts in BC: the cuts have been far too severe, too sudden and too many. But we must also make practical and difficult decisions about changing past practices. Artists and arts organizations are going to have to adapt the same way that all families and enterprises are.

More than ever, the things we make and do will have to consider the market. Our audiences and customers are going to have to support us more, and we are going to have to figure out how to make that happen. The coming HST, the decimation of corporate largesse and these government funding cuts mean more than ever that it will be individuals who will have to support the arts.

Tough times are ahead. We are the solution the arts need – all of us; each one of us, every day. We must buy as much of our entertainment as possible locally, just as we move to do our food shopping locally. Turn off your TVs, get out of the movie theatres and get involved with our concert halls and galleries and get as many people as you can to do the same.