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  • "Art is you, being free from all the world heaviness"
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WHAT’S INSIDE A MENTALLY ILL MIND?

Everyone is familiar with "The Scream" by Munch.  He painted many other canvases of mental illness. In the 1990s I painted an abstract series of mentally ill people.  Unfortunately, I have no photos of them and no longer own the few pieces I painted.  I wanted to depict  how those suffering from mental disorders are hidden from society and how they unintentionally hide within themselves.  I started out painting a person in various positions including curled in a fetal position and sitting crunched over.  Then I covered them with paint that matched their skin and clothes.  It was difficult to see the person within, but it was possible after viewing for awhile. I worked as a Psychiatric Nurse for 25 years.  It was difficult to...

FEATURE ARTIST OF THE WEEK, LESE CORRIGAN or SOPHISTICATION PERSONIFIED

Corrigan Gallery is my favorite art gallery in Charleston SC.  It's owner, Lese Corrigan exhibits contemporary eclectic paintings, drawings, woodcuts, sculpture and pottery. Though the gallery is not huge, one needs to spend a lot of time in the space.  There is art everywhere and fun little surprises pop up unexpectedly.  The art is exhibited with sophistication. Besides running her gallery, Lese paints, sketches and creates linocuts. Her work is representational but more expressionistic than realistic. Her textured, colorful canvasses express the energy of life. Her series called "Over the Edge" features birds posed on telephone wires.  The birds are on the edge, performing a balancing act of nature's adaptation to man's creation. They are silhouettes in the sky, being close yet far away. The...

EVOKE A DEEP MEDITATIVE STATE WITH ABSTRACT ART

THINK EMPTINESS Most types of meditation involve paying attention to your mind and if it wanders, bringing it to a chosen focal point. The focal point itself varies from meditation to meditation. Focusing on an abstract painting can still the mind. "Angel of Emptiness" exemplifies the Buddhist meaning of emptiness.  Emptiness does not mean complete nothingness; it doesn't mean nothing exists at all. It means that things do not exist the way our grasping self thinks they do.  By focusing on the muted white and grey in the angel painting your eyes will eventually adjust to a spaciousness not seen at first. There is spaciousness or emptiness in the mind that is beyond understanding.  Focusing on that empty space in the art can calm the...

FEATURE ARTIST OF THE WEEK: NK JEWEL ART or MY FRIEND NANCY, CREATIVE GENIUS

Feature artist of the week, Nancy Klotz has been my mentor for years.  Her art jewelry emphasizes creative expression and design. I met American abstract artist Nancy in 1978 when she worked as an Artist in Residence for Prince George County, MD. There was an open house for the six artists who were part of the Artist in Residence program.  Nancy created unique abstract oil paintings that I fell in love with.  My favorite were pink abstract figures that could pass for flamingos.  We "clicked" when talking to each other and a strong friendship developed between us. Nancy worked for years as an abstract painter and potter. Nancy received her MFA painting. "I eventually moved away from painting and into ceramics with a focus on working in...

DAVID SMITH AMERICAN SCULPTOR

Among the greatest American sculptors of the twentieth century, David Smith was the first to work with welded metal. He wove a rich mythology around this rugged work, often talking of the formative experiences he had in his youth while working in a car body workshop. He learned welding while there which he used in his sculpture. Smith was friends with Robert Motherwell and many other Abstract Expressionist painters. He made his first sculptures by attaching stray objects to his paintings.  It was after seeing photographs of Picasso's metal constructions that he turned wholeheartedly to sculpture. One of Smith's most important formal innovations was to abandon the idea of a "core" in sculpture. He became better known in the '50s and in 1958 the Museum of...

FEATURE ARTIST LISA K SALERNO

The Paper Dolls series unfolded quite by accident, or perhaps it was by luck? I discovered a dissonant joy and longing in the repeating nameless-faceless forms of the vaguely female shapes I cut while playing with my daughter. While my initial intent was to entertain my little girl with these fun and innocent cutouts, I found myself imagining a story and character for each strand of figures. The repetitive patterns that unfolded reminded me of the ways in which our society so often ascribes stereotypes for each woman; ones that we impose upon ourselves, and ones that are imposed upon us. As the ambiguity of each doll shape faded away when paper, paint, canvas, and pen combined, the narratives of each painting emerged, so too did their titles. One-worded but with double...

IT’S NOT ABOUT THE CRUCIFIXION or THE REAL MEANING OF THE CRUCIFIXION

Fearful connotations are associated with the crucifixion. The crucifixion can be and  has been misunderstood because the fearful are apt to perceive fearfully. The crucifixion is the extreme example of how not to accept false justification for anger.  The crucifixion actually represents release from fear to anyone who understands it. How we perceive is based on our minds.  Who hasn't felt persecuted by others at some point? Everyone is free to perceive themselves as persecuted.  That is one's choice. When we feel attacked, we usually react with anger.  Responding with anger is projecting what's in our mind while thinking it is caused by another.  It's not caused by someone else,  it is our projection of anger. Anger fosters assault and assault promotes fear. The real...

Why Is It So Important to Be Right? Having to be right all the time will ruin every relationship you have.

The title in this painting is taken from the writing within it. It could just as easily be called "There's a Hole in the Bucket" Having to be right is really about anger. And the anger is caused within one's self. When I'm in an argument with someone, I blame that person for not knowing I am "right" and he/she is "wrong". But if it weren't for my feelings  bringing up unresolved issues, there would be no argument. What about anger related to art? If it weren't for anger would  "soul" music exist?  In contemporary  expressionistic art, sculpture and paintings with the most movement tend to give people more excitement than calmer works.  The sculptures seen here create  reactions by  viewers. Willem Dekooning's women paintings caused a...

Where Else But in New York? When in New York, Do as New Yorkers Do – WALK

When in New York, do as New Yorkers do - WALK For two weeks I lived in a fabulous condo in Soho and  walked all over Manhattan. NYC is all about art.  Whether walking or using public transportation, viewing scenery and people bring great delight. Outdoor sculpture is everywhere and is as diverse as the people who live there. Red is the color of extremes.  It's the color of passionate love, danger, anger, seduction, violence, and adventure.  Not only are there bright red sculptures in Times Square, but red sculptures are dispersed throughout the city. Some sculptures are classical. And some are whimsical. Some art portrays a message Whether sitting in a museum or on a park bench or walking the streets of Manhattan, there...

Are These Chairs Really Chairs?

These modern art chairs by artist Darren Foote display a common subject with a different perspective. Even though these chairs are not what you normally sit on, they can be identified as chairs. Abstract art provides a recipe for learning how to read what you see. No two people see the same way. Sometimes a contemporary abstract painting will need to be turned to the right or upside down for a particular viewer. There are artists who create an illusion of reality.  Julian Beever, a famous United Kingdom artist creates amazing pavement drawings that trick the eye.  While viewing his 3 dimensional drawings, one's mind attempts to fill in the details of something it either thinks it already knows, or doesn't quite understand. It's all...
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