Tuesday, July 22, 2014

dB +



I have been away from the easel for a while. It is good for the soul to take a new challenge up and mine has been to play music again, in earnest. Our project has been a source of inspiration and reward. Last weekend we did the roller coaster of shows, three in a row. First day, meh. Second day, EPIC. Third day, meh. Rained out on the third, but we still put our time in. Saturday night, though. Ah, such a magical experience. Rain came but everybody stayed and danced and eventually held umbrellas over us so we could continue. Drenched drums, controllers, everything, but the good people came to our rescue and we kept rolling. It was not the biggest crowd I have played for but it was the best yet.

The exchange of energy between a painter and the viewers of the art is almost nothing. At least on the surface - the immediate physical connection. Often the painter never meets the viewer. Though, in truth the painter acts as shaman of sorts, imbibing energy into the piece of art that will hang on a wall long after the painter is dead and still give off that energy.

But music. Damn. It is immediate. The refueling that the crowd can do for the performer is pretty good stuff. Maybe the best stuff ever. 

Monday, May 05, 2014

Mural


 Recent Commission. Mural 16' x 3.5' Acrylic on Baltic Birch
White Salmon, WA

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014



MLK. acrylic on canvas. 38 x 25"



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

legacy

I am so inspired by the collections of words that Kahlil Gibran left on earth after he died. It hits me deep. Has since I ran into The Prophet. I fell in love with his words. When I stop to think about what artistic legacy means to me, I tend to remember the ideal set by Gibran. Sincere expression articulated with scholarly devotion and timeless wisdom. Words spoken not to teach, but to rejoice; not to guide, but to celebrate, and which also happen to teach and guide better than just about any books ever written. 

I want to celebrate the man with the words and the wisdom in my next body of work. Paint images of him, and also maybe some painting replicating his drawings and then improvising upon. That sounds like it would be cool to try. Any suggestions for other bodies of work? I saw one of my Malcolm X paintings recently and it made me want to get to work on a bunch of portraits of fascinating figures throughout our history.

We'll see how it goes.

Peace,
Jesse


Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Problem in the Process

The problem in the process may just be the secret to the magic in the outcome.

I fight against this feeling of failure as I labor away at paintings. Upon beginning any project, I immediately make mistakes that seem impossible to recover from. I deviate from my intention. I plunge from casual fun, laying down underpainting layers and washes with not a care in the world, into the icy waters of doubt. I look at this abomination that I have birthed, wondering what I was thinking. How did I stray so far from the easy answer that would have taken mere hours to complete as opposed to  weeks or months?

It seems wrong. It seems not worth the effort. It feels like a terrible mistake. At least when I was working as a surveyor, my worth as a person was not continually jeopardized. As an artist, I eat self doubt for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

But, maybe this is exactly the way in which part of my very soul honest-to-goodness leaks out and bonds with the piece of artwork. And that is what brings the art out of the realm of decoration and into the realm of magic. Transcendence. Eternity. Perhaps this struggle, ugly and humiliating, is the only way to get there.

As long as I persist, I will end up intertwined with this art. I will find the solutions to the problems, and as imperfect as the outcome will surely be, it will be my solution and no one else's. I will have done my duty, and bled onto the canvas.

What we love most about great works (even if it is only subconsciously) is that we can feel the humanity of the artist or author or musician in the work that they present. We feel the pain and the part of themselves that was smeared across the pages in the process. And that, we relate to. That, we appreciate. The secret to success was certainly never in the correctness, the perfection, the accurateness of the piece. Never. The successes are found in the mistakes and the attempts to dig back out from them. The moments when the artist thinks there will be no escape this time. No good ending to this tale. All is lost. All is lost to the struggle. But that is exactly where it is all found.