Q: Tell us about any other interests you may have besides your art practice. Does it get reflected in your art? (Question from artamour)
A: Travel is arguably the best education there is. My travels around the world, supplemented with lots of research once I return home, are an important part of my creative process. This is how I develop ideas to forge a way ahead. It is difficult and solitary work.
Even though I became an artist later in life, travel as a source of inspiration found ME. And it has been a blessing! People around the world have become fans. Many send messages of thanks saying they are proud that some aspect of their country’s culture has inspired my work. I am always grateful and touched to know this.
I love old movies, especially early silent films, classic noir and horror films from the 1930s and 1940s, and anything by Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Wells. Probably this interest is most evident in the way I composed and designed pastel paintings in my early “Domestic Threats” series. I’m not sure it’s discernible in subsequent work.
Another passion is swimming. Four times a week I swim at a local pool. I love it! In my view swimming laps is the best exercise to help maintain fitness and to prepare for the focus and physicality I need in the studio.
Comments are welcome!
Posted in 2022, An Artist's Life, Creative Process, Inspiration, Travel
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Q: Do you have a favorite among your thousands of travel photographs from around the world?
A: I do! It is this photograph of a family matriarch filling a water jar. I don’t remember the name of the village, but it was somewhere in South India at a clay-tile-making workshop.
Walking in, I immediately stopped in my tracks. Had I just traveled back in time to some 18th century workshop? I found her appearance and demeanor extraordinary! (Regretfully, I did not ask her name). She was tiny, yet she was the boss whose authority and judgement were beyond question. After observing her move around the studio for a few minutes, I asked if I might have a photograph. She immediately struck this arresting and classic pose. I smiled to myself, “Obviously, she has done this a few times!”
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Posted in 2020, An Artist's Life, India, Photography, Travel
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Pearls from artists* # 341
*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
The classic work of art is a form of life with its own bizarre consciousness. In the performing arts – theater, dance, music – this consciousness is not reducible to the minds of the performers onstage. The participants are parts of a spiritual organism that includes and transcends them. In our modern materialist mindset we naturally attribute the impression that a work speaks in its own voice to the intention of the author, who used it as a vehicle for her own ideas. But… works of art express much that their authors never intended to say: they exceed the limited views of those who bring them into being.
J.F. Martel in Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice: A Treatise, Critique, and Call to Action
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Posted in 2019, Art in general, Creative Process, Inspiration, Pearls from Artists, Quotes, Studio
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