Sunday, April 29, 2012

Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement

Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement… get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed. Abraham Joshua Heschel

Arvo Part: Look him up, fascinating music.

Arvo Part: Look him up, fascinating music.

I find Part to be one of my best sources of creative inspiration - it evokes imagery!

Estonian composer Arvo Pärt (born 1935) is the founder of the style known as holy minimalism, which employs the harmonic simplicity of American minimalism in the service of devout spirituality. In the 1970s, Pärt developed his distinctive sound using a technique he called tintinnabulation, which combines the bell-like clarity of triads with step-wise melodic movement. The majority of his music has religious themes even though it is primarily intended for concert rather than liturgical performance. His best-known works include the instrumental pieces Fratres, Spiegel im Spiegel, and Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, and the choral works Summa, Magnificat, De Profundis, and Passio. ~ Stephen Eddins

Following is a video with a performance of Spiegel im Spiegel - Prepare or introspection.
Anne Akiko Meyers performs Arvo Part's beautifully meditative 'Spiegel im Spiegel' or Mirror in Mirror. Reiko Uchida, piano. Performed to a sold out house in New York City in 2011.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Abstraction, Abstract expressionism, and other isms. Can we really classify art?

Abstraction, Abstract expressionism,                                                                                   and other isms. Can we really classify art?


I really have trouble with the word abstract. It’s WAY overused. Initially it was understood – especially in the first quarter of the 20th century. Before that the impressionists were giddy about abstracting their subjects. And there in lies the point – to have an abstraction, you have to have something to abstract. 

The first 3 examples above are clearly abstracts (Sutulov; Magerl; Stojanovic; Brig). My "walking on Water" (previous post) is obviously abstract.

The next three pieces are what you may call expressionist or non-representative (Richter; Gomez; and my own "The Depths"). Here the effort to classify becomes troublesome. I generally look at work which have a lot of energy as expressionist (such as the Richter, above as well as Pollack and De Kooning). The freedom of their work tends to fit the "classification". Much contemporary work though simply seems just non-representational or simply Contemporary. Today artists including myself are still working in abstract or any other form - whatever expresses what they want to convey. 

Therefore begs the question: do we need to classify art: do we need to tag it, name it, ism it? Artist themselves often call their work something. Sometimes to make themselves stand out as being different, or maybe just trying to explain that they are doing. I often call my work geometric expressionism or metaphorical - but then I'll do something completely different....

Historians may disagree with me but the term abstract expressionism was seldom abstract – but expressionism describes it well. The term abstract clung to it as it gave it some grounding; in other words, people new what abstraction was but had difficulty intellectually making the transition away from something they knew and understood. Therefor the term became universally accepted. Picasso and Miro for example, were abstractionist as were Modigliani and early Kraser. Pollock is still my favorite and called an abstract expressionist – but what was he abstracting? Once we leave the word of representing what we see to what we are – we become something else. You’ll hear a lot of this from me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Eldar Djangirov Take the A Train

Just found Eldar on Pandora. An immigrant from Kyrgyzstan, he had landed a recording contract with Sony when he was 16! There is so darn much talent in this world that we seldom hear of - it's amazing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Changing Direction

After working in cramped quarters in my basement for years, I've been thinking about adding a decent studio on to the house for a couple of years I finally at least built 20' of art storage on the side of the house - couldn't afford the full project. This year we can so I won't be doing a lot of art during the process. I drew the plans and submitted for a building permit.

Then: hold on, this isn't going to work..... Last night we laid out chalk lines on the concrete where we were to build and found that with required property setbacks and the house not being aligned with the property line it was a odd and too small of a space. My wife and I were sitting outside at dusk talking about it and she had an epiphany! We were sitting on the lower patio under the upper floor deck and she said "why not build it here?". After the DUH moment passed I realized that it wasn't perfect, but it was faster, less expensive and provides the room needed. Now I have to get out there and start the cleanup and prep.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Oh, wait a minute - a little honesty up front. That b/w photo posted at the right is 20+ years old, taken by my wife Pam and it's a favorite. A more realistic photo may show up later.... yep,there it is on the FB link!

Where to start?

Except for those with great confidence, I suppose that this is THE question for your first post.

Between my family, my religion and my art - I am defined. I'm blessed with an amazing family - stats are in my bio. Without my devotion to Christ and the Mormon church, I would be of little value. These things define me. My art is an expression of that definition.

To me art is not what you see, but what is inside of you, what you feel. My career in architecture (I still work in it when there is opportunity) was more often frustrating than fulfilling - the demands of clients, budgets and schedules. The inability to fully express your feelings for the art of architecture unless you have and exceptionally open client was frustrating.

Now, as an artist, the work is mine. If I don't like what I've done, I can put it away. It is an exciting form of personal expression. In the few years that I've been working in art I've found the inspiration exciting and the opportunities exciting. Two solo shows last year and the start of a new studio presently have been very fulfilling. I'm amazed at the friends I've made in the art community - both locally and worldwide online - you know who you are and I thank you for your support. As an "emerging" artists I am grateful for the support of my wife (a Speech Pathologist) and my children.

If you are new to my work you can find me at and on Facebook at Lark Studio. More to come, philosophy, things I enjoy, rantings and nonsense - so stop by often and enjoy.