BEAUTY IN ISOLATION
Oil on Canvas
30 x 20 inches
Inspiration is key in making art, any kind of art. My inspiration comes from a myriad of things like the sky clouds, atmosphere, plant life, scribbles on a wall, and pealed paint. I see things in my every day life and they get stuck somewhere in my brain where they eventually end up in a painting. The process is somewhat mysterious. I am not sure how other "creatives" do it but that is my process. As an artist, it isn't just the seeing and the logging it in for future reference but the doing. The doing is very important and sometimes intimidating. For me, I usually need time between the seeing and the doing because I often do not know what I am going to do with that bit of inspiration. It often just shows up. It says, "Hey, what about me? It would be perfect for the little area in the upper left hand corner that you are struggling with". I listen for these bits of inspiration while I paint. Assembling a good painting requires the ability to listen to the inspirational voice floating around in your head and it always requires the skill to put it down on the surface of the painting in your hand and in the way you paint. I am always looking and following my inspiration. It is usually in the flowing place of my mind's eye.
After a great career of twenty seven years, Tom Ross has decided to be a full time artist and has sold his gallery to Pippin Gallery, another very established gallery on the Santa Fe art scene. I am pleased to announce that I will be staying in the gallery under this new ownership and look forward to a lucrative relationship.
Happy to announce that my work is being featured in the exhibition below at Luminarte Gallery in Dallas.
I am pleased to announce that I am being represented by Luminarte Fine Art Gallery, Dallas, Texas.
Please check out the gallery and the wonderful work being represented.
I have recently been exploring the idea of why I paint. As a result and with a group of artists in Santa Fe, we decided to form an alliance of like minded artists. Ours is a backlash to what is trending these days. We all discovered that we often use making art as an escape. Not an unhealthy one but one that is positive and hopefully motivating to others. I and another fellow artist created a manifesto that was adopted by this group and I would like to share that with you below.
Scapism, short for escapism may also refer to one’s personal creative space, one’s individual scape as in, for example, one’s mind-scape, or spirit-scape, or inner lifescape. The places where landscapes, seascapes, and dreamscapes of all types are created. We escape from the day to day grind and worldwide travail to this inner scape in order to affect the alchemy of transforming our experiences in the world into works of art. We escape, not only from something, but more importantly, towards something. And that something would be the adventure of creation, of reinterpreting our experience to express something beautiful, or startling, or moving, and hopefully, something speaking to universality. This would seem a primary reason to escape to an inner scape where we can digest our experience and give it back, transformed.
Everyone knows the adventure of creation. Everyone at some time in their lives has created something, one way or another. Creation on any level involves escaping from something such as expectation, convention or self-doubt. But, creation also involves escaping towards the adventure of personally causing something new and unique to become manifest.
We invite others to escape into our various created-scapes and share the adventure of experiencing reality transformed.
We may fairly be called Escapists, in that we promote an understanding of healthy escapism, but we would prefer Scapists, as we retreat to our personal spacescapes in order to create our various artscapes.
So then, what exactly is escapism? In the context of an activity being taken to the extreme, "escapism" carries a negative connotation - suggesting that escapists are unhappy, with an inability or unwillingness to connect meaningfully with the world.
However, there are some who challenge the idea (as we do) that escapism is fundamentally and exclusively negative. For instance, J. R. R. Tolkien, responding to the Anglo-Saxon academic debate on escapism in the 1930s, wrote in his essay "On Fairy-Stories" that escapism had an element of emancipation in its attempt to figure a different reality. C. S.
Lewis was also fond of humorously remarking that the usual enemies of escape were jailers. Some social critics warn of attempts by the powers that control society to provide means of escapism instead of actually bettering the condition of the people. Escapist themes appear often in literature. In science fiction for example, escapism is often depicted as an extension of social evolution. Drugs cause some forms of escapism which can occur when certain mind altering drugs are taken which make the participant forget the reality of where they are or what they are meant to be doing.
German social philosopher Ernst Bloch wrote that utopias and images of fulfillment, however regressive they might be, also included an impetus for a radical social change. According to Bloch, social justice could not be realized without seeing things fundamentally differently. Something that is mere "daydreaming" or "escapism" from the viewpoint of a technological-rational society might be a seed for a new and more humane social order, as it can be seen as an "immature, but honest substitute for revolution".
The Norwegian psychologist Frode Stenseng has presented a dualistic model of escapism in relation to different types of activities. He discusses the paradox that the flow state (Csikszentmihalyi) resembles psychological states obtainable through actions such as drug abuse, sexual masochism, and suicide ideation (Baumeister). Accordingly, he deduces that the state of escape can have both positive and negative meanings and outcomes. Stenseng argues that there exists two forms of escapism with different affective outcomes dependent on the motivational focus that lays behind the immersion in the activity. Escapism in the form of self-suppression stems from motives to run away from unpleasant thoughts, self-perceptions, and emotions, whereas self-expansion stems from motives to gain positive experiences through the activity and to discover new aspects of self.
This has been a relatively brief examination of the meanings and implications of the idea of escapism. We, as “scapists”, choose to promote the more healthy manifestations of escapism.
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Collectors in the Dallas area ... new work will be on display at Luminarte Gallery in the Design District from February 15 - March 15, 2014. Please join me at the opening on February 15 from 7pm - 10pm. I look forward to seeing you there. The work should be up a few days before the schedule of the show and if you call, I am sure they will be happy to show you the work.