People are complaining about the Corona Virus, having to stay in and not go to their bars and casinos.
I don't get it. Maybe it's because this quarantine thing is not such a big change in my life.
Artists are happier being alone.
My mind is excited to wake up and realize that I have absolutely nothing pressing to do all day. I read, I paint, I nap.
Yes I realize that other people need to get out and earn a living, and I feel for them. But bars and casinos and tattoo parlors?
I sneaked away to "Holy Lobby" the other day during early "at risk" hours to buy a few things. I got a canvas for the OVAC 12 x 12 fundraiser, and came across these 6 x 6" gallery wrapped canvases.
They looked a little crafty to me, but they were half priced, and I thought it might make me think a little.
I can paint them and throw them in a shoe box if i need to store them. "Whaddaya got to lose?" whispered my impulsive self.
Anyway....here are a few of them, with a couple more toned and ready to go. Just a little fun.
"SHADOW GAMES" is an original 40 x 60" acrylic painting, and the latest in my "Origins" collection.
This is a big painting, but not the largest that I have done....remembering the three 84" square paintings I created for my"Oklahoma Gold" exhibit at the Oklahoma Capitol Building.
Like the rest of the "Origins" paintings, this work relies heavily upon "dreamtime" or flow of consciousness creation.
I find this technique to embody the highest level of creativity, with a general theme or feeling, working through design, color, and subject matter, ever changing as the painting evolves
It is at the same time, the most realistic and the most abstract painting, portraying intense shamanistic feelings in their most detailed story telling, along with the free will exchange of random color and composition exemplified in the most abstract tradition.
A friend compared this painting and the portfolio as a whole, to Plato's "Cave" philosophy, where some viewers see the shadows and think they are reality, where others see the objects and think they are reality, with each group thinking the other is wrong.
Who knows? If shadows are memories, are they real? Are memories of actual objects real?
In this case, these paintings are not memories, but feelings. Surely feelings are real. Who knows?
Sometimes I think we think too much.
"Still Life with a Guitar" 24 x 24" acrylic on canvas
Lots of artists find their "thing" and explore it in every way possible. Evidently with me with this "Still Life with a Guitar" series.
I like the flat shapes with the enticing lines that move your eyes around like a road map. Or an Etch-a-Sketch.
It's been a little strange with this corona virus thing, but I've found that for the most part, I've been social-distancing all my life.
Artist's do that. We want to be alone while we're painting, while we're thinking about painting, but when the piece is finished, the artist suddenly needs his work to be seen by the world.
I hear that there are artists who never show their work to anyone. Is that pure creativity?
That zen philosopher ( I'll think of his name the second after I sign off here) says if you're truly creative, you will make your painting, then burn it, without showing it to anyone.
I'm not there yet.
Critics, mathematicians, scientists and busybodies want to classify everything, marking the boundaries and limits... In art, there is room for all possibilities. (Pablo Picasso)
Creativity, regardless of the form, is a primal function of man's intellect.
Ideally, instinctual manipulation of media should be the only force behind creation, much as the instinctive force behind birth, death, procreation, and survival.
But we think.
We labor to make sense of the world and of all the schemes of living things and nature.
I think we labor too hard.
Art has fallen prey to man's need to "categorize" in order to make sense of the thoughts of others in his brain.
Work is categorized as realistic or abstract.
Such designations are absolutes.
No absolutes exist in art.
Even within this philosophy, I find that I love certain things about painting.
I love colors. I love texture. I love spontaneity.
I love innocence.
I love panache. I love messages.
But I do not love categories.
I do not love absolutes.
I do not love to labor too hard.
After a week or so not painting, (visiting the grand kids) it's sometimes hard to get back to the routine.
It seems like it's a little hard to make the mess, get the clean water, come up with the idea, whatever excuse it takes to get back in the saddle.
I find that when I hit that little "brain-block", i revert to the old "Still Life with a Guitar" trick, where the colors are arbitrary, the composition is arbitrary, the design is arbitrary, and to quote Drew Carey, "The points don't matter".
This little 8 x 10" study has all my "crutch" elements, and is painted using only red, yellow and blue + white.
It's a little busy ( a hazard of restarting after a hiatus), but things will simplify after a couple more.
Anyway, it's a nice little painting, I think
And then I thought, Hey! Why not put the images above the text so visitors can see the painting I'm talking about!
How is it that I think I have time to keep up a blog when all I do is eat, sleep and paint?
This might be an exercise in futility....I think I have started 3 or 4 blogs in the past, and each one has shriveled up and died from lack of time (interest?) on my part.
Well let's give it a go.
Since the beginning of December, I have been painting tiny (to me) little 8 x 10" acrylic studies.
The initial idea came to me because when I was stretching my 24 x 24" canvases, I had a 14" selvage of left-over canvas that I "saved" thinking I would use it sometime.
After stretching a few canvases on 8 x 10 stretchers, I decided to save space and time by painting on a flat 12 x 14" canvas, pinned to a board, with the 8 x 10" area taped off and sealed with acrylic medium.
You can see in the photo below how much space I have saved, since I have painted around 60 flat paintings.
Micheal W. Jones
Thoughts and work from a mid-career artist working his ass off every day
My Facebook page and