The Blank Canvas

Creating something new is always daunting.
I’ve been staring at a blank canvas for 2 weeks. In a sense the reason why I haven’t touched it is because of something that’s happening inside of me. Although I’ve completed work since I broke my ankle, those pieces have been continuations of things I began before. Other than a few sketches – I haven’t created anything new since I got hurt.
The event of the injury was significant in my life. Healing has come with an enhanced understanding of my own vulnerability and with that has come a fear or breaking my body through my mundane daily routine. Through the recovery, my closest relationships have changed in a myriad of deep and meaningful ways. I’ve felt a revival of passion that comes with understanding that I won’t always be as vital and capable as I am now. In short – I’ve changed.
So when I stare at the canvas, I’m not sure what I want to say. In ways, I keep trying to find projects that step around that issue – because I just don’t know the answer. I suppose I can explore that very question through painting, but for the moment all I have are words. The brush strokes will come with time.
Thanks for tuning in.
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Can graffiti be considered Art?

Today, I included the comment below on a discussion board on LinkedIn. It’s written in response to the question of whether graffiti is art. I’ve been thinking about graffiti for a long time, so I was happy to put in my 2 cents. Feel free to offer your own commentary.

 I think that graffiti can definitely come from an artful place. You have to ask yourself what you mean by ‘art’. Are you talking about Art as artifact or Art as being something that arises out of artful intent. Personally, I collect images of truly artful pieces of graffiti. As an architect and artist, I really appreciate the spatial and contextual qualities of some graffiti art. When done well, graffiti can transform an otherwise marginal space into something reflective and engaging. It can also give a place an identity in a way that it may not have had before.

 

In terms of vandalism, property ownership is a totally separate question from ‘is it art?’. It’s not part of the same discussion. By that I mean that the actual ownership of the canvas on which something is painted, is not one of the factors generally considered when absorbing the relative greatness of a work of art.

 

For myself I take a more democratic approach to deeming what is art and what isn’t. In my experience, art critics have had little luck in predicting what I will find moving. And that’s really the point of art isn’t it? To move you in some way. Holding on to checklists of what is right or proper in the art world has never created anything worth my time. All of the artists I have loved broke the rules and redefined that very question of what is art.

 

NOE TWO - Graffiti artist from Paris, France

NOE TWO – Graffiti artist from Paris, France

Natural Symmetry

Natural Symmetry, 10 x 14", ink & goache on paper

Natural Symmetry, 10 x 14″, ink & goache on paper

I’ve been thinking about incorporating colour into my mandalas for months. This is my first attempt at combining mandala and painting. The mediums used here are ink and goache on watercolour paper. Next time I’d like to try using coloured pencils with a mandala to see what’s possible with textures.

This piece considers symmetry found in nature alongside the symmetry of geometry and mathematics. I used the air plants here because of their unfurling nature and the markings on the geometric centre were inspired by the markings of butterfly wings.

A sneaky puppy

A sneaky puppy