Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

2011 will be the Year of  Inspiration.

We leave behind a decade of hardship and excess, and a complete loss of touch with everything that makes us human. We got caught up in symbols of things that prove we dominate the planet, and arguments over who should have those things and who should not. We measured our world by prices of stocks and houses, watching the numbers as if they were the air we needed to breathe. And when the dominoes began to fall, we hung onto a lot of misguided discussion over who had the answers. Nobody did, because we weren’t asking the right questions.

Life is fairly simple, when we are able to step back and view the universe for what it is—something miraculous and relatively indifferent to our individual neuroses. There’s the sky and the ocean and the land between, sun and moon, winter and summer. At our best, we humans are uniquely blessed with the ability to appreciate those things that are so much larger than we are, and when we do, we see how inconsequential the price of gas is. It’s time to let a universe that knows better than we do take back the reigns. Our job is to get up every day and revel in what the world shows us.

Everyone needs daily inspiration to plod through the infinite indignities, hardships, and even tragedies of life just to find those small moments of perfection, where it is just good to be. And so we decorate our space in the world with things large and small that remind us of who we want to be, and show us new ways to see ourselves. It’s in the music we play, the books we read, the movies we watch, and the pictures we look at that take us to the world at its best. Each day becomes a tapestry we weave ourselves, stitching together the inspiration we find in a million places.

Art does move the world, in infinitesimal, miniscule, monumental ways. It is the forest of dreams we wander through, and without it, we would simply forage for food and seek shelter from the cold. Birds make nests, but they don’t hang pictures on the wall. They sing, but not to entertain. They dance, but only to capture the attention of a mate. And even then, it’s all for a purpose—only humans are into recreational sex. And as far as we know, birds don’t tell jokes.

So, the point of human life is not in daily survival. We all do that until the day we don’t. It’s the view along the way, and how deeply we can absorb it. Socrates announced more than 2400 years ago that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” So much of modern life is about self-examination, to a point where we have lost sight of where we sit in the larger arena. We examine our psyches, measure our food, and watch new and ever more excruciating reality shows designed to explore the minutia of our lives and expose our most pathetic foibles. It’s time to turn the focus around and look out at the world again—and that is gift that artists bring to us.

Even though Mark Twain died 100 years ago, he observed our penchant for seeing ourselves as the center of the Universe even before TV, Facebook, and Twitter made it profitable, and so he added the caveat that “the life too closely examined may not be lived at all.”

This is the year we stop grousing and blaming everybody else for the miserable state of the world, and start to recognize what an amazing place it is—it survived all we did to it in the past decade alone! We can paint a new future, sing new songs, and tell new stories of who we want to become, as individuals, and as a species. 

This year I plan to celebrate art, music, literature, movies, and every creative source of inspiration I can find. I hope you will continue to follow me as I explore the world as artists show it to us—and that you will lead me to your creative inspirations as well.

Thank you to the artists of the world, for giving us the vision to keep going!

Happy New Year!

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Writers work with the connotation of words, which means the attending feelings that surround a word. The words “brilliant” and “glaring” describe the same quality, but the former is a positive trait and the latter is decidedly negative. So goes the fine line between a critique and criticism. One is kind; the other is not. But they can both be helpful.
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Last weekend at the Adirondack Plein Air Festival in Saranac Lake, NY, I was able to remain in the hall as Juror Anne Diggory judged the entries from 2 days of plein air painting. Anne is one of my favorite landscape painters, so her judgement was especially interesting.

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The ARTS ENCLAVE is up for a PEPSI REFRESH grant in the month of August, and we will need votes…Many many votes every day in August to meet our goal.

My project is to take this blog you have been reading, and build a website around it where you can start to meet artists of all kinds and learn more about what they are doing and how they do it. They will teach us! There’s a huge arts culture going on around us and participating in it is the best way I know to change the world for the better—which is exactly what the PEPSI REFRESH PROJECT is all about. 

Please vote for the ARTS ENCLAVE website project today and every day in August. And look at the other projects on the RefreshEverything.com site. There’s a lot of good karma on there!

© 2010 Arts Enclave. All Rights Reserved.


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No matter what creative art form you choose, that mystical process in your head will be exploring the question of what subject to paint, photograph, or write about.

Technique is your calling card, but subject is the soul of an artist. Why you choose what you choose as the central focus of a painting, a novel or short story, a film or a photograph, and even a song, delves deep into the gray matter that makes each artist unique. It’s where you tap into the full blueprint of your experience via your individual emotional wiring to deliver your personal statement to the world.

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As a lifestyle, art is not sustainable—at least not the way we do it today.  Artists are expected to make a living doing something else, and then do their art on their own time with their own money, which we then integrate into our lives without ever realizing how important it is to us.

There isn’t a single person alive who has not at some point smiled at a picture, cried at a movie, swayed to a song, or filled quiet moments with a good book. We need these things as much as we need air, water, food and shelter. Because without them, we have only air, water, food and shelter. Picture that world, if you can.

Life without Art

Life Without Art

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Is there anyone who thinks they can’t paint like Jackson Pollock? That’s exactly the problem with evaluating his work, because he’s one of the most copied painters of all time. And even the experts have trouble telling the difference. If you don’t yet know what I mean, go here to see what you can do….Now that you’ve had that fun, let’s get back to the point, which is that a painting that is a verifiable Pollock original fetches a lot more (as in $$$$$ more) than one by the most talented of emulators. Read more

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