The work consists, as Assael advises, in drawing all the time, in carrying a sketchbook and drawing all things...in making bad drawings as well as good ones - in learning to see profoundly and to make "as if effortlessly...an illusion of lack of skill resulting from working without thoughts getting in the way." Only a master can think without thinking, and the road to mastery is work." —from Daniel Maidman's article, Master Class, Huffpost Arts & Culture (read the article here)
I have, in the past, wondered about the idea of mastery, in anything really, and this article about Steven Assael by Daniel Maidman set me to thinking once again. I have met some really talented people in my life, but the word 'master' never really came to mind. Is it an outdated notion? I would like to think that walking among us is a modern day version of Da Vinci or Rembrandt or Mozart. I think the world needs masters, heroes, and myth-makers, of a sort. At least, I do.
I just spent the last two days at a portrait workshop. I am so energized. The instructor was the amazing Teresa Oaxaca. (If you're an artist and she's offering a workshop in your area, do not hesitate to sign up.) We worked primarily in charcoal and I came away with a renewed respect for this wonderful medium. It is ancient and contemporary all at the same time. I am still reeling, and partly, from the energy of being in a room filled with like-minded individuals. I must make the effort to spend more time around fellow artists. It is a vital connection. One can become so narrowly focused creating in isolation. So, it's back to life drawing!
I look out my studio window and there is a hole in the sky. Or maybe it's more accurate to say, there is too much sky. The big pinõn tree is gone. The one that was infected by bark beetles. The one doves rested in. The one redwing blackbirds flocked to this summer and made their water sounds. The one that helped me decide where to build the studio. It's gone.
It took the gentleman no more than an hour to remove it. He had it loaded on his truck in pieces and the air smelled like a Christmas tree lot. Now I notice birds fly through the empty space and hesitate, as if confused. My memory does the same.
Pat Greenwell is an artist. A painter and sometimes poet, he has been searching the New Mexico desert for a couple of years now, looking for lost possibilities and probable intentions.
"...mostly stream-of-consciousness stuff, you know...