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PRESENTATION & TALK TOPICS
If this is something you would like to offer your audience and community, I’d be very happy to connect and discuss further possibilities. Please click on the “Contact the Artist” link in the upper right corner. The date and time shown in the upper left are place-holders; scheduling will be determined based on each venue’s particular scheduling needs.
The Painting Journey
Reflecting on my own experience of painting for almost fifty years, I describe three main stages of the Painting Journey: Gathering, Integration, and Mature Exploration. Each of these stages has distinct questions, tasks and challenges. Listeners will receive a not-often discussed overview of what a life in paint entails, and what they can expect from their own journeys. The specific challenges of one stage are often found to be in quite a different form in another stage, which can lead to confusion. This conversation equips the developing painter with clarity regarding their own tasks, expectations and process in the studio, and how to think about a lifetime adventure.
Painting as Creative Empowerment
A committed painting practice is usually a very personal engagement, and it can often generate difficult feelings of frustration, anxiety or self-judgment. In this topic, I talk about ways we can use our emotional energies directly in the making, transforming what might have been experienced as an obstacle into a catalyst and wellspring. In addition to what we usually think of as “negative” emotions, I discuss how to work with feelings of desire, yearning, and love. As we work with these different emotional energies they often shift and change – then what? What is called for? Listeners will see that every emotional situation is workable and a valuable source for painting. Painting becomes a life-exploration and life-practice.
Composition, Awareness and the Essential Self
What are the formal dynamics of composition? What makes a composition successful? What are compositional techniques and where do they come from? For this conversation, I first look at the outer components of composition, the formal elements we’re familiar with when making a painting. I then move into the inner life of compositional decision making. What is the relationship between composition and wholeness, and where does the experience of wholeness come from? Listeners will be introduced to an understanding of wholeness as a felt experience of Awareness. In this way, the creative practice of composition becomes a vehicle for a deepening recognition of our Essential Self.
Painting, Power & Presence: A Recontextualization
During this conversation I present a larger context for our deeply human engagement with two-dimensional handmade image making. Starting with paleolithic cave painting and moving briskly, and multiculturally, up through our contemporary period, I ground painting in a context of felt meaning. The art historical emphasis on innovation shifts into one valuing presence. Style evolves out of inner necessity. Listeners will understand the deep importance of their work in our world today, regardless of how commercially “successful” they may, or may not, be in the art world. This deepening understanding, in turn, empowers and brings greater power and purpose to their work.
What is the deeper meaning of Painting today? When we engage in the activity of painting what exactly are we doing, how can we make it stronger, and what does it actually matter? This talk looks at the history and prehistory of Two-Dimensional Handmade Image Making. We look at the essential experience of Presence in Painting; and the urgent implications for us as contemporary painters, creatives, and collectors.
A brief video introduction.
The talk begins with our cave-painting heritage and moves briskly up to our contemporary times, lasting approximately one hour and leaving time for questions. In that hour, some of what is covered includes:
- An examination into the contemporary problem of meaning in art, and the implications for a creative maker.
- A multicultural, world-wide, pre-modern look at painting.
- An exploration of the aspect of Presence in art – what it is, how it arrives and why it’s important.
- A visual engagement with a range of Modern and Contemporary painters, touching upon their own sense of meaning.
- A look at what it means to move from a culture of production and consumption to a culture of stewardship in our creative making.
- A context for why the engagement with painting deeply matters, both for us as individuals and for the larger culture and times.
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