On this blog, a companion to "ArtSoPotent," I will write about the connection between visual art and other art forms, including cinema, dancing, poetry, and specifically music. This space will also serve to display images of my commercial work: Calligraphy, Collage, Note Cards, Hand-painted boxes, Handmade books,and other mixed-media works.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Seeing Jazz / Book Review

The book, "Seeing Jazz," is a compilation of art and music, showing how the two often nourish, mimic and inspire each other.

Filled with photographs of famous musicians and paintings, sculpture and mixed media of famous contemporary artists, the book is a feast for the art lover's soul.  Essays and words complete this stimulating book.

Some of my favorite art images are, "Negro Jazz Band" / Charles Demuth; "Cabinet of Dr. Buzzard" / Frank Smith; "Grand Jazz Band" / Jean Dubuffet; "Icarus" / Henri Matisse;  "Sketch to Charlie Parker's Music" / Norman Lewis; "In E Sharp" / Romare Bearden and "Dancing Couple #2" / Ann Tanksley, among many others.

Interesting writings and sayings on jazz include words from pianist Mary Lou Williams, author James Baldwin, poet Rita Dove, author Toni Morrison and author F. Scott Fitzgerald.  It was particularly interesting to hear musicians write about the making of their music - how actual set pieces develop.

I would recommend this book to anyone seeking to learn more about the art-music connection, or to anyone who loves jazz and/or visual art. 

"Art affirms plastically the ancient truth that life is equilibrated rhythm.  Art always realizes this equilibrium in life."       - Piet Mondrian  

"The rhythm of life is a jazz rhythm, honey.  The gods are laughing at us."
                                                    - Langston Hughes

"God breathes through us so completely.....so gently we hardly feel it....yet it is our everything.  Thank you, God.     - A Love Supreme:  John Coltrane / From the liner notes

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mixed Media Tidbits

- In keeping with the spirit of the season, I will be posting a few essays on the topic of giving, especially as it relates to artists.  Please look for that subject in the next few days on my ArtSoPotent  blog.

- I must share that the so-called "Christmas Spirit" is one I try to maintain all year round.  For me, that means a spirit of gratitude, awareness of what most matters in life and a spirit of celebration.  However, it's ironic that during this time of social gatherings, I'm yearning more for a time of reflection about the upcoming year.

- There are so many new movies opening lately that you wonder if you can see them all.  On my list are the following:  The Blind Side / The Princess and the Frog / Avatar/... and Invictus.  There are others that do not immediately come to mind.   I particularly want to see Invictus because Morgan Freeman is one of my favorite actors, but also because I have always admired Nelson Mandela as one of my heros.

- Some other heroes and sheroes are Martin Luther King, Jr., Madame C. Walker, Stephen Biko, Zora Neale Hurston, Mahatma Ghandi, Harriet Tubman, Phyllis Wheatley, James Foreman, Shirley Chisholm, Sojourner Truth, and Frederick Douglas, to name just a few.  Please feel free to add your own in the comments section.

- Speaking of heroes, does anyone know who sang the song, "I Need a Hero?'  Was it Pat Benatar?  I know that Aretha Franklin had a beautiful song called, "Gotta Find Me an Angel."  Right now, I think the world needs more angels and heroes.  I'm sure they exist, but we need to hear more about them.  

- I have seen quite a lot of whimsical art on this site, but not as much contemporary, abstract, or cutting edge art as I would like.  I will be sharing links to these blogs as I find them, and would appreciate hearing of the ones you stumble upon.

- What I'm working on right now:  Abstract paintings on paper, canvas and board (mostly paper);  Collage on canvas;  Some really inspired colored pencil landscapes that will become paintings;  Handpainted paper mobils and, as always, note cards and greeting cards.  Some of my friends tell me I scatter my forces too much, but for me it's the only way to work!  When I'm working on what's in front of me at any given time. That particular work gets my most intense and most undivided attention!

- Please bear with me, as I have not uploaded any new imagery.  I have completed a substantial amount of recent work,  and will be sharing it soon.  Here are a few collage note cards to give you an idea of the type of forms that are in my larger-scale collage works: