taking care of art business

One of the darkest places one can go is to the land of indecision. This invented land may challenge your values.  A lesson well learnt is when you discover that to challenge your values is to compromise the truth of who you are.

There are remembered points in your life where time seemed to go so slow and others when it flies by fast. Indecision land feels like both and simply a good waste of time. Perhaps fears draws us to this place, a fear of making the wrong decision and a sense that the alternatives don’t seem so appealing. Perhaps this seems a little too deep yet in the creative journey we can dock in this land unexpectedly. The temptation is to jump ship, and leave it all behind and let someone else take charge.

In the end, if the situation involves an art career decision it all comes back to the reason we create. Without purpose does art has any meaning?. During a recent bout of indecision I heard a sweet person say of my paintings that some have ‘ a gentle whisper of healing and peace, a sigh of relief as this world writhes in pain’. I was reminded that those who achieve their goals don’t compromise on their purpose or their values. After all if we don’t believe in ourselves then who else will. The acclaimed actress Helen Hayes was known to have said  ‘ Short as I am I played the tallest queen in history. I though tall, I felt tall – and I looked tall. ‘

Below is one of my latest art pieces, a sculpture titled Every Tree has a Silver Lining

Back View:  Every Tree has a Silver Lining sculptural art by Lyne Marshall

Back View: Every Tree has a Silver Lining sculptural art piece by Lyne Marshall

 

Front View:  Every Tree has a Silver Lining sculptural art by Lyne Marshall

Front View: Every Tree has a Silver Lining sculptural art piece by Lyne Marshall

 

What is the Purpose of Art?

John O’Donahue, an Irish poet, writes in his inspiring book Divine Beauty that  ‘ The poem is shaped to enter and inhabit forgotten or not yet discovered alcoves in the reader’s heart’.  As I read these words I am acutely aware that all creative endeavors have this core purpose. I have experienced on many occasions how an artwork can transport the viewer to places unknown.

One memorable occurrence, which I later believed to be Stendhal’s Syndrome, happened to me twice in 2006 in Shanghai while standing in front of the paintings of acclaimed Chinese artist Zhou Chaing Jaing. I wrote about this unexpected and life changing experience in my first book Gleaner or Gladiator The Struggle to Create. At the time I fell into Chaing’s work in a dizzy spell that felt like I had fainted while still standing. It was very unsettling yet I knew I had just had a unique spiritual encounter with his painting.

I was sensing the truth of the artist and it opened my eyes to seeking out more creative people who instill this essence into their creations. I found that to create art work that can affect the viewer on many levels an artist is required to dig very deep and take risks. This can make them vulnerable to self-doubt and also the critical words of others.

For myself, as I endeavor to grow in purpose, I find the only way forward to be in the present and explore and rejoice in the beauty of the world I live in. This may be idealistic in today’s world but at the beginning of each day, as the poet W.S Graham writes, I try to ‘Listen. Put on morning and waken into falling light ‘. In this way I am inspired to live each day expecting only the best to happen.

Below ..new work in the Bird Series..

Bird Series

 

 

Having the Right Attitude

As a constrained television viewer, with more interest in reading my books than watching  the screen, programs based around the renovation of unique old homes, enveloped in a great deal of history, will capture me every time. Perhaps it is because these plans encompass a vision shaped by large imaginations coupled with vast doses of creative thinking. Great architecture always transforms by responding to place.

 

In the program Grand Designs I am fascinated by the way the home renovator takes on the biggest challenges to see the development of their dream house nurture not only their confidence and sense of purpose, but become life changing. The way we choose to live is always down to personal taste but it is very obvious that happiness is entwined in how we perceive our homes and working lives.

 

Creativity is in everything. It is part of what we do and as for our own dwellings we can transform what we think is the drabbest outdated building by just a little elbow grease, paint and clever furniture. Having the right attitude to work can see our creative projects change us forever.

 

Gaining knowledge is one exercise I really look forward to and this coming weekend I will be spending my time working in my studio with an artist friend. We plan to share with each other our own recently acquired knowledge in two very different areas; digital image transfer techniques and the artist’s philosophy on colour and focus.

 

No doubt this will be inspiring and the results will hopefully flow into my painting time, adding renewed vigor to my vision for my coming exhibition in Perth in October. My last paintings completed prior to the Easter break are below.

My current solo exhibition Where Waters Meet runs until 9th May at NEOGALLERY  at Mt Coolum. Exhibition viewed by appointment on 07 5471 6175 .

Dividing the Waters 91 x 91 cm acrylic on canvas 2014

Dividing the Waters 91 x 91 cm acrylic on canvas 2014

River Deep 91 x 91 cm acrylic on canvas

River Deep 91 x 91 cm acrylic on canvas

Transported by Nature

 

The heavy dark falls back to earth

And the freed air goes wild with light

And the heart fills with fresh bright breath

And thoughts stir to give birth to colour

This poem, by John O’Donohue from his book Eternal Echoes, speaks of the wonder of nature and the power of words. I love reading and can’t image a time without books…real books that I can hold in my hand and mark the places of inspiration that feed my soul. Although I shudder at hurting something I love, I do this to reinforce the lessons. Years later I can pick up this book and still feel a tingle from the message I highlighted.

I have so many books I am waiting to read that I have several on the go at any time. O’Donohue’s books, and his enchanted views relating to how we belong to the earth and have a restless longing to return to nature, all offer ongoing joy and enlightenment. To me this message is confirmed every time I step outside my door and take in the valley that stretches away from my studio.

On travels I find the most amazing places that keep my artist’s heart beating fiercely. Recently, on a road trip down to Canberra, we camped at Newnes, in the Wollemi National Park in New South Wales. It was the highlight of our trip. Newnes is a location now, but was a bustling township 100 years ago. It arose from a Shale Oil enterprise that ultimately failed, however the ruins remain. It takes about an hour and a half to walk around the original infrastructure as it was a huge undertaking.

The most magic part of this stay however was the 5 hour return walk [ 8 klm ] up the escarpment to the old railway tunnel that is now inhabited with glow worms. The old railway track gets a bit washed away in places, which adds to the excitement, but my breath was taken away when we reached the top level. I felt transported back in time.

In 1994, somewhere in the Wollemi National Park, an unknown species of tree, now named the Wollemi Pine, was discovered. It is now believed to have existed on the earth 200 million years ago. Walking through this place gave me a sense of my part in history, even if I am just a minute fragment. O’Donohue’s words ‘ when you find a place in nature where the heart and mind find rest, then you have discovered a sanctuary for your soul’ resonate. Nature does indeed call us to tranquility and transforms us in unexpected ways.

To see the invitation for my April 2014 exhibition Where Waters Meet;  landscapes inspired by nature…Visit  ArtClique exhibition page.

Old railway alignment track to the glowworm tunnel at Newnes

Old railway alignment track to the glowworm tunnel at Newnes

a_tunnel_web

Glowworm tunnel entrance from the Newnes side

 

 

A_wall1_web

Rock walls at the top of the escarpment at Newnes

 

Inspiration and Incubation from an artist’s perspective.

Eons ago I wrote some articles for Creative Portal The first titled Inspiration and Incubation from an artist’s perspective, was excerpted from my first book Gleaner or Gladiator: the struggle to create which is just about out of print. Here is part of that article..

‘ Without inspiration, the obvious tools of creative production are of little use. Sparks that ignite creativity are found everywhere, and can arise from unrelated sources in the most unlikely places. New information triggers a desire to explore, that it will somehow link back to original ideas, that will resurface with a difference taking us closer to a desired goal. The journey of discovery may be quite frustrating but there are ways to negotiate this creative path, which is often quite erratic. Persistence, and a thirst for the knowledge, may help fill in the gaps and give direction.

In the process of searching, creative expression changes without mindful decision on the artist’s part. Using intuition, rather than conscious knowledge, may seem to reduce focus and cause the outcome to be diverse, however it will flow in such a way that the integrity of the work in progress cannot be questioned. It leads to somewhere not reached by rigidity. Research will open the mind to new ideas and help the journey to be understood.

Over periods of time, the ‘real’ art emerged at the point of greatest creative procrastination and frustration. It was a huge relief to understand and accept that some of the difficulties experienced while painting were in fact indicative of change coming. I would unconsciously incubate ideas from research and at a crucial point in time all this ‘forgotten’ information would surface. Although recollection may appear hazy and inconsistent, brain research has shown that we record every detail of life in memory. Imagery actively sought out in the environment will stockpile to feed the mind and emerge at the appropriate moment’.

Have  a creative time in 2014…

Late summer storm at Tallegalla Qld

Late summer storm at Tallegalla Qld