April 15, 2015: Rumble and a 100th Battle

I just found it extremely peaceful at the Rumble House last night.  Apart from the focus of painting, there were the hugs and the laughter ringing out.  I put aside the celery sticks and, instead, enjoyed a piece of cake.  It was celebration time!  A night of enjoying the camaraderie and the art with friends made since the inception of the Gorilla House-now-Rumble House.  Thank you, Rich, for all of it.

As time goes by, our network of artists and visitors grows and we welcome everyone.  Last night was a full house, as well as some familiar faces from the beginning days.  Elijah, it was awesome to see you.  Frank, Harold, Tamara…I just feel warmer and happier when you’re around.  Mike got back from his vacation, rejuvenated and inspired.  Louise, shared strength and a huge desire in her heart, to create.  Magpies seemed to be surfacing.  I’m wondering what that’s about.  Mark, Aaron, Daniel…such inspiring people and voracious painters! Christine…painted the skyline and the tower as a celebration of the Flames entering into the playoffs!  Bana…Elena…your work blows me away.  Dawn, always a story…about mothering, grand-mothering or flowers.  Priscilla…a constant and nurturing presence. James…Chinese name pronounced…An-du…for the times that we fumbled over our words, trying to communicate profound ideas. Dave…for your wisdom and observations on faces.  Morgan…for your courage.  Jess…your laugh.  Ringo…your music. Ed…your leather bound guest book.  Rich, Matt, Sean, Galen…your generous hearts.  And…Zack for the purchase of my piece at auction…thank you.  If I have not mentioned you, it’s because I have to get Max out to the field before I teach! Missed tonight…Andy, Jenn and Enriquito for three…Jeff and Johanne for five…Asa for six.  And THESE THREE…who wandered in at 11 and asked, “Did we miss the auction?”  Such a beautiful time.

??????????If YOU ever wish to wander in, we’d love to have you!

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Nesting Elephant Babe

This afternoon’s work…I’m grieving the fact that Gorilla House artists and friends are sharing in the last battle tonight.  I’m not with them.  For my readers, ‘the house’ has been picked up by a developer…sushi restaurant or some such thing…it is a sad night for all of us.  We have become family…learned much from one another…learned much about ourselves.  Thank you to Rich Theroux for the vision and to Jess Szabo who has worked tirelessly in the effort and thank you to all my dear friends in art!  This is a movement.  It is a community.  Let’s remain connected.

Keep an eye out here for my nesting babes…

Nesting Elephant

Nesting Elephant

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Gorilla House LIVE ART: October 30, 2013 A Perfect Day

As my readers know, last week we lost Lewis Allan (Lou) Reed.  The inspiration for last night’s painting were Lou Reed Lyrics.  I wasn’t feeling up for attending OR painting last night, but ironically enough, it was my father on some form of social media messaging, who encouraged me.  Beautiful, Dad.  It was good to paint.  Now, for the back-story on the poppies.

As a junior high teacher, I had attended, over the years, too many funerals for my students.  I have recently lost Jessica…and Sheri many years back…but so many boys, other people’s sons.  Visiting a funeral home along with other teachers, greeting families at the loss of their child, was surreal over and over again.  When Jarrett passed, I painted a show titled Pieces of Gold: A Tribute to Two Sons…and then when Chris and Peter passed in a tragic accident out highway 22X on October 22 of 1997, I began painting furiously in my studio.  One of the lines in Peter’s obituary…”One of Peter’s favourite hobbies was sketching.”

I painted large scale oriental poppies…approaching Remembrance Day that year…I simply wanted to remember.  Born in 1979, how was it possible that such young lights had been snuffed out?  I was having a very difficult time with the tragedy that other families were suffering and was fearful for my own children.  When I painted red, I painted the pain, sadness, utter joy of life and the history of children…the huge impact that they have in our lives.  No issue between children and their families can stand in the way of love.  Mothers…fathers…love your children.  Do the best you can.

1997

1997

1997

1997

I saw my work as a tribute and felt that I could ‘work’ the struggle away.  Recently, a dear friend mentioned my poppy paintings…the Red Green Show came to mind, so it was only instinct that as a tribute to Lou Reed, I paint a poppy and after months of neutral colour, at the loss of Mom, I squeezed red out onto my palette.

I wrote the complete lyrics to A Perfect Day in gold text from top to bottom.  The words poured out of me.  With white chalk, I sketched in the two blooms…one about to burst open and shed it’s protective cover, the other, fully open.  Thank you to Phil and Laila who purchased the piece at auction.  Remember.

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Phil and Laila

Phil and Laila

Songwriters: JAMES, TIM / ARMATO, ANTONINA

 

Just a perfect day
drink Sangria in the park
And then later
when it gets dark, we go home

Just a perfect day
feed animals in the zoo
Then later
a movie, too, and then home

Oh, it’s such a perfect day
I’m glad I spend it with you
Oh, such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging on

Just a perfect day
problems all left alone
Weekenders on our own
it’s such fun

Just a perfect day
you made me forget myself
I thought I was
someone else, someone good

Oh, it’s such a perfect day
I’m glad I spent it with you
Oh, such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging on

You’re going to reap just what you sow
You’re going to reap just what you sow
You’re going to reap just what you sow
You’re going to reap just what you sow

Gorilla House LIVE ART: October 23, 2013

Late again. It had something to do with my dog, Max, and getting him out for some good exercise.  We lost track of time…this, after an afternoon raking leaves, cutting back the perennials and mixing new soil into the flower beds.  I emptied and hosed down the shed and took some photos of items that need to go on Kijiji.  It was a very physical and productive afternoon.

As a result of my conversation with the little lady at the cash at Home Depot last Wednesday, the bins were well-stalked with 1/4″ plywood, so I bought two panels.  Whoot! And off I went.  Upon arrival, I set up my easel, but then went about visiting with my artist-friends.  It was nice to see Rich after his trip to LA.  He was spilling over about the Getty Foundation and started in about a spontaneous drive with vans and trucks loaded with Gorilla House artists.  His enthusiasm, as always, made me smile inside.

I pulled a big wash of black paint over the board…mostly transparent so that the beautiful grain would show through and inform the piece.  I then walked away from the board so that it would dry and I might be able to work into it with a piece of white conte.

Thank you to the beautiful lady who makes popcorn every week.  I munched on popcorn and watched audience members approach the board and talk about it.  I listened to their analysis and predictions and marveled at what ‘viewing the process’ does for people.  With some, I had fun little conversations…with others I just observed.  Magic!

The new show in ‘the house’ features Jeff Watt’s work and it is a powerful collection!  I hope that if you have a love for colour and pattern, you will find your way down to the Gorilla House.

P1130753 P1130754 P1130757The three motivating concepts…and I chose, “Make art. Share love.”

P1130719 P1130720 P1130724Our auctioneer, Bassano del Grappa (an alter-ego), does a fantastic work for the Gorilla House…with his monologues/perceptions of life and art,  his entertaining and perceptive visits with artists and audience alike and his constantly-developing skill at auction, our experience is funtastic!  I knew he had to be featured in this one!

BassanoAnd…what else?  A gorilla!  I began by applying the ‘Bassano del Grappa’ collage bits and progressed with layering of paint…from dark to light…creating depth and texture until the giant beast emerged.  Thank you to Matt for purchasing this piece at auction.

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Meeting Max Licht at the Gorilla House

Recently I’ve been thinking about the number of amazing individuals I have met at the Gorilla House.  This is a place where art boings creative spirits, one against another.  Before I typed ‘boings’, I typed ‘slams’…then I was thinking we sort of ‘rub up against’ one another, but that doesn’t work either.  Don’t really know how to describe it, but we more than ‘meet’ one another…that’s for sure!  Mayhaps this is where the term ‘connection’ comes in…the Gorilla House is a house of connection!  On Wednesday evenings, I shake my head as I head for home.  The artists…the visitors…every individual provides for a truly unique sort of community building.

As Max stepped up to the front, during the auction portion of the evening, he was introduced and I remember shouting out, “Max?”  Lindsay looked over at me and said…”He gets that all the time.”  I told her that my beautiful border collie is named Max…she openly laughed and said, “Oh…I guess that’s a first!”  We laughed together.  As I looked at the piece he then raised up to auction, I wanted it to be mine.

My Max set strategically close to one of my Covenant pieces.

My Max set strategically close to one of my Covenant pieces.

Max and Lindsay were visiting from Victoria.  I only wish that I had captured a photograph of Lindsay’s work! Thank you for your courage and your belief, Lindsay! Both Lindsay and Max were just super open to the Gorilla House experience and gratefully, I was able to purchase Max’s gouache illustration at auction! I recommend that my readers take a look at illustrations by Max Licht here.  I am so over-the-top thrilled to own this piece, titled The scale of the problem; there are no words.  Thanks for visiting us, you two, and please stop by again!

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The Scale of the Problem, poorly photographed by Kathleen Moors, painted by Max Licht

The Scale of the Problem, poorly photographed by Kathleen Moors, painted by Max Licht

Gorilla House LIVE ART: October 16, 2013

Rosa Lone Woman Heavy Breast, daughter of Calf Robe and First Strike, wife of Owen Heavy Breast of the Pikuni Blackfeet collides with the words from the Bee Meeting by Sylvia Plath.

I was late, as is usual these days.  I couldn’t find a sheet of 1/4″ plywood…a disappointment…but purchased the 1/2″ thickness instead.  I wanted to paint a female this evening. I chose Rosa Lone Woman Heavy Breast. Her name described my present state of mind.  I liked her posture…her ease…the enjoyment of sitting ‘in this photograph’ having a smoke.

I worked from a photograph that exists in a collection of eight negatives.

Title Mrs. Heavy Breast
Subject Photography Negatives
Blackfeet (USA)
Blackfeet (USA) – Personalities
Blackfeet (USA) – Women
Blackfeet (USA) – Clothing
Siksika
Description A Blackfeet woman wearing an elk teeth dress and earrings, sitting down and smoking. Note: Photograph of a photograph.
Creator Thomas B. Magee, 1862-1930; Henry L. Magee, 1896-1966
Contributors University of Lethbridge
Date c. 1910-1945

The story of her husband, Owen Heavy Breast is located on the Blackfeet Digital Library.

Father: Heavy Breast
Mother: Tall Nose
Wife: Rosie Heavy Breast (Lone Woman) No children.

Owen and his wife Rosie were successful farmers and ranchers. Owen and his wife had two Medicine pipe bundles, a Horned Weasel Headdress & a Weasel Shirt. Owen was also a member of the Shriners of Montana and the Masons of which he was very proud. Owen was very well known not only within the tribe but also with many outside officials. He often traveled with delegations around the United States.

Last evening, at the Gorilla House, I incorporated RED and this is of huge significance to me, given that I’ve been painting in very muted and neutral palettes since we lost my Mom.  Interesting though, I had squeezed out some red on my palette last week during one of my prayer times at the feast table.  I was praying a new layer of my prayer mandala at the time.  I hadn’t thought about any of this until this morning.  In fact, Rosa is painted in a very similar palette to the mandala.  The act of painting is contributing to my healing…I know it.

P1130464If my readers will bear with me, I am posting the Bee Meeting in its entirety, but the truly impacting words offered up as a Battle concept last evening, came from page 51 of Plath’s Selected Poems…the final stanza.  While I will not go into the details of how I relate with the words of this poem, suffice it to say that I experience ‘recognition’ as I read the complete poem.  The following text, in blue, is written on the panel.

I am exhausted, I am exhausted –
Pillar of white in a blackout of knives.
I am the magician’s girl who does not flinch.
The villagers are untying their disguises, they are shaking hands.
Whose is that long white box in the grove, what have they accomplished,
why am I cold.

The Bee Meeting

Who are these people at the bridge to meet me? They are the
villagers—–
The rector, the midwife, the sexton, the agent for bees.
In my sleeveless summery dress I have no protection,
And they are all gloved and covered, why did nobody tell me?
They are smiling and taking out veils tacked to ancient hats.

I am nude as a chicken neck, does nobody love me?
Yes, here is the secretary of bees with her white shop smock,
Buttoning the cuffs at my wrists and the slit from my neck to my knees.
Now I am milkweed silk, the bees will not notice.
Thev will not smell my fear, my fear, my fear.

Which is the rector now, is it that man in black?
Which is the midwife, is that her blue coat?
Everybody is nodding a square black head, they are knights in visors,
Breastplates of cheesecloth knotted under the armpits.
Their smiles and their voices are changing. I am led through a beanfield.

Strips of tinfoil winking like people,
Feather dusters fanning their hands in a sea of bean flowers,
Creamy bean flowers with black eyes and leaves like bored hearts.
Is it blood clots the tendrils are dragging up that string?
No, no, it is scarlet flowers that will one day be edible.

Now they are giving me a fashionable white straw Italian hat
And a black veil that molds to my face, they are making me one of them.
They are leading me to the shorn grove, the circle of hives.
Is it the hawthorn that smells so sick?
The barren body of hawthorn, etherizing its children.

Is it some operation that is taking place?
It is the surgeon my neighbors are waiting for,
This apparition in a green helmet,
Shining gloves and white suit.
Is it the butcher, the grocer, the postman, someone I know?

I cannot run, I am rooted, and the gorse hurts me
With its yellow purses, its spiky armory.
I could not run without having to run forever.
The white hive is snug as a virgin,
Sealing off her brood cells, her honey, and quietly humming.

Smoke rolls and scarves in the grove.
The mind of the hive thinks this is the end of everything.
Here they come, the outriders, on their hysterical elastics.
If I stand very still, they will think I am cow-parsley,
A gullible head untouched by their animosity,

Not even nodding, a personage in a hedgerow.
The villagers open the chambers, they are hunting the queen.
Is she hiding, is she eating honey? She is very clever.
She is old, old, old, she must live another year, and she knows it.
While in their fingerjoint cells the new virgins

Dream of a duel they will win inevitably,
A curtain of wax dividing them from the bride flight,
The upflight of the murderess into a heaven that loves her.
The villagers are moving the virgins, there will be no killing.
The old queen does not show herself, is she so ungrateful?

I am exhausted, I am exhausted –
Pillar of white in a blackout of knives.
I am the magician’s girl who does not flinch.
The villagers are untying their disguises, they are shaking hands.
Whose is that long white box in the grove, what have they accomplished,
why am I cold.

3 October 1962

Thanks to Cheryl Todd Shergold who generously purchased last week’s, Chief Eagle Calf and last night’s Rosa at auction!  Thanks also to Tyler who has recommended for us the reading of Black Elk Speaks by John G. Niehardt  While this section of my personal library is swollen and moving beyond the shelf, this is one that I’ve intended to read for years.

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Photo Credit: Cheryl Todd Shergold  Two treasures find their way into an inspiring artist's studio.

Photo Credit: Cheryl Todd Shergold Two treasures find their way into an inspiring artist’s studio.

“You have noticed that the truth comes into this world with two faces. One is sad with suffering, and the other laughs; but it is the same face, laughing or weeping. When people are already in despair, maybe the laughing face is better for them; and when they feel too good and are too sure of being safe, maybe the weeping face is better for them to see.”
Black Elk, Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux

Gorilla House LIVE ART: October 9, 2013

I know. I know.  You didn’t see me there!  But, I was!  I ran over to Home Depot to get my board at 6:15…I got it on half price because I convinced the lady at the check out that it was the only one in the bin like it and, “Look!  It has this flaw on the back!”  No problem…$4.30.  Awesome!

My wonderful cousin was in town…I pulled my paints out and started my work at 7:00 sharp.  I thought about all my Gorilla House peeps and the huge energy that one feels as the artists get started and the audience has stepped in for the first time.  We turned on some Gretchen Peters music and Margy set up her panel on the feast table across from me.  It was just a terrifically magical time.  In the middle of my painting frenzy, my cousin dearest poured me a bubbly ice water, something we both enjoy on our relax times together.

I have no idea the concepts of ‘The House’…I was continuing on with my series of Studio Chiefs, this one Chief Eagle Calf of the Blackfoot Confederacy.  I liked how the wood panel informed the piece.  I worked until 9:30 and then stopped, knowing that down town, the auction had begun.  It was a glorious night of painting.  This one will be up for auction next week at GH.  This evening proved that you can take the artist out of the Gorilla House, but you can’t take the Gorilla out of the artist!

I found this descriptor on the back of a photograph of Chief Eagle Calf, also known as John Ground, on the back of an old photograph that was sold on E Bay.  I feel sad about the sort of spectacle that is intended by this description.  I honour this great man with my prayer blessings.

Chief Eagle Calf 3Chief Eagle Calf was also present with three other chiefs at the home of Robert E. Lee.  Here, the four chiefs signed their names with pictographs.  The following information has been collected from here.

 

A contingent of Blackfeet leaders from Glacier National Park, likely in Washington on tribal business visited the Confederate veterans home in Richmond on May 19, 1914. All have signed the book with their pictograph as follows:

 

CHIEF EAGLE CALF Also known as John Ground. (CHIEF)
MEDICINE OWL (JOSEPH MEDICINE OWL was born in 1888)
TWO GUNS WHITE CALF (CHIEF)

 

Two Guns White Calf (1872-1934), a Blackfoot chief, is best remembered as a model for the “Buffalo Nickel.” The face which appears on the nickel was actually a composite image made from the likenesses of three Native Americans, including Two Guns. Designed by James Earle Fraser, the coin was first issued in 1913. Two Guns always maintained that he was indeed the sole model for the image on the coin and gained celebrity for this association. He was, for many years, the public face of Northern Pacific Railroad, whose advertisements billed him as the model for the coin, and a major attraction for the tourists who visited Glacier National Park. 

Chief Eagle Calf 2Chief Eagle Calf 5If you are interested in this piece, please come down to the Gorilla House next Wednesday when I will be painting LIVE.

P1130334 P1130335 P1130336 I am grateful for the support and love of my family.

A contingent of Blackfeet leaders from Glacier National Park, likely in Washington on tribal business visited the Confederate veterans home in Richmond on May 19, 1914. All have signed the book with their pictograph as follows:
CHIEF EAGLE CALF Also known as John Ground. (CHIEF)
MEDICINE OWL (JOSEPH MEDICINE OWL was born in 1888)
TWO GUNS WHITE CALF (CHIEF)
Two Guns White Calf (1872-1934), a Blackfoot chief, is best remembered as a model for the “Buffalo Nickel.” The face which appears on the nickel was actually a composite image made from the likenessesof three Native Americans, including Two Guns. Designed by James EarleFraser, the coin was first issued in 1913. Two Guns always maintained that he was indeed the sole model for the image on the coin and gained celebrity for this association. He was, for many years, the public face of Northern Pacific Railroad, whose advertisements billed him asthe model for the coin, and a major attraction for the tourists who visited Glacier National Park.

– See more at: http://www.civilwarfamily.us/2013/01/four-blackfeet-chiefs-vists-the-robert-e-lee-soldiers-home.html#sthash.xBjpwdE9.dpuf

A contingent of Blackfeet leaders from Glacier National Park, likely in Washington on tribal business visited the Confederate veterans home in Richmond on May 19, 1914. All have signed the book with their pictograph as follows:
CHIEF EAGLE CALF Also known as John Ground. (CHIEF)
MEDICINE OWL (JOSEPH MEDICINE OWL was born in 1888)
TWO GUNS WHITE CALF (CHIEF)
Two Guns White Calf (1872-1934), a Blackfoot chief, is best remembered as a model for the “Buffalo Nickel.” The face which appears on the nickel was actually a composite image made from the likenessesof three Native Americans, including Two Guns. Designed by James EarleFraser, the coin was first issued in 1913. Two Guns always maintained that he was indeed the sole model for the image on the coin and gained celebrity for this association. He was, for many years, the public face of Northern Pacific Railroad, whose advertisements billed him asthe model for the coin, and a major attraction for the tourists who visited Glacier National Park.

– See more at: http://www.civilwarfamily.us/2013/01/four-blackfeet-chiefs-vists-the-robert-e-lee-soldiers-home.html#sthash.xBjpwdE9.dpuf

Gorilla Mouth: Art Talks October 4, 2013

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On Friday evenings, there are a number of talks given by a wide range of individuals at the Gorilla House on 15th St.  Bassano del Grappa, thanks so much for a hugely entertaining narrative about the summer you hoped to read 48 books.  I want to meet Ron and Bob!  Last evening was another great conversation that covered a variety of topics, but the keynote was Aaron McCullough, Red Dot Photographer, speaking about his experience of collaborating on the Gorilla House videos, since video #6.  Aaron’s work is essential, I think, to the continued success of the Gorilla House LIVE ART events, simply because participants, both artist and audience, enjoy watching the videos.

This one is one of my favourites and I have several.  I just so treasure the community of artists who gather to paint once a week and I think that Aaron tries to capture that spirit in the individual artists, but also, the collective.  Great talk, Aaron!

P1130307As well, we listened to a short talk about the banana and how it relates to the art process.Thank you, Jarmo Sanvictores.

His thoughts… “Dualities are a necessity to creating definition….. I rekon you should serve bananas at the art battles, I’m sure it would bring in many primates. Everyone needs more potassium in their diet.”

We ended up having a great conversation about painters block…creativity block.  We talked about strategies to get over it…and it kept coming back to a few points.

When artists are not painting, they are typically incubating ideas and the act of NOT painting is sometimes/usually essential to the next expression.  Another point, “look at the diverse gifts and abilities that you have and try to dance through the block, write through it, sculpt through it, cook through it…and as is the rare case and I seem to be doing, sand through it.”

The following four steps of creativity, while seeming to be a recipe and some artist-friends will dispute ‘the package’, I think that Maria Popova shares some very valid research here,

The Art of Thought: Graham Wallas on the Four Stages of Creativity, 1926

1. PREPARATION

During the preparation stage, the problem is “investigated in all directions” as the thinker readies the mental soil for the sowing of the seeds. It’s the accumulation of intellectual resources out of which to construct the new ideas. It is fully conscious and entails part research, part planning, part entering the right frame of mind and attention. Wallas writes:

The educated man has, again, learnt, and can, in the Preparation stage, voluntarily or habitually follow out, rules as to the order in which he shall direct his attention to successive elements.

2. INCUBATION

Next comes a period of unconscious processing, during which no direct effort is exerted upon the problem at hand — this is where the “combinatory play” that marked Einstein’s thought takes place. Wallas notes that the stage has two divergent elements — the “negative fact” that during Incubation we don’t consciously deliberate on a particular problem, and the “positive fact” of a series of unconscious, involuntary (or, as he terms it, “foreconscious” and “forevoluntary”) mental events taking place. He writes:

Voluntary abstention from conscious thought on any problem may, itself, take two forms: the period of abstention may be spent either in conscious mental work on other problems, or in a relaxation from all conscious mental work. The first kind of Incubation economizes time, and is therefore often the better.

T. S. Eliot would come to echo the value of incubation seven years later in his own meditation on the role of idea-incubation in the creative process, as would many other great minds: Alexander Graham Bell, for all his deliberate dedication, spoke of the power of “unconscious cerebration” and Lewis Carroll advocated for the importance of mental “mastication.”

Wallas proposes a technique for optimizing the fruits of the Incubation stage — something our modern-day psychology of productivity would come to confirm — by deliberately building interruptions of concentrated effort into our workflow:

We can often get more result in the same way by beginning several problems in succession, and voluntarily leaving them unfinished while we turn to others, than by finishing our work on each problem at one sitting.

3. ILLUMINATION

Following Incubation is the Illumination stage, which Wallas based on French polymath Henri Poincaré’s concept of “sudden illumination” — that flash of insight that the conscious self can’t will and the subliminal self can only welcome once all elements gathered during the Preparation stage have floated freely around during Incubation and are now ready to click into an illuminating new formation. It is the moment beloved graphic designer Paula Scher likens to the winning alignment of a slot machine, the same kind of “chance-opportunism” masquerading as serendipity that fuels much of scientific discovery.

But, Wallas admonishes, this Illumination can’t be forced:

If we so define the Illumination stage as to restrict it to this instantaneous “flash,” it is obvious that we cannot influence it by a direct effort of will; because we can only bring our will to bear upon psychological events which last for an appreciable time. On the other hand, the final “flash,” or “click” … is the culmination of a successful train of association, which may have lasted for an appreciable time, and which has probably been preceded by a series of tentative and unsuccessful trains. The series of unsuccessful trains of association may last for periods varying from a few seconds to several hours.

[…]

Sometimes the successful train seems to consist of a single leap of association, or of successive leaps which are so rapid as to be almost instantaneous.

Decades later, the great science communicator and MacArthur “genius” Stephen Jay Gould would come to concur that such “trains of association” — connections between the seemingly unconnected — are the secret of genius.

4. VERIFICATION

The last stage, unlike the second and the third, shares with the first a conscious and deliberate effort in the way of testing the validity of the idea and reducing the idea itself to an exact form. Once again borrowing from Poincaré’s pioneering theories, Wallas cites the French polymath:

It never happens that unconscious work supplies ready-made the result of a lengthy calculation in which we only have to apply fixed rules. … All that we can hope from these inspirations, which are the fruit of unconscious work, is to obtain points of departure for such calculations. As for the calculations themselves, they must be made in the second period of conscious work which follows the inspiration, and in which the results of the inspiration are verified and the consequences deduced. … They demand discipline, attention, will, and consequently, conscious work.

But perhaps most important of all is the interplay of the stages and the fact that none of them exists in isolation from the rest, for the mechanism of creativity is a complex machine of innumerable, perpetually moving parts. Wallas notes:

In the daily stream of thought these four different stages constantly overlap each other as we explore different problems. An economist reading a Blue Book, a physiologist watching an experiment, or a business man going through his morning’s letters, may at the same time be “incubating” on a problem which he proposed to himself a few days ago, be accumulating knowledge in “preparation” for a second problem, and be “verifying” his conclusions on a third problem. Even in exploring the same problem, the mind may be unconsciously incubating on one aspect of it, while it is consciously employed in preparing for or verifying another aspect. And it must always be remembered that much very important thinking, done for instance by a poet exploring his own memories, or by a man trying to see clearly his emotional relation to his country or his party, resembles musical composition in that the stages leading to success are not very easily fitted into a “problem and solution” scheme. Yet, even when success in thought means the creation of something felt to be beautiful and true rather than the solution of a prescribed problem, the four stages of Preparation, Incubation, Illumination, and the Verification of the final result can generally be distinguished from each other.

Where were you, M. G. Bruce Robertson?

 

Bruce Robertson is presently exhibiting his recent art at the Gorilla House.

Photo Credit: Rich Theroux

Photo Credit: Rich Theroux

Am an artist at heart, utilizing knowledge of drawing and painting acquired from childhood to present. “Think as a child whilst making art.” — Bruce Robertson, 2010

Bruce didn’t attend the opening.  Art openings are to be reckoned with…they are a big deal for artists and I’m not certain that every artist deals with openings in the same way.  Regardless, people were amazed by the exhibit of works that Bruce produced. Something  magical about an exhibit is the fact that a body of work speaks, one piece informing another.

I don’t want to suppose that I can write about Bruce’s work, but I can say that I admire the commitment he has shown in fashioning the work. The few photographs that I’ve posted here do not capture the rich and varied surfaces achieved through multiple processes.  The art is playful and yet very complex as well.  This looks to have been a very intense period of creativity for Bruce.  The art speaks of humour, pain, design and connection.  If my readers have opportunity, I hope you can visit Gorilla House in the coming weeks. P1130247 P1130248 P1130249 P1130250 P1130251 P1130252http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikAb-NYkseI

Gorilla House LIVE ART: October 2, 2013

Cold wind. Grey skies. Zillions of sparrows eating their feathers full at the feeder…snow in the weather reports.  Dark cloud zooming from the west.  Yellow light of sun on the horizon, smothered in vertical bands of rain, racing this way. Spaghetti dinner with my cousin.  Watching the cat across the street tossing its prize again and again in the air.  Thinking about elephants…

I packed up my art stuff and headed down to paint.  A deck of Edward Gorey Fantod cards became the generator for the three concepts.

Echorche Urn Yellow BirdI had already decided to make some sort of observance of the fact that there is going to be a March to Save the Elephant on October 4…I wanted to have people at the Gorilla House, artists and audience combined…bring the plight of the elephant to the forefront…just for an evening.  So, in combination with the Yellow Bird image in Gorey’s cards…I proceeded to draw and paint.

“Whoever has seen these giants marching across the last free open spaces of the world knows that this is something that must not be lost.”
– Romain Gary, The Roots of Heaven

We are in a world that is agitating with loss…species...glaciers…my mother.  Concerning this, I am not an alarmist and I am not a pessimist.  In fact, I live in hope…but most certainly for things ‘not of this world’.

The three archetypes shared with Gorey DID generate some connections for me while I worked.  The Gorilla House concepts always do!  The Urn as a metaphor…a container for what remains and L’ecorche…humanity, exposed…at its core (the bad and good of it).  The Yellow Bird…my mother’s song…my father’s whistle…the bright hope, small but apparent.  I thought also of the canary in the cage…the small warning of a big catastrophe in the mines, the pits that we dig for ourselves.  (apologies for the scattered images of last evening…but I pulled it together and it became this)  Thank you to Taylor for purchasing this piece at auction and to Teri for wanting it.

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