Do Objects Have Power?

I’ve recently completed seven shaman pictures. These are paintings of shamans from my mind. Shamans have a strong connection to art. Outsider art, at least. My kind of art. The kind that tries to get beyond.Shamans interface with the spirit world. You don’t necessarily need a shaman to get down with spirits, but the conventional wisdom is you’re better off with one. Spirits can be scary – a shaman can keep one under control, most of the time. As a painter, I’m always on the lookout for spirits and for shamans. If you accept the spirit thing, you should be... Continue reading »

Is Painting Dead?

This old idea keeps being replayed as the wave of contemporary art, installations, thought art, and other nebulous artistic trends sweep painting under the rug. Is painting dead? Put another way, is the new the enemy of the good?A refined appreciation of painting (specifically) that includes its psychological effect as well as its craftsmanship is hard to find today. First of all, painting is utterly visual. Visual art in general has become devalued, except for photography and movies. A visual that can’t be viewed on a phone screen isn’t worth much, it seems. Painting has certainly become devalued as a... Continue reading »

Two Realities – the Promise of Surrealism in the Modern World

I’ve always been attracted to Surrealism. There is just something so delightfully odd, so weirdly compelling about surrealist imagery. In fact there are several ‘Surrealisms.” The one best known to the most people is the Surrealism of the Surrealist painters, such as Dali, Ernst, DeCherico, (briefly) Picasso, Magritte, and many others. However, the so-called ‘philosophical’ Surrealism is found in the writings of, primarily, Andre Breton. So I decided to go back and re-read Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto with fresh eyes. It’s been years… decades. Personally, I have not found Breton to be particularly lucid regarding the visual art aspects of Surrealism... Continue reading »