Cuckoo

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Dear Artist,

A captain of industry once made the mistake of thinking I had a good brain and offered me an executive position. I told him I just wanted to paint. He said I was “cuckoo.” Funnily, I’ve always thought cuckoo was a reasonable label for folks like us, no matter how sane. Just for the fun of it, we made a little educational video. We’ve posted it at the bottom of this letter.

Last week I was trying to advise a young lady who wanted to break loose from the landscape persuasion. “It’s not even me,” she said, holding up a tree. “I want to do something fun, imaginative, whimsical, goofy, cuckoo.”

Cuckoo, I told her, is serious business. Introducing incongruity, surprise and nuttiness is not easy. Comedies are the toughest movies to make. Five fat cooks standing in a bathtub is funny only if you’re not one of them, hence the stoic grins. Repetition helps. Certain species of nuttiness need to be told over and over to carry their punch. And then again, do people take nutty art seriously? Here are a few observations:

Context is everything. Marcel Duchamp, the patron saint of visual humour, made art of the incongruous. In his context, a found urinal or a broken bicycle had it. “Humour is very important in my life,” said Duchamp. “It’s the only reason for living.”

In visual art, things change. A portrait of a clown may not be funny anymore. But the face of a clown looking out the window of a school, or other sobering institution, may be. “Chaos in the midst of chaos is not funny,” says Steve Martin, “but chaos in the midst of order is.”

Would-be funny artists need to scratch their brains for visual puns, metaphors and, above all, transformers — things that could be other things.

“It’s a matter of what could be, isn’t it?” said my mentee. What could be on that woodland path or coming down those railroad tracks? The comic eye, the creative eye, tries different stuff on for size. It’s the ability to make previously nonexistent connections. Naïve, realistic or modern, the would-be visual humorist needs to stake out her territory and mine it efficiently. To live in the world of the imagination may be greater than in the real world. To be able to take others into that world may be the greatest gift of all.

Best regards,

Robert

PS: “In the end, everything is a gag.” (Charlie Chaplin)

Esoterica: The thought, “I’m cuckoo and you’re cuckoo” has always interested me. Accepting that others are also nuts is comforting, even heartwarming. It certainly explains a lot of things and makes negotiating more agreeable. The human race could use a bigger dose of cuckoo. In a way, the whole business of putting things on canvas is a sort of a gag. An irresistible gag. But it must be okay because we are all doing it, right? What’s really cuckoo is that some of us are still reinventing the tree.

The advent of Tiki Toons
by Norm Daniels, San Diego, CA, USA

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“DUB”
oil painting by Norm Daniels

I was a fairly serious cartoonist and illustrator. Then I took up the fairly serious plein air brushes about 10 years ago. Love to paint out of doors here in the San Diego and Southern California areas. Then…. bam, last spring I had a stroke and couldn’t drive for several months. I was going crazy not painting out of doors and not really enjoying painting from my photo references. One day I decided to do a “toon” in oil paint. A whole new line was born. I call them “Tiki Toons” and they are just so much fun to do and truly cuckoo. Thanks for the nod to the serious business of Cuckoo, but don’t tell any on that it is too serious, they all think I am having too much fun.



There are 3 comments for The advent of Tiki Toons by Norm Daniels

From: Dottie Dracos — Oct 22, 2010

I love this! Cuckoo is great!

From: Rose — Oct 22, 2010

Something good, comes out of something bad…you are showing it…

beautiful charming…

From: Bortolo Marola — Oct 22, 2010

Robert why do you make it seem so easy? As if the painting paints itself. Shouldn’t that be illegal?

A flight to self-portraits
by Susan Holland, Bellevue, WA, USA

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“Self-portraits”
mixed media by Susan Holland

I have always been cuckoo and more so as I age. One of the things I have done over some sixty decades of flinging paint and other media around the studio is to take a flying leap into a self-portrait. It’s great to have a model who wants to sit just as long as you want to paint, and who will not be too insulted with the results. I often use up the rest of the paint doing this — or just do one or two when I am feeling blah or angry. It’s freeing and also interesting to look at a bunch of these, noting different ages, attitudes, and approaches.



There are 2 comments for A flight to self-portraits by Susan Holland

From: Sheila Minifie — Oct 22, 2010

I really like those. Good idea, especially using up paint….

From: Kathi Peters — Oct 22, 2010

Susan, I often do self-portraits too to give quick jumpstart to my muse..and it is so true that the model works cheap!!

kp

The sucking sound of IMPROV
by Carol Lyons, Irvington, NY, USA

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“Flying Fish”
mixed media by Carol Lyons

Being part of an IMPROV group and an artist gives me the opportunity to have two types of creativity influencing each other. Both involve the “cuckoo” aspect. My baby fish woodblock, Fying Fish is escaping from his environment. This related to an IMPROV experience; buy in the opposite direction, going out of a close environment. For my IMPROV monologue I was given the subject vacuum cleaner. It was up to me to improvise a scene related to a vacuum cleaner. I started the action of vacuuming and then my clothes and me being entirely sucked into the vacuum bag. What a serene and quiet environment I was enjoying! The solitary atmosphere was so peaceful. After a while I was expelled from the vacuum bag. I ended the scene by saying, “All good things come to an end!”

Easel in tiny car
by Annette Rolufs, Surrey, BC, Canada

Could you please tell me where I can buy the portable easel that is shown in your short video? It is exactly what I have been searching for!

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The easel was made specifically to go into this little car.

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A paper strip palette to keep things tidy.

(RG note) Thanks, Annette. I made it myself. It was custom made to fit the seat in the Austin Seven. It’ll also sit on found railings, the backs of many chairs and big dog’s tails. One downside is that this model only takes 11 x 14 inch stretched canvases. For those who asked about the palette, they were from one of the Golden “Open” sets — slower drying acrylics. Indian Yellow Hue, Alizarin Crimson Hue, Van Dyke Brown Hue, Ultramarine Blue, Sap Green Hue, Titanium White. Pretty well everything can be mixed from these six. The painting in the video was actually done over two days — the changeover being when I rubbed the dry painting with a light glaze of regular Phthalo blue.



There are 4 comments for Easel in tiny car by Annette Rolufs

From: Shirley Peters — Oct 22, 2010

Love your video!

What I have to do a math question?? Maybe you wont see my comment… here goes. 9 + 4 =

From: Dottie Dracos — Oct 22, 2010

I hope I have as much fun as you appear to have when I grow up! Love your newsletters; can’t live without them!

From: Catherine Meeks — Oct 22, 2010

I already have a little easel; what I really want is that car! Loved the video!

From: Judy Gosz — Oct 22, 2010

What fun Robert! Loved the video, the car, the dog, your painting and your sense of humor. I pray we all go ‘Cukoo’. Thanks for making my day once again!

Getting a chuckle
by Christine Holzschuh, Mendon, VT, USA

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“3 white boxes”
oil painting by Christine Holzschuh

I love getting a chuckle at something clever about a painting or sculpture that is unexpected. I love painting images that give that pleasure as well. My joy is in doing realistic paintings (of sorts) and I find that life will present its own “cuckoo” opportunities to be captured. Painting those moments that I see when everyone seems to be passing by is what I love the most.



There are 2 comments for Getting a chuckle by Christine Holzschuh

From: mariane — Oct 22, 2010

loved this painting! seems they are having a nice time and a good chat;)!!

From: Anonymous — Oct 23, 2010

I love this painting as well. So fresh and it looks plein aire!!

The cat liked it
by Ginger Pena

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“Chooks”
original painting
by Ginger Pena

My cat has never paid any attention to my computer screen until this morning. When I clicked on your video and your chipper little “Cuckoo” tune started to play, he immediately perked up and became mesmerized by your brush dancing across the canvas. Thanks for starting my day with a smile! Your letters are by turns amusing or thought-provoking, but always interesting. Thank you!

(RG note) Thanks Ginger. Dorothy (the Airedale) pays attention when there are cats on TV, but is mildly bored with other dogs except when they are small ones that remind her of squirrels.



There is 1 comment for The cat liked it by Ginger Pena

From: Jan Ross — Oct 22, 2010

Ginger, my cat, “Sweet Pea” aka “Sweetie” did the same thing! She watched the entire video. We both really enjoyed it, by the way! I loved the finished painting but the car even more.

Accessing weird, wonderful worlds
by Theresa Bayer, Austin, TX, USA

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“Fish Pocket”
acrylic painting by Theresa Bayer

If your student has a good imagination, by all means I hope she puts it to use. I believe that, like drawing, imagination is a skill that can be improved on. One of my favorite exercises is to take an object and see if it can be turned into something else. “Cuckoo” is definitely more difficult than straight portrayal. This is especially true of genres like imaginative realism, fantasy, and surrealism. That’s because you have to assemble it. I start with an idea from doodling or making thumbnails in my sketchbook, then I have to find the reference, which is like going on a treasure hunt. It can require many photos (I take my own or get permission), copyright free reference books, still life props, drawings from life, combined with imagination itself. In the end it all has to be combined to make a convincing composition.

Some wonderful artists in this area are Donald Roller Wilson, James Christensen, Julie Speed, and Daniel Merriam. Their works range from serious to weird to whimsical, but all of them have a wonderful different take on the world that leaves me breathless.

The school of ‘Wonky’
by Brenda Swenson, South Pasadena, CA, USA

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“Wonky”
sketch by Brenda Swenson

I am a teacher and I work hard to remind students to add play and joy to what they do. Yes, art is serious stuff but serious stuff can be fun, too! For 11 days I sketched the city of Prague carefully recording all the details of the building, streets, people… I began to feel weary of being so accurate and bogged down with details and accuracy. I stumbled across an artist who painted in a playful way. His artwork looked fun. I wanted to have fun, too! We named this style “Wonky.” That day I drew everything “Wonky.” What fun I had.

Fun idea pays off
by John C. Butt, White Rock, BC, Canada

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“Courting Disaster”
springstone sculpture
by John C. Butt

Recently I entered a piece of sculpture in a local juried art exhibit put on by the Arts Council. This is something that I usually don’t participate in due to the time it takes to complete a sculpture in stone. However, with this exhibit in mind, I had a nice piece of African springstone on the bench, and thought why not. It’s a funny thing with this nature of artwork, that you look at your material until the subject matter reveals itself. It’s just something one must do with rocks. There is not a whole lot of changing of the mind while underway.

Carving stone is a serious business. Most of the work I do in the harder stones is figurative, somewhat accurate, and carries what I call a “posture” that usually pulls off a convincing rendition of the human figure rather nicely. The figures that came to mind on this particular effort were in fact “funny.” I decided to carve a humorous situation into a stone that I otherwise would have treated… let’s say, more traditionally into figurative poses. I had fun doing this work, and very much to my surprise, it took first place in the sculpture category of the juried event.



There are 3 comments for Fun idea pays off by John C. Butt

From: Anonymous — Oct 23, 2010

Hi John,

love your humorous sculpture ! Which size is it? Amazing how light this heavy material appears from the funny idea and your brilliant work.

From: Edie — Oct 23, 2010

love this piece

From: Dayle Ann Stratton — Oct 24, 2010

what a striking and delightful piece this is. It brought both groans of anticipated disaster (I so relate to that woman with the pregnant belly!) and laughter. No wonder you won. It has echoes of some old oriental paintings I have seen that record similar amusing but heart-tugging scenes.

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World of Art Featured artist Sridhar V Ramasami, China

You may be interested to know that artists from every state in the USA, every province in Canada, and at least 115 countries worldwide have visited these pages since January 1, 2013.

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“Have an ice day”
original painting by John C. Butt

That includes David Martin of Las Vegas, NM, USA, who wrote, “Reminds me of the great quotation from Orson Wells in The Third Man…. ‘The Italian city-states suffered through wars, assassinations, political turmoil and strife starting in the 15th century and continuing for several hundred years. They produced da Vinci, Michelangelo, the Renaissance and much more. The Swiss, on the other hand and at the same time, had peace and prosperity, calm and democracy. And what did they produce?… The Cuckoo Clock.’ ”

And also John F. Johnson of Roseville, CA, USA, who wrote, “It’s good to be cuckoo.”

And also Marvin Humphrey of Napa Valley, CA, USA, who wrote, “I like to paint little unassuming ‘cartoon’ paintings.”

Archived Comments

Enjoy the past comments below for Cuckoo

 

 

From: erika husselmann — Oct 18, 2010

yes! you’re so right up my alley here, I thought there was something wrong with me for not having the urge to paint what I see, but rather what I see in my head… thank you!

From: J. Bruce Wilcox — Oct 18, 2010

My madness- or- insanity- is the only thing keeping me sane in this cuckoo world…

From: Jillian Carstairs Ellingham — Oct 18, 2010

Everyone is mad. Madness is the gold standard of the human mind. The problem is really that there is violence in some madness, and misery in some other forms. If not for that, it would be a thorough going hoot. As it is, banal madness is what makes us different from the others, and they different from us. It’s what makes us interesting. In an age of digital photography and computer graphics, smearing paint on canvas surely must rank as one of the greater of the banal lunacies! I throw down the gauntlet and defy anyone to explain adequately why we should continue this archaic act, other than we seem to love it!

From: Kathleen Lambert — Oct 19, 2010

I loved the video. The music made it Cuckoo, but the painting was awesome. Life can make us feel crazy, but art keeps things in perspective.

KathleenLambert.com

From: Gavin Logan — Oct 19, 2010

Looks like the second most fun thing you can do in the back seat.

From: Henry Waverley — Oct 19, 2010

Context is everything, a urinal in its proper place is a urinal, but in an expensive and beautifully designed and richly attended art gallery, it becomes a “fountain.”

From: judi goolsby — Oct 19, 2010

This letter arrived just at the right moment for me. I was questioning my loving what I do and the fact it isn’t the “traditional” or the “modern contemporary” I saw on a walk through galleries last weekend. It is after all, “my work” and cuckoo is a great word! I will keep painting on canvas and then hand stitching into it with gusto! Thanks.

From: Mighty — Oct 19, 2010

Love the Cukko video- makes me want to paint right now. |Awesome.

From: Fay Lee — Oct 19, 2010

Cuckoo! I love the word! When painting for competitions, I found that usually the judge wanted an extremely well-done painting or they wanted something different, new ideas. Over the years, I have opted for something different when entering these shows and have been rather successful in being accepted into juried shows. When I have a booth at an art show, I bring some of my “different” pieces along. People who have known my type of painting for a long time will comment, “Fay, this just doesn’t look like you.” I tell them that they just really don’t know what all is running around in my head. Developing a painting from my ideas is fun!

From: ralph — Oct 19, 2010

The Charlie Chaplin quote reminds me of something the Brits like to say:

“It’s all a giggle”

From: Julia — Oct 19, 2010

Cuckoo? Einstein couldn’t figure out exact cash for the bus, Jung talked to his oven and utensils, …. we are all judged and should practice what is the “most common and most expected”. Did Klee or Miro painted normal and well balanced landscapes or totally crazy stuff? I believe in being self and free and getting out your authenticity – raw or sophisticated. There is freedom and joy in art and lets do that – conforming is boring and the Cuckoo interesting.

From: Thierry — Oct 19, 2010

Wonderfully inspirational, Robert.

From: Dorenda — Oct 19, 2010

Many people are afraid to let their “inner-cuckoo” shine through… (afraid they won’t be taken as serious artists, maybe?) I think the world would be a much better place if we’d let our silly-selves out for a stroll once in a while. :P

From: Gavin Calf — Oct 19, 2010

What about this chap Banksy? He is making quite a stir here in South Africa.

From: Anthe — Oct 19, 2010

What fun. I loved the video. It really was compelling to watch and clever. Very well done.

Artworks by Anthe at Acv Studio

visit me on line at http://www.anthe.com

From: Bill Beaton — Oct 19, 2010

In today’s letter on funny art there is a comment which says

“Chaos in the midst of order is”. In Kelowna B.C. there is an outstanding water colour artist, Alex Fong. The web page is www.alexfong.com Please call up his web page as he demonstrates that comment to the highest order. ie: A beautiful painting of down town New York with cows walking through it everywhere!! He loves to paint Cows in unusual situations. In addition to his art he is an excellent instructor!!

From: Ellen McCord — Oct 19, 2010

I loved the video. Every once in awhile, I take out some color pencils — change my medium and get playful. Something about a different surface, different textures and tools brings out things that don’t come through when I do my more “serious” work. I know I’m on to something when I giggle as I draw.

From: Judy — Oct 19, 2010

Fantastic video.. Beautiful painting and again it is an insight to observe you technique….thank you for sharing your Cuckooness…

From: Pauline — Oct 19, 2010

I related to this letter this evening because I feel that I paint to put a smile on someone’s face….. yet not in the tone of hilarity. Am I missing the boat completely?

From: Joani — Oct 19, 2010

Loved it! And your dog is SO cute!! Do more. :O)

From: Carol — Oct 19, 2010

Today is my 52nd birthday, and if I wasn’t cuckoo, I would have gone nuts.

From: Cheryl — Oct 19, 2010

Your CUCKOO piece made me think of Mark Twain’s quote: “When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained”. I find it interesting when one friend will laugh and another will cry or frown in front of the same painting. Isn’t that the wonder of creation ? Intentionally introducing humour in our work really guarantees nothing. I say; let the spirit guide and leave the rest “for the birds”……. cuckoos perchance.

From: Tinker Bachant — Oct 19, 2010

All artists are “cuckoo”. We have to be. How boring otherwise.

Trust me, standing in front of a bull water buffalo to get his photo, you have to be at least a little cuckoo.

From: B J Adams — Oct 19, 2010

That was a fun Cuckoo video but nothing funny about the lovely little landscape you created except the speed and then to frame it in your car was a terrific trick. The car is wonderful and added so much along with the music to the humor.

In my art work I like to add an unusual surprise, something out of context, not expected, whether it is an image or size or color. From now on I will name my style, ‘cuckoo’ as that description gathers much more interest and I’d love to be able to tell people who ask my style a better description……not humor, just cuckoo.

From: Deb Sims — Oct 19, 2010

Yes! Cuckoo is a wonderful description of those of us who live life from the perspective of an artist. Everything we see carries possibilities to be made into art. I personally would rather be called cuckoo than a lot of other things! When my sons dubbed me “weird” my response was always “Better weird than boring.”

Love the video, love the car, love the dog. My dogs help me all the time!

From: Edna V. Hildebrandt — Oct 19, 2010

I would like to be able to create something that would amuse and put a smile in somebody face or laughter in others. I have yet to find my “muse”who would inspire to me to do so. I admire people who can bring laughter in others without the expense of other people who are used in their gags like making fun of a mother- in-law. It takes a genius to create an image like that I think. I think Norman Rockwell was one artist who infused humor in his art. I like the cartoons “Peanuts” but are there other artists who created pictures in realistic style with humor.

From: Anita Stoll — Oct 19, 2010

Life can get too serious. It’s so delightful to break away, to get whimsy. Bring on the cuckoo. I’ll take a second helping thank you.

From: David Westerfield — Oct 19, 2010

Thanks for the great new video. Keep makin’ em. My favorite is “I’m not going anywhere.”

They are great inspiration the way you make it look so easy.

From: Dusty Pines — Oct 19, 2010

wonderful fun video (& painting!) – & timely! i’ve been teaching myself to paint for ~2 years & just yesterday made the leap to goofy (for me!) & not so realistic – but more the way i see things! (we’ll see how people who read my blog liked it!) thank you for the vid & your newsletters!

From: Claudia Roulier — Oct 20, 2010

I totally agree with your points on humor in art. I fell into it without even thinking and yet over the last couple years I find myself explaining your point over and over.The glitches in our brains show up as happy accidents in our work. Idledale, Co

From: Dwight Williams — Oct 20, 2010

And…maybe the buyers of our work need to be cuckoo too. What the cuckoo bird knows: if you lay your eggs in someone else’s nest they end up doing the boring “regular” work, letting cuckoo (the artist) do nutty stuff that keeps the world sane enough to stay here for a while.

From: Kamoos Obomor — Oct 20, 2010

I would like to defend my friend Thierry Talon against Joan Gaetz’s assertions that his comments are “inappropriate”.

Joans rails that his words are judgemental etc., which doesn’t agree with the way she was taught in art school! Roberts should declare them “unsuitable”. How conveniently judgemental she shows herself.

Thierry and I work in the poorest parts of Africa where many don’t know where their next meal is coming from. To hear so many people on this forum complain about their self-indulgent little insecurities (oh no, I am paralyzed after I surf the net, what do I do?) is jarring.

We can of course stop reading here, as someone suggested, but it would cut our noses off to spite . . . This is a wonderful international forum, read in 115 countries and sponsored by a talented and generous Canadian artist; it must cost Robert some $5000 per month. So why should the North-American attitude with its overemphasis on empathy dominate? The Clintonians didn’t do us a favor with their insincere claims that they felt our pain. Take your lumps people, Thierry is doing just that. “Use well thy Freedom”.

From: David Doubleday — Oct 20, 2010

Freedom and cuckooness might be related. Just think of the places in the world where humor is wanting. I’m for freedom to say what you want, even if it ruffles some feathers. That’s what makes this such a fantastic forum. No one’s going to jail. Right on, Kamoos.

From: Jeremy Tompkins — Oct 20, 2010

“Efficient mining” means the crossing of ideas so the incongruous can be integrated into the normal. Excitement, surprise, and humor are vital in art, as well as in a life well lived.

From: Anne Dahl — Oct 20, 2010

The video at the top is terrific. So little said, so much information.

From: anonymous — Oct 20, 2010

To earn true respect and understanding, one has to convince others with compelling arguments, without personally attacking anyone.

From: Cucperson — Oct 20, 2010

I know no one who makes life and living look like so much fun. Cuckoo is definitely the way to go. I love it when your letter sets things back into perspective.

From: Byron J. Scott — Oct 20, 2010

The trouble with humor in art is that the critics, dealers and collectors are a serious bunch and they cannot afford to take a chance on a laugh. Humor tends to deflate and expose pomposity, which is the fair ground for humor. As Lou Holtz said, “The problem with having a sense of humor is often that people you use it on aren’t in a very good mood.” UK.

From: Jean Nelson — Oct 21, 2010

Once again I find this letter a timely commentary on what is happening with my progress in learning to paint. And in learning, I have decided isn’t an end in itself, but an ongoing condition for becoming a better artist. I have been interested in early impressionists and have been studying their works. Along with this venture, I have started my own blog at Rookiepainter.blogspot.com Oregon USA

From: Therese Bur — Oct 21, 2010

I couldn’t find anything cuckoo about your video! Except perhaps the charming music from Laurel and Hardy comedies! It was fun to watch you paint. I love your 27 Chummy and your adorable co-pilot, but far from cuckoo!

From: Sweet Heart — Oct 21, 2010

Interesting since my ex-mentor continually tried to pursuade me to paint anything other than what I was truly passionate about. Tell her to stick to landscapes to “ring the cash register”, will you?

From: Neena — Oct 21, 2010

Oh, how I loved your cuckoo video! That car must be the cutest ever…what a joy it must be to scoot around in it, searching for a view to capture on your canvas. I admire your sure strokes and what seems like a quick conjuring up of a lovely painting. If only I could come over and thumb a lift….sigh!

From: Sue Johnson — Oct 22, 2010

Loved that video too. Nice car, good painting, and a cute and certainly well-behaved dog. It doesn’t get better than that. Thanks for sharing. Your letters always make my day!

From: Murray — Oct 22, 2010

“There are two kinds of cuckoos – those who live in clocks… and those who can’t”.

Stan and Babe.

From: Mina Pratt — Oct 22, 2010

(From a former art teacher) Your paintings are stylized from your area. Please study more and take some lessons, They are a short cut and well worth your time. Experiment.

From: Sandra Donohue — Oct 22, 2010

Your subject about using humour in our work really appealed to me. We often take ourselves and life just too seriously. Once in awhile I stumble upon things that are just too funny. one of these was a collection of old bathroom fixtures at a garage sale at the Doukhobor Discovery Centre (museum about the Douknobors in Canada) at Castlegar, B.C. The toilets set in a row was too funny not to take a few photos and I later painted “Please Be Seated” for an exhibit I did with Lynne Lalonde, an artist friend of mine, who now lives in Peachland, B.C. We titled the exhibit, which had a laundry/washing/water theme, “Washed Up.” It was a lot of fun.

From: John Smith — Oct 22, 2010

Great article Robert,

It is peculiar that there is so little humour in our art, especially when it is said that art reflects society. (Perhaps that is telling us something?) Strange how connecting with a ‘truth’ tends to make one smile?

“Keep Art clean, creative, and alive!”

From: Jim Love — Oct 24, 2010

I notice in most of your paintings you use a glaze. What is the primary purpose? Do you use the same glaze for each one or do you change color depending on the scene?

From: Rick Rotante — Oct 24, 2010

Cuckoo is a relative term. We are all cuckoo one degree more or less.

For an artist, it’s a benefit. For those who purchase art, it’s a benefit. For those who manage art…well someone has to be sane(er) than the rest. We are rained on, sunburned, fall off large rocks, get wet and acquire colds, we travel long distances for the “right spot”; lose the light much too quickly; suffer neglect and rejection and self doubt. We are windswept and spend more money on supplies than we will ever recover. We lose friends, models, spouses and loved ones…Ah! ain’t life grand for an artist?

From: Elizabeth Jean Billups — Nov 09, 2010

First of all, one must ask the question: “What is the REASON “I create”…? Not: WHY SHOULD I CREATE? But WHY DO I create? (at the moment of writing this, I cannot get on line…so this is stated with only the written word of Robert under “Cuckoo”…)

For some, it may be enough, merely to express themselves…send it out into the ether of the universe, and let it land where it may: being accepted or not! For maybe THAT part is not as important to some who express themselves, as the mere energy spent in creating!

THEN there are those of us, like myself, who find great joy in capturing some beauty, or moment (tho quickly passing)…and having it on canvas, so that HOPEFULLY others will also see the great “mystery” that I might have felt, for that short moment of observation and creation!

And for me, personally, JUST capturing what I see is only half of the reason to paint: the other half, of my “joy” is the expression of the actual paint on the surface of the canvas! Hopefully by viewing my work, I might open a door of awareness, or truth, or beauty, or satisfaction for another human…and bring to them, a view of this wonderful world we all live in! Both that what we see…and also that of mine: paint, and brush strokes, and expression, and…and….

Whether an artist or any human for that matter, chooses to paint ‘whimsical and goofy’…or to paint “seriously”: be it photo-rendered paintings or impressionistic paintings … THE REAL END RESULT should be a personal choice, not what society or our parents, or the market demands!

Elizabeth Jean Billups, artist

http://www.bettybillups.com

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/elizabeth-jean-billups.html

http://stores.ebay.com/Billups-Fine-Art

 

 

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