Artful Morning in the City

Carnegie Library at Dawn, View from our Second-Floor Suite at The Redlands Hotel

My firm belief is that one paints, as one writes, not out of a theory but out of the vividness of an experience.

Rollo May, My Quest for Beauty

Rollo May’s writings have been a gift to me, again and again, not only from the book quoted above, but also his masterwork Paulus, about the theologian Paul Tillich as a teacher, along with The Courage to Create, a marvelous companion to Tillich’s The Courage to Be. Though a psychologist by profession, Rollo May was also a practicing artist and (to me) one of the most able writers describing the dynamics of the creative process. I have read The Courage to Create countless times, and yet still return to it to glean more from its pages.

More recently, I have been digging trenches through the first of Martin Heidegger’s four volumes titled Nietzsche. Now, after more than a hundred pages, I find myself dizzy and short of breath as though having climbed to the summit of one of Colorado’s Fourteeners. In the winter term 1936-37, Heidegger taught a course on Nietzsche, based on the unedited manuscripts of his Will to Power (unfortunately, Nietzsche’s sister mangled them to create the monster work that stamped the ghastly postscript onto his brilliant life’s work). Out of the semester’s teachings, Heidegger published an essay “The Origin of the Work of Art”. This essay I read while on the island in the Laguna Madre back in the summer of 2015 when I was serving an Artist-in-Residency for Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. That essay inspired the watercolor study I did of the cord grasses one afternoon on the island:

2015 Watercolor “Cord Grasses” from my Stay on the Laguna Madre

Now, six years later, I have made the decision to dig under the foundations of Heidegger’s essay, which involves the four volumes of lectures from his 1936-37 winter term. The part I am reading now pertains to Nietzsche’s theory of Art as a configuration of will to power. The readings have continually rendered me breathless, and at the same time, resentful of being sandbagged by so many appointments and responsibilities of late. Hopefully the smog will soon clear and I will be able to report further on these amazing insights I’m having the pleasure of gleaning from these magnificent pages.

Sandi and I have returned to Palestine and The Gallery at Redlands for the weekend. Since the Hotel is already wonderfully decked out in Christmas Holiday attire, we are beginning now to trim our Gallery with some of the same. I also have plans to resume my recent experiments in winter evergreens. I managed to knock out a pair of them last Saturday during Art Walk, and spent some of this past week going through my archives and pulling out reproductions of past work to use as models for new work. Hopefully today and tomorrow I’ll be given time to pick up the brush and see what I can pursue next.

Snowy Evergreens (Sold, but working on another)
Snowy Evergreens (still available at $80)
Snowy Evergreens (Sold, but working on another)

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

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