Sunday, March 28, 2010


I have always loved hands. I think they are one of my favorite parts on people. They explain character so easily, by their lines, showing age and wear. The best thing about hands, is that they assist in personal expression. I'm one of those, that talks with their hands. Someone once told me that I only speak in half sentences and then gesture/pantomime the rest. I'm probably the extreme case, but gestures are so important to me, and my figurative work. When I started painting, one of the first subjects I tackled (with zest) was in fact, the hand. Recently, at my dad's house, I took some photos of old paintings. This is an early study of hands that was completed when I was 15 years old. I apologize for the bad photo, but I was forced up against the other side of the narrow hallway where this is hanging, in order to get the shot...

oil on canvas

And to round things out, a piece based on the idea of hands, with a twist (animus...soul, will, action) that was painted a few years ago...

watercolor on paper

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Violations, in the Face of Popularity

This is a post about popularity and art. Or I guess I should say, it's a post that is against it. I like a lot of soul in my art, I'm as critical of others' work as I am of my own. Perhaps I should have been a critic....but needless to say, I expect a lot from people who call themselves "artists".

One thing I expect, is for them to not sell-out their muse. What do I mean? Well, take for example selling one's art. Do they pushpushpush the selling part, and not the actual making part? Self-promotion and having a ton of friends (whom will support any kind of crap one decides to pump out), while useful for some, gives me a bad taste in my mouth. I would rather, MUCH rather, people have a discerning eye, and be honest, or comment because they truly feel something about what I am saying through my work. Not because they have to, not because they are my friend, not because they want to kiss my ass, not because I am so 'popular' and 'nice', not because I need something from them in order to fill me.

Fan pages on facebook (for artists) are another thing I detest. I think it's pretty self-important, pretty egotistical, if you think you need more 'fans'. I really think that's sad. Is your art based on your own merit or are you just running a popularity contest? Are you trying to reclaim your status in high school (or God forbid, grade school)? Or were you never popular, and you need to claim that to make your miserable life feel more full....of 'fans'? The risk one runs with fans, is an ego the size of Texas. I'm against fan pages, I think they are an indication of someone feeling needlessly self-important, and/or having deep-seeded self-esteem issues. Fans have no business interfering in the artists' mind, let's look to the much reviled (imo) Damien Hirst for an example of fan interference. For him, it seemingly boils down to making money, not increasing talent. It's false, either way.

Is the work about making you feel better? Does it help your mood? Then, by all means, don't punish it by trying to sell and promote it automatically. This will undoubtedly result in the loss of your muse, and it will be your own fault. Good thing you have those fans to fall back on, even if your work is crap....? Hm.

The most brilliant piece of writing I have found on this subject in quite awhile. Nick Cave's letter to MTV in 1996 (here is a portion)

"...She comes to me with the gift of song and in return I treat Her with the respect I feel She deserves - in this case this means not subjecting Her to the indignities of judgement and competition. My muse is not a horse and I am in no horse race and if indeed She was, still I would not harness Her to this tumbrel - this bloody cart of severed heads and glittering prizes. My muse may spook! May bolt! May abandon me completely!..."

There is no "trick" to being an artist. If you are an artist, I strongly believe that your muse should live in your soul and veritably beat on your chest to get out. And, She will not be based on what is hip and new in the ridiculously biased "art world", or based on what will catch someone else's "consumer-searching-for-a-product" eye (eye-candy, if you will). No, She lives only when you, the artist, is real, and truthful, and free.

If I had it my way, I'd be your classic "weirdo-hermit-living-in-the-woods", just doing my thing, just painting, but alas...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Baltimore and Me

"Good morning Baltimore. And some day when I take to the floor, the world's gonna wake up and see Baltimore and me."


I have received my official acceptance letter from MICA, for grad school (my first choice). I will be attending MICA starting in June for a Master of Art in Community Arts degree. I think this may be the best thing that has ever happened to me, in terms of excitement and hard work. (I worked really hard for four years, and it actually worked for me!) Thanks to Heather Gordy, for remembering that great quote, and everyone who helped me proof read, and gave me their honest opinions on my work (Lo and D.). And thanks finally, to my references. It means the world, that three people, truthfully, believed in me so the point of bringing me to indebted, glorious, tears several times already. Their kind words, and belief in my abilities are the greatest gifts anyone could have ever given me.

I am sending my deposit today, and then I'm on my way babies!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Circular Logic

It seems that I have made it onto the front of this postcard too! (made for the Guildess show, Flow, by April Heding.) The circle painting on the right is mine. Exciting postcard times for me lately, I'll tell ya what.
Don't miss this show, Gallery Night and Day, April 16-17, 2010! Click the pics for more information...

(as an aside, I can't wait to see the rest of Michael Waraksa's work)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

International Domestic Violence Memorial...

There is a mural mosaic project occurring soon, for the International Domestic Violence Memorial's 'Lantern of Hope'. Not only have I signed up to participate as an artist, but in the meantime, I have just finished an advertising postcard (for IDVM) for an event coming up for them in April, at The Amnesty International Human Rights Arts Festival.

IDVM will be participating in this art festival, and I hope that I can swing by and meet everyone. Until then, here is the postcard I designed (with a close-up of my painting/print, Requiem as the under-image):

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Flow Through

Results for Guildess' upcoming Gallery Night and Day show are up. I'm (my two paintings are) part of the "Juror's Choice", selected by Naomi Shersty.

Check it:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Quoth the Raven - Mighty Magic Hips

"...These hips are free hips. They don't like to be held back..."

Lucille Clifton, Homage To My Hips

The second piece in this series is now finished. The quote above is used at the bottom of the skirt. With this piece, I concentrated on echoing the bird shape and the human shape, as with the previous piece. I am finding more similarities than I ever dreamed I would. In fact, there are a few more works already physically planned out. Until then...

Mighty Magic Hips
Shana R. Goetsch

(click the image to see it larger, also click on the link to the poem, to hear and see the author read it)