Archive for December, 2012

December 13, 2012

You say Desperate like it’s a bad thing,

When I was in high school desperate was a word saved for girls who slept around and families who were down on their luck.   It was a word thrown around our house with such demeaning consequence and frequency it seemed normal.   Strange that as an adult,  I find it disturbing and a sign of weakness.

The interweb defines it as Adjective

1.Feeling, showing, or involving a hopeless sense that a situation is so bad as to be impossible to deal with.

2.(of an act or attempt) Tried in despair or when everything else has failed; having little hope of success.

So,  I guess it often comes when you are feeling weak, down on your luck, or failed.   Interesting?????    Either way,  whatever you want to call it,  my view on the word has changed.  I am a fan of desperate.  OH yeahhh.   If that is what it takes for me to paint and feed the beast the way I did the past three days,  then I am all for Desperation.  I will sign both these pieces today.   I added them both to the slide show as well.

That’s a first.  I have never painted two pieces at the exact same time,  I have never signed two pieces together,  I have never done that before, so I have to say that the last time I did something for the first time was today.

I am not bragging,  I am just desperate to find a way to explain how happy I feel right now. …….  

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Dec. 11, 2012

Angels,  bulls, and acts of Desperation

Yesterday, I stapled canvas on the wall, because when I finished my blog and wanted to go make something, I was inspired to print out some visuals of places I have been and work from them.  The wireless printer didn’t work, the install didn’t work, and I was hungry.

I paced the studio floor for an hour, until the heat came back on, angry and desperate to make anything.  I grabbed canvas and stapled it directly onto the wall.  I couldn’t be asked to do the sometimes rewarding but often soul sucking work of building a stretcher.

I began writing on the canvas with vine charcoal.  It was cheaper than therapy.  It seemed to work well……  So, I followed the advice on the shampoo bottle and rinsed, washed, and repeated the same process today.   I have included both pieces made yesterday and today as they are in progress.  I don’t know if they are finished, but you never really do.  That is not some bullshit line that artists say for fun, the truth is,  I can walk into a room where one of my paintings or sculptures hang and see something I would like to change,  it is a mind-blow sometimes,  but part of the process.



December 10,

The studio is cold, but for the first time it feels like home and not a studio.  I walked into the studio and the curtains were pulled back from the weeks work prior, I never closed them I guess.  It presented a snow covered garden and bright light pouring onto the studio walls and floors.  It’s cold in here but warm in perspective.

Inviting others to talk and be part of the process is perfectly normal to me in person,  it is a little strange online.  I usually invite anyone to come to the studio.  I jump at the chance to see someone work.   I have invited many to come to my studio heare,  but the takers are few for now.  It will take time since we are in a new place, new people, new customs, new everything.

I mentioned last time that a friend commented on Prague as a “Dead city”.  I also mentioned that his comment was not mean spirited but endearing.  My comment on his comment…. brought interesting views and opinions from a mix of people.   The reality is at the end of our conversation, he told me that the people create the life in the city.  He also said, once you create or develop a community here Prague will come to life for you.  I think that is powerful.  I think it was powerful enough for me to open my blog to anyone who wants to join in this conversation.

On our way to the Faculty Christmas party on Saturday evening,  we dropped our son off at his first Middle School Dance.  We have a child who is old enough in theory to go to a dance…  If that doesnt impose reflection into your life nothing will.

This was  the first faculty party that I went to as a spouse and not a faculty member.   It was good, it was what I needed.  It was finding people and communing in good spirit.  I stood on the balcony of the restaurant to get some cool fresh air.  The view was amazing. I reflected on the reality that is now my life.   Two years ago I was at a faculty Christmas party, and when I went outside for some fresh air.  Two years ago I was over looking Red Square.   On this night when I went outside I was looking at the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle.  If I can’t find inspiration here, I am looking too hard.

There’s an extra chair in my studio, feel free to come in and take a seat.  Feel free to fill it with thoughts and dialogue.

I am going to go make something good or bad, the process is calling…

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Lets Talk…

Posted: December 8, 2012 in Thought Process - Conversations

December 8, 2012

Is anyone out there?  Really…..

Reflection or Illustration or Reaction….searching for sure.

I ran into Tony A., a fellow artist of the musical type.  He is a creative man and an accomplished guitarist.  I was on my way from the metro when I saw him.  The belief in the serendipitous is strong in my daily life.  It just happened that we were where we were supposed to be. As it turns out he was heading the same direction so I offered him a lift.  The conversation came to creating and the strangeness of Prague in both a quirky and beautiful city. It should be the epicenter of creativity, but yet I am struggling to find a connection.  He said the city is a dead city.  He said this without a negative tone; I asked him what he meant.  It is a city that has become a museum, it holds many treasures, and it is a place where people come to see, look around, and engage in the city.  The people on the streets, walking, eating in café’s, that is all icing on the cake.   Well said… profound even….

Perhaps my disconnect is due to trying to tell a story that has already been told.  My work in Moscow was about reacting, a way of surviving, and reflecting.  My work here so far has been about trying to make work instead of create it.   I am feeling like the only connections I can find are to the bronze work and the self-portrait.  Questions have to be asked.!!!!

What knowledge do I bring to this experience?

I am not sure, I think what Tony said is truth.   If Prague is a museum then let’s look at it from that perspective.  As an artist I have often walked into a museum with excitement.  I often leave a museum depressed and disappointed in my own work. It is not a reflection on the work of the museum, but a reflection on myself as an artist.  I see masterpieces and think, I just don’t have it, or I am not working hard enough.  I know I am not the only person/artist who feels this when I come out of a museum.  Without a doubt, there must be others.  The other feeling is redundancy.  Why make more art when the place is already full of amazing art?  It is sort of like going to Florence and cracking into a piece of marble.   Art is not something I want to do.  I try to explain that by saying it is something I must do.  I am a better person, father, husband, and human being when I make art.  It is that simple.  This depends the issue to be honest.  It makes it more precious of a process and a more sensitive topic than normal.

My dialogue with Tony turned to a book.  He asked me if ever heard of the little book Art and Fear.  I laughed and said, that to me it was the biggest little book I had ever read.  Strange as we would talk about it, as I am finding these thoughts in my head.

If you are out there, and you are an artist, I would love to use this blog as a jumping off point to have a dialogue with you.  Feel free to respond, write, create, collaborate, breath life into this forum.

Hope to hear from you………cory

December 6, 2012

First piece for Prague

Start to finish,

I have decided to document the first piece I do that is inspired by Prague from start to finish.  This post will be republished as the piece continues and grows.  It is strange, but it has been difficult for me to connect to this city.  There are a lot of amazing historical events and stories here.  I cant tell if the disconnect is because I spent so much energy getting a house situated or if I cant see the forest through the trees.  Maybe it is because Moscow was so in your face that you either reacted or crumbled.  Prague is a gentler city; it seems to be confusing my senses.   Someone told us that Moscow wont come to you, you have to go to Moscow.  I don’t know what is going on here for me.  I know there is more beauty in this city than one can take in.  It seems that as an artist anything I would do, would just be redundant.   Steady on……

That being said, when we were on our tour of the castle grounds, I remember an interesting story about St. John of Nepomuk.  In 1393 a dispute arose between King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia and the archbishop of Prague, John of Jenzenstein. Wenceslaus, wishing to found a new bishopric in southwestern Bohemia, determined to seize the revenues of the abbey of Kladrub as soon as the aged abbot Racek should die. The archbishop opposed this plan, and by his orders his vicar-general, John of Pomuk — son of a German named Wölfel, a citizen of Pomuk — advised the monks to elect a new abbot immediately after Racek’s death. This greatly incensed the king, who summoned the archbishop and some of his clergy — among whom was Pomuk — to appear before him. He ordered them to be immediately arrested, and though the archbishop escaped his four companions — among them Pomuk — were seized and subjected to cruel torture. They were ordered to abandon the archbishop. Three of them consented, but Pomuk, who refused to submit and was already on the point of death, was carried to the bridge of Prague and thrown into the Vltava. It is difficult to connect this historical event with the legend of St. John of Nepomuk, who was canonized by the church of Rome in 1729, mainly by the influence of the Jesuits, who hoped that this new cult would obliterate the memory of Jan Hus. The Austrian chronicler Thomas Ebendorffer of Haselbach, who lived two generations later, first states that it was reported that King Wenceslaus had ordered that the confessor of his queen — an office that John of Pomuk never held — should be thrown into the Vltava because he would not reveal the secret of confession. The story is afterwards told in greater detail by the untrustworthy Bohemian historian Wenceslaus Hajek. It appears certain that the person canonized in 1729 was not the historical John of Pomuk or Nepomuk. His feast day is May 16th.

Now, here comes the art.   I have decided to tell the story through a painting.  I have placed visuals of the entire process, which is why I shared the story.   IF you are still reading and haven’t fallen asleep, please enjoy the piece so far.


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Where have my angels gone?

Posted: December 4, 2012 in Studio Practice

The Ladies have left the building.

December 4, 2012

My anxiety and overall stress level has been through the roof over the last few days in the studio.  Yesterday was spent building an Airy Hill Studio face book page, a twitter page, updating the blog and trying to link them all together.  Not my cup of tea, as I said to Bonnie, I am sure my soul is rolling around in the corner of the studio someplace.

Today all my angels have left.  I sent them off with two perfect strangers to be turned to bronze.  The packing process, discussion process, and agreements were all done through his son working as an interpreter.  Imagine the simplest task having to be done through an interpreter, than multiply it to a greater magnitude.  Now you get it…

Trust… in their willingness to work with and for you.

Trust… in their skills as foundry people

Trust…. in their ability to delivery a product that conveys your original work.

Trust… to be fair and honest

I am noticing a theme…………..  Trust the  process.