Tuesday, March 29, 2011

'Letter of Criticism' ~ Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

It appears I don't have a lot of inspiration this morning ... this is not a good thing.  What am I thinking? Today could be the perfect opportunity to meet my 'muse' head on and put the ideas in play.  Okay girl, get it together.

Today lead me to a 'Letter of Criticism' written by non other than Robert Henri to a student/friend.
         "You have gone there to find yourself.  What you have started, this thing of becoming an artist, a real one, almost every man fails at.  Few have the courage or stamina to go through the parts one has to go through alone in more ways than one.
           I don't believe in being inhuman.  I should feel sorry for the man who would not cry for company or sympathy.  The human creature must have these things, and when you can't stand it you will have to dig out and get your belly full--and then go back.
           If you go through this winter you will come out a strong man and you will be well aquainted with yourself.
           It's hard.  I shiver with the cold.  It is easy maybe to sit here and write this, seated by a steam radiator.  But I know what it is like to be in the cold and alone in both ways. .......
          You are not yet used to the weather.  You can't jump from comfort into the conditions of such life.  And then the snow is to come.  Get ready for the wonder of it, and paint like a fiend while the ideas possess you.
          ... If you paint two or three hundred canvases this winter and a dozen of them are really good and say your say of yourself, time and place, you can be happy." Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

I sit at amazement that I stumbled across this letter, what a metaphor!  It was just the kick in the pants I needed today.  The irony is, usually, I do a lot of painting in the winter but this winter has lead me to a lot of obstacles in my path. And the hurdles have been higher than I could muster the courage to jump.  But ... all this has lead me to do this blog and that, in itself, is proving to be my soul searching place in the cold.

happy creating ya'll, P. H. Original's aka/Pam Hartfield

Monday, March 28, 2011

If the artist is alive in you .. Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

"IF THE artist is alive in you, you may meet Greco nearer than many people, also Plato, Shakespear, the Greeks. In certain books -- some way in the first few paragraphs you know that you have met a brother.

You Pass people on the street, some are for you, some are not." Robert Henri, The Art Spirit.

El Greco


All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.

For my two cents worth today I give you one of my favorite Rat Packers as I could not have said it better myself and this, my friend, is my brother.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I hope to be scared soon :/

531 × 390 - Robert Henri, Girl Seated by the Sea, 1893
16 x 20 - Pam Hartfield, Path to the Sea
 Imagine a world where you sit on top of the Ferris Wheel and never feel the slightest shiver or get the feeling you could fall.  What if you never felt a little eerie entering a haunted house or after you've climbed the mountain not been a little afraid to peek over the edge? Ever peered out at the vastness of the Ocean and wondered what creature looms away from the shoreline, but gasped at the beauty and intrigued by it all?

 In the words of our infamous Robert Henri, "Everybody who has any respect for painting feels scared when he starts a new canvas.  A person who has never been afraid has no imagination.

A GREAT painter will know a great deal about how he did it, but still he will say, "How did I do it?"  The real artist's work is a surprise to himself." Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

I'll buy that! I have yet to touch a new canvas when my hand didn't quiver just a bit. I bite my lip and say a little prayer.  I have even been known to whisper to myself, "It's okay me and God have this."  It's when a painting goes astray and lends itself to some form that has no recollection of realness that I whisper again, "Lord, where did I go wrong?"

I'll leave you with these thoughts to ponder today ...  GET SCARED PEOPLE and paint. (imagine the fear in me when I clicked the button posting Henri's seashore beside mine)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm not Famous but I'd Like to be ...

Yes, that's me non-famous Artist Pam Hartfield.  Wonder what it would be like to really be famous?  Never mind being rich!  I could paint until my hearts content, start a school for all those who really want to paint and can't afford to buy the supplies.  The list would be endless.  I can see it now P.H. Original's aka/Pam Hartfield up in lights with cameras flashing and journalist asking questions.  I wonder how many times I would stumble over my own feet walking that red carpet?  We all know I shoot from the hip when I have something to say so I assume they would just love to quote me saying something utterly stupid ... but then again that's part of my charm don't you think? ;)

On to a more serious note about someone who was famous in his own time, Robert Henri.

Robert Henri, Gertrude Venderbilt Whitney, 1916
"A work of art is not a copy of things.  It is inspired by nature but must not be a copying of the surface.  Therefore what is commonly called "finish" may not be finish at all.

You have to make your statement of what is sential to you-an innate reality, not a surface reality.  You handle surface appearances as compositional factors to express a reality that is beyond superficial appearances.  You choose things seen and use them to phrase your statement." Robert Henri/ The Art Spirit

"In other words if you want a picture buy a camera." Pam Hartfield/non-famous artist

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's Me Again

  View from My Studio Window (sigh)
Sorry for not posting lately guys.  I have a close family member with the dreaded Alzheimer's Disease and I am afraid I have been obsessed with that.  What I am coming to realize is that I must live today because tomorrow my life may be taken from me even if I am still walking this earth.  I vow to get back into my blog world and hope there are readers out there that enjoy hearing the things I share.

I have so many things in my head that I want to do.  I have paintings etched in my brain, a book I need to write (I have it started but I hope my laptop doesn't freak out on me) and there's still that Homemade Christmas Thing I talked my family into this year! It has been hard to get started on some of these things since we have been out of town for over a year now. We are scheduled to be back at home around the first of April and I can't wait. My Studio has been beckoning me from afar .... like a light from a lighthouse calling me back to the safe harbor of the world I like to live in.

enough said for today ... happy creating ya'll