Trust is a word that plays many rolls in our lives. I have learned over the years to trust my gut instincts. When I walk into an art store, I prefer to follow my gut the moment I walk into the store. Allowing myself to explore new media down the isles and touch papers or canvas. The aesthetics of shopping for art materials is very personal. I prefer to create my own sketchbooks by purchasing or finding various papers and cutting them to fit various sized folios that I create or purchase and tie on three sides. This process allows me to choose the paper that will work best for the media I plan to use at any given moment. The media used in any work is just as important as the concept behind the work. Art stores will have testing papers on the shelves down the drawing media isles. The personal relationship you feel to certain drawing tools is unique to each artist. I like to use certain brands or colors. I enjoy running my fingers through the pen nibs and smelling primed and unprimed canvas. I enjoy finding bargains in bins or markdowns. I open paint tubes to see the color and at times I touch the tip of the tube to see how the color moves on my fingertips. I also enjoy searching the isles in the Materials Resource Center and the Habitat for Humanity Restore. Finding discarded materials is an earth friendly way to go green in ones art work. My students like to have a list of materials telling them exactly what to purchase in an art store. These lists should only be used as a guide when shopping. The best lists will leave options and openness for individual exploration when choosing art materials.
Trust is a word that is used when I set my brush to paint, as well as when I walk into a museum. In both situations a feeling of excitement comes over me as I approach the Museum door or a blank canvas. The feeling of trusting my gut instincts comes into play in both these situations. When I enter a Museum, I let my instincts tell me where to go and what direction to focus on. I step back and observe others in the galleries around me as I listen to the sounds and glory in the sights that surround me. Recently, I was walking around the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. I bypassed the Hugh line of people waiting to purchase tickets as I use my museum card to enter the exhibitions. As I turned around I stood directly across from Andy Warhol’s work hanging in the lobby. One of his life’s ambitions was to have his work exhibitied in the Museum of Modern Art. So I observed this as a certain peace. I could hear the sounds of people excited about what they may see or experience on this day at the Museum. People from various countries speaking many different languages were there that day. I love the Museum in that it introduces new forms of art to the public as well as chronologically preserving the historical reflections of humanity all preserved for people to view and contemplate.
The galleries exhibited many works in various disciplines. In my observations, as a Painter and Theatrical Designer, the concept of Sound, Film Projections, Drawings, Paintings and Sculpture seemed to come into the space of the viewer rather than waiting for the viewer to approach the art. Many works reflected various times in the history of art but the two paintings that continue to receive the most attention remain Claude Monet’s “Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond”, 1920, oil on canvas, (78.74 inches x 502.36 inches) and “Dance (1)” by Henri Matisse, 1909, oil on canvas, (8’6 ½” x 12” ½”). Crowds of people stood and sat in front of these works for long periods of time. The works convey the feeling of hope, love, beauty and a flowing humanity. That common thread which brings us all together.
By Kyle Blumenthal
June 28, 2011