More Vignettes from the Desert

Ink and Graphite on Watercolor Paper

Ink and Graphite on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

More 5″x11″ experimental studies exploring imagery from the Tower of Babel and Choruses from the “Rock.” See my earlier post for more details.

 

Click on image for a larger view. All images copyright Jacob Rowan 2014

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Nicolaides Quote 7:

“Temperament is merely an incident, just as one banker may be temperamental and another not, while both have the genius for banking. The idea that an artist must be a tragic sort of figure is all wrong. Some artists are like Van Gogh and Gauguin. Some, like Titian and Renoir, are not. Tragedy is caused by a man’s nature and environment and is as irrelevant to painting as it is to other professions. Many young art students react against the prosaic world and feel they must be ‘different.’ They are afraid if they act like other people they will be like other people. The real difference between the artist and the one who is not an artist is not so simple as that.”

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Vignettes from the Desert

Ink on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

For some time I have been working on a collaboration with a composer to illuminate the Tower of Babel and T.S. Eliot’s Choruses from the “Rock” through art and music. One is the story of man building a city and tower for his own glory and the other is a story of man’s struggle to build the church of God. In my reading and contemplation of these two texts I have become fixated with the image of the desert. The desert left after God dispersed the people of Babel is the same desert we live in today in which some are trying to rebuild Babel and in which others are trying to build the church. As Eliot says “The desert is in the heart of your brother.” These are 5″x11″ experimental studies I have been doing to explore that imagery.

Click on image for a larger view. All images copyright Jacob Rowan 2014

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Nicolaides Quote 6:

“I never concern myself with how much talent my students have. I couldn’t say to anyone in the beginning, ‘you have no talent.’ I believe that nature is lavish with talent just as it is with acorns—but not all acorns become oaks. Talent is something that develops, or appears, as you work.”

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Nicolaides Quote 5:

It is much easier to learn how to make a “pretty” picture than it is to learn how to wrestle with and observe reality in all its complexity.

“Any student can command a good technique in a few years and acquire facility with his medium, but this is not what real study consists of. Anyone can learn to paint. Sometimes it seems that the less one is an artist the more easily and quickly one can acquire the superficial qualities of a painter. But craftsmanship in painting is mere virtuosity, a skill that may hide lack of real perception.”  

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Nicolaides Quote 4:

You never stop seeing, learning, and growing.

“Preconceived ideas about things with which you have no real experience have a tendency to defeat the acquiring of real knowledge…Do not allow familiar labels to interfere with fresh impulses. Disregard ideas that are already formulated, or constantly test them by new fresh experiences.” 

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Nicolaides Quote 3:

Most serious artists keep a sketchbook. While there may be some drawings in there, most of the drawings are not “art” but rather a record of a certain kind of mental exercise (namely deep observation of the world or visual thinking). We don’t call piano scales Music or sports drills Football, neither should we call learning to draw making Art. Many students get bogged down when they are learning to draw with how the drawing looks (not whether it is accurate or not, but rather whether or not they could proudly show it off).

“Results are best when they come from the right kind of unself-conscious effort… The time you spend (drawing) only counts if you are having the correct experience… “

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