The equivalent of taking time to smell the roses, for the artist, might be taking time to observe the lives and works of other artists. This is an enriching process which sheds light on ones own creative condition as well as providing fodder, in the form of new ideas and approaches, for one’s own artistic development.
Subscribing to this time out for involvement in the life and work of a fellow artist requires a bit of relinquishing self and ego. Whatever project we have on the front burner must, by necessity, be moved to the back, put on low flame for a bit. We temporarily suspend our current pallet of personal feelings – joy in success and love, despair in loneliness, failed work – to open up space for the feelings and emotional condition of our colleague.
Here is a subtle exercise to facilitate engagement in this process of sitting with the other guy for a little while. Our subject is a still life by Harrisburg painter Corey Fou Chong. Music for the piece is provided by guitarist/composer Michael Stokes..
. Our subject is a still life – bright red tomatoes piled high in a blue ceramic bowl. One lonely sister, outcast, hides beneath a veil of green leaves.
Mr. Ford’s still life speaks of the artist’s own condition of calm, and his deep feeling, his valuing, of simple objects in simple states. Mr. Stokes’ gentle guitar strums also invite us to settle, to be still ourselves, and engage with Mr. Ford in this exquisite valuing, appreciation, of a simple, but exquisitely colored domestic scene.
We might take this moment of calm with us, and this appreciation for the infinite detail and wonderful organization in mundane objects and scenes, and discover in the process that a door has opened to us, enabled us to move forward again in our own creative struggle.