Tag Archives: Meaning

The Art of FORGIVING but not FORGETTING by artist Ann Supan (FreeSpace #3)

21 May

MANILA CATHEDRAL 1600px

MANILA CATHEDRAL by Ann Supan 

 

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The Art of Forgiving but not Forgetting

Art, for me, is the artist’s converted thoughts and emotions of a subject into something tangible such as a sketch, drawing, or a painting.

I won’t dare argue how others defines Art because Art is quite subjective. I do, however, believe that ‘WHY someone makes Art’ reflects a lot about what Art really means to them…

(in no particular order)

– adventure, fun and enjoyment

– to connect

– to edify or educate

– reuniting and recording of one’s thoughts, feelings, and memories

– to communicate

– money

– to be famous

Probably an artist should make a percentage chart of ‘Why I make Art’ instead of the usual direct statement as answer to this seemingly simple question. I myself can agree with a number of above mentioned reasons because they are sort of interrelated with one another.

It would be such a mendacity if I say that I don’t make Art for money at all…How else will I be able to buy the materials I need to create without money?

However I draw the line between trying to be “recognized” as an artist and to be “famous”. I have every reason to believe that someone can be an artist yet not be famous especially now that the term “fame” has been somehow “evolutionatized” by how the majority uses social media. I don’t intend “educate” with my art either as I am learning myself.

Nevertheless, based on my own definition of art, there is one which I agree most –

– reuniting and recording of one’s thoughts, feelings, and memories

My memory triggers my thoughts and somehow exaggerates my feelings with this imperative desire to create.

I observed that I’m having a hard time to draw when I’m happy. I’m actually able to make what I consider memorable pieces when I feel deep melancholy- a feeling that, though part of life, I wish I could just ‘pray my way out of ‘ but can’t. So instead, I just ‘create my way out of it’.

For this reason, I realized that I draw to be able to forgive too because I’m usually sad when someone hurts me. I momentarily forget about the pain when I’m able to concentrate all my thoughts and emotions in the process of creating art-

– When I draw I tend to think of something else…go to another world…whether fiction or not, I don’t care…as long as it’s not here- my real life. I create lines/shadows over and over again until I get tired and accept the fact that it’s over. Usually, this is the same time when sadness drastically turns into anger until I realize that I can’t keep hating someone forever so the feeling of self pity strikes in. As I continue on forming figures these feelings subsides and then gradually turns back into sadness.

I choose to forgive this way but that does not mean I could just choose to forget what was done to me…that is just not possible.

“Your memory is a monster; you forget – it doesn’t. It simply files things away; it keep things for you, or hides things from you. Your memory summons things to your recall with a will of its own. You imagine you have a memory, but your memory has you.” – (In One Person by John Irving)

No matter what, as long as I have a pencil and paper in my hands I can choose to draw rather than focus on this feeling of immeasurable pain brought by my ‘uncontrollable’ memory. Should one day the finished piece would remind me of what I felt when I was making it, that is “OK” because it serves also a proof that I was able to overcome that miserable part of my life and “laugh” about it now.

As artists, we presume that all the artworks we make are our favorites but, whether we admit it or not, there are those which really stands out for us. Pieces we could spend a day looking at…pieces which brings a lot of memories…pieces which we understand far beyond the audience does…pieces which we find very hard to “let go” – mine are those that I usually made from sad memories which would somehow be translated as portraits and, most recently, as landscapes as well.

The Places series is a collection of architectural landscapes pieces, in different styles, which ‘I’ve been to’ and ‘dream of going to someday’. What the audience doesn’t know, until now, is that those pieces “I’ve been to’ included on this series are of places that ‘I would rather forget’ due to personal reasons.

Since every piece is unique, to read about the description of each piece, kindly click on the corresponding Facebook link below (“Places” album) so as to avoid making this blog any “longer” 😉

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.739950812786497.1073741833.125692274212357&type=1

But why do we end up creating something tangible out of those feelings we would rather forget? – because ‘we have to’…WE MUST.

That is what creators do.

Otherwise, we could always end up doing something else instead of creating like those who just ‘drink and/or wallow their way out of things’.

*** The image (Manila Cathedral) I used on this blog is the 2’nd piece of my PLACES series ****

*** Why ‘I’ Make Art ***
50% – reuniting and recording of one’s thoughts, feelings, and memories
20% – to connect
15% – to communicate
10% – adventure, fun and enjoyment
5% – money

 

Biography

What if?’ will always be the question Ann Supan tends to ask herself every now and then. She is an Engineering graduate who knows she wanted to be an artist since she was 10 years old. She is a Filipina visual artist who loves to draw and likes reading as much as travelling. Her main interest in art is portraiture as it is her ambition to express beauty and emotion on her work. She focuses mainly on likeness as her technique and style is simple. Recently, she has been making ‘dual portrayal’ portraits in order to make her work ‘thought provoking’ as well.

She specializes in traditional drawing in the categories of figure drawing, illustration and shading using graphite and charcoal as her main medium. She also likes to use different mediums as shown on her selective impressionistic pieces.

Through years of practice and experimentations her artworks now revolves around on both realistic and impressionistic form.

https://twitter.com/Sketchbook0918

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*FreeSpace offers 3 post slots on ArtiPeeps to any creative or group. They can be taken in a cluster or over a period of months for showcasing, projects (encouraged) or self expression. If you’re interested in FreeSpace do get in touch via the reply box on this post or the contact form on the What’s On page. 

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“Art between HAPPINESS and MEANING” by artist Ann Supan (FreeSpace #2)

23 Apr

CONFUSED

CONFUSED by Ann Supan 

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“Art between HAPPINESS and MEANING”

” Unhappy men are all alike. Some wound they suffered long ago, some wished denied, some blow to pride, some kindling spark of love put away by scorn – or worse indifference – cleaves to them, or they to it, and so they live each day within a shroud of yesterdays. The happy man does not look back. He doesn’t look ahead. He lives in the present.

But there’s the rub. The present can never deliver one thing: meaning. The ways of happiness and meaning are not the same. To find happiness, a man need only live in the moment; he need only live for the moment. But if he wants meaning – the meaning of his dreams, his secrets, his life – a man must reinhabit his past, however dark, and live for the future however uncertain. Thus nature dangles happiness and meaning before us all, insisting only that we choose between them. ”  (The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld)

I interpret the word “insisting” on above quotation as an implication that even though nature may “insist” for us to choose between HAPPINESS and MEANING, it does not mean that it’s “impossible” for us to have both.

I think that I cannot “always” have both HAPPINESS and MEANING at the same time but as long as I can find MEANING in my life, I know I’ll find HAPPINESS there too “at certain times” no matter how brief or long it lasts.

I know I am happy whenever I make a piece of art simply because I enjoy doing it…but what does that mean? It means…

– not having enough time for other things which may affect my relationship with others because they don’t understand my passion (this includes taking time to make something that is not actually paid for…some people with full time regular paying jobs just don’t understand that).

– giving people more reasons to criticize me.

– putting my ideas at risk because I cannot be an artist by just locking myself in a room drawing all day. Sharing art in the real word is, indeed, “a double edge sword.”

– doubting myself and my artistic abilities because, the truth is, I am not the “best artist” in the world (if there is such a person as “art is subjective”). I am not ashamed to admit that as I know for a fact that there are a lot of great artists out there (living or dead).

– always having the fear of “failing” at what I’ve always thought I am born to do in this world – to be an artist

Despite all this, if I must choose, I’ll choose MEANING as I’m certain that I cannot totally “just” be happy. I believe, just like any other feelings ( e.g. sadness, grief, etc.), HAPPINESS too shall pass…it always does. MEANING, on the other hand, is definite as it gives us purpose…the reason to live “no matter what”. I would rather know that there is a meaning for ALL  the things I’ve been through in life than to be a happy person by ignoring my past that I cannot “just” forget.

However, though I choose MEANING, I don’t live in the present “entirely” for the benefit of my future because for all I know I may die today. I honestly do not desire a longer life. I just want to “live” the life I’m given by learning from my past and doing the best I can with what I have until the day I stop breathing (period).

The SHADOWS series is a collection of portraits intending to show emotions  OTHER than those typical portrayal of  complete happiness and joy as I hope to convey those I believe are “meaningful” part of someone’s life.

As every piece is unique, to read about the description of each piece, kindly click on the corresponding Facebook link below ( “Playing with SHADOWS” album) so as to avoid making this blog any “longer” 😉

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.603474029767510.1073741830.125692274212357&type=3

***The image (CONFUSED) I used on this blog is the 17’th piece of my SHADOWS series ****

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Ann will be returning for her third FreeSpace on Thursday 21st May. She is one of the artists to be exhibited in our The Nine Realms  combined arts experience this  September in King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

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Biography

What if?’ will always be the question Ann Supan tends to ask herself every now and then. She is an Engineering graduate who knows she wanted to be an artist since she was 10 years old. She is a Filipina visual artist who loves to draw and likes reading as much as travelling. Her main interest in art is portraiture as it is her ambition to express beauty and emotion on her work. She focuses mainly on likeness as her technique and style is simple. Recently, she has been making ‘dual portrayal’ portraits in order to make her work ‘thought provoking’ as well.

She specializes in traditional drawing in the categories of figure drawing, illustration and shading using graphite and charcoal as her main medium. She also likes to use different mediums as shown on her selective impressionistic pieces.

Through years of practice and experimentations her artworks now revolves around on both realistic and impressionistic form.

https://twitter.com/Sketchbook0918

.

*FreeSpace offers 3 post slots on ArtiPeeps to any creative or group. They can be taken in a cluster or over a period of months for showcasing, projects (encouraged) or self expression. If you’re interested in FreeSpace do get in touch via the reply box on this post or the contact form on the What’s On page. 

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Please do check out our Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign: 

http://igg.me/at/the9realms

Poems Are like Stained Glass Windows

8 Oct

Trying to work through something quite complicated…

The sky above us was a pristine-sparkle-shimmer blue, so much so that every object pressed against it seemed to be made more explicit-cut out. The sun was edgy-bright,  and its fresh rays shimmered across everything, which made the contrast of the cool, damp cathedral more apparent when we stepped inside. The texture of the air changed-everything became more dense and weighty,

–the service will start in 10 minutes, so you’d better be quick if you don’t want to attend– said the gargoyle-knarled attendant

We walked under the colonnade, quickly,  people started to fill the space, and light shot in-pebble-dashed through the stained glass window to our left,  and then, and then, we stopped. Still. We looked to our right, and there spread across the stone-smooth floor was this:

The patchwork-light coming from the stained glass window was extraordinary. It stopped you in your tracks.It took hold of your breath and made you feel. Wonderment. The otherworldliness of the setting shimmered before you.  The light in relation to the colour made you feel.  Extraordinary. The picture doesn’t do the feeling it gave you justice. Transformation.

RELATIONS: POETRY AND STAINED GLASS 

Goethe said ‘Gedichte sind wie gemalte Wensterscheiben’. Poetry is  like painted stained glass windows.

Just as the stained glass window maker takes small lozenges of coloured glass  and places them- lead-to-lead- in carefully arranged patterns and creates a whole form (from lozenge, to section, to pane), a poem, a whole complete entity, is pieced together out of carefully chosen pieces (letters, words, sentences, verses). Carefully chosen and particular, the words imbued with emotion and thought by the poet, and then carefully unpacked and re-interpreted by the reader.

Similarly, as the light slick-slacks through the glass,  through the different sections, it illuminates and enlivens a whole- a complete story, or a moment taken from the whole. The stained glassed window is dead without the light.  A poem is dead without the reader. It needs to be illuminated/interpreted, to  have meaning pass through it.  And as the light shines through it and illuminates,  a transformational process occurs. Just like a poem: as we read and we put meaning into it something metamorphic happens- as we place our own meaning into it and let it spread like light through us and turn into something beyond us. The matter that takes your breath away and feel:  like looking at the stone-smooth floor and the shimmering kaleidoscope of colour.

The connections and the patterning all take you somewhere beyond what you’re seeing. You leap ‘out of the static into the dynamic’, Kandinsky.

INTEREPRETATION, THE AFTER IMAGE & CHANGE

In his theory of colour Goethe paid particular attention to what he called the ‘after image’, the way colour shapes perception as our brains process what we are seeing, making connections and what those connections create…the after image…. The reflection on  the floor, I think, is like an ‘after-image’. It’s the trail of meaning. How we interpret the blotches of light and the patterning, how our brain and our subjective history imbues the patterning with individual meaning,  is what the window is-not the form itself.  And that particular interpretation and response changes infinitely from person to person, and according to what is going on outside in the world, in nature-as the clouds pass by, as the sun comes out a little bit more. It is all shifting and morphing, and fresh to each person each time. The image, the story portrayed in the glass, is refreshed-never the same.  Over and over again.

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Vincent Van Gogh said that ‘poetry surrounds us everywhere’. And the hues of colour  that spread across the cathedral floor made you feel like that.

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More Information regarding Bridget Riley

THE AFTER IMAGE IS THE BIT THAT MAKES YOU FEEL

With any piece of poetry or piece of writing, or painting the form matters, the contents matters, what your putting in matters, but I think maybe, it is the ‘after-image’, what is left with you afterwards that  lasts. It’s the mish-mash of ideas and thoughts and feelings that you take with you after you’ve left the form. It’s the inspiration it gives you, or the new way of looking at the world, that sticks. And of course, of course,  you need the form to create it but it’s the going-beyond that that really matters. Doesn’t it?  It’s what you take away and what image sticks with you-or shape-or brush stroke or stitch, or tone.

ANY FORM OF CREATIVITY IS LIKE A STAINED GLASS WINDOW

I suppose what I’m trying to say, to suggest, or attempt to engage with, is that any form of creativity, and the process of that creativity is like light passing through a stained glass window;  a process of transformation from form-to meaning and interpretation to afterglow/after-image. All creativity goes through a process of transformation and leaves an ‘after-image’- whether it’s knitting, putting a car back together, cooking, spraying a curve onto a wall in order to shape a letter… again bits of  ‘something’ are placed in relation to each other and a form made.  The synthesis of  all of that becomes the work. The synthesis occurs not only in the artist/creator doing the creating but also  more amazingly (maybe) in the viewer/perceiver viewing or reading or engaging with the piece of creativity.

I feel like I’m not explaining this very well, that I’m muddying the waters of something that is actually quite simple.  I’m trying to explain a clear precise process of transformation from form, from thing, to  the completely subjective and the spiritual. A cathedral is a perfect place for stained glass and creativity-something that is in us all, in its own way, a source from which you can draw. We are the cathedral, and our creativity is the light. Still.

TRANSFORMATION

Here’s what Brian Clarke, a stained glass window artist says:

‘When you see the movement of light passing through stained glass and caressing the surfaces, the shaft of light the trans-illumination touches, it triggers something involuntary in almost anybody. Once that movement has been seen people are moved by it’

Brian Clarke’s website

When we were standing in Ely Cathedral it was not the stained glass window itself that moved us it was the trans-illumination, the bit in between and the bit afterwards, that made us feel.

We turned our back on the pebble-dash of colour, and the glow of the candles placed on the altar under the ochre octagon. We heard our feet, hollow-tap on the smooth stone floor and I gingerly turned the age-old metal handle on the exit door and stepped out into the bright, pristine sunshine once more.  Transformed.

What sort of processes does your creativity go through?

How is meaning created within your creativity?

What sort of after- image does your creativity leave?

How do you want it to make people feel?

I’d like to know……..

All the very best!

Inspiration Point: Happy Books

1 Aug

 Click on the link below and find a list of some interesting books to read on  HAPPINESS 😉

Happiness Books

I’ve also posted two new videos on the Inspiration Page: one your calling and another of Viktor E. Frankl on man’s search for meaning.

Frankl was a  psychologist who survived the holocaust in Auschwitz and then wrote a classic book called ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’. It’s a real must- read.

Here’s a great quote:

‘Don’t aim at success-the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run- in the long run- I say ! success will follow you precisely because you have forgotten to think about it.’

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