Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Digital Visual Meditations and Rhythms


I’ve been doing this series of drawings and digital collages for some time. The end product can be a just about anything I can print or project on. I have mixed feelings about this. As a painter I’ve always felt that the direct tactile experience with a work of art is essential. I had to ask myself, can I duplicate this experience digitally? Can this experience of a painting talking to directly to the viewer be translated into digital format?

The answers I suppose are self evident - as we learn to see light through these screens - the experience, while fleeting, can be profound. We can’t touch the textures, or taste the smells but we can imagine - we can be transported for a moment.

In that spirit I have been creating dozens of these digital collages. They go well with the sound of Jazz music. 

Let me know what you think, I hope they lighten up your day!

(Yes, these image are also available in print form, contact me for pricing.)

MBSarts on Cover of LaLapid Magazine

 I’m honored to be on the current cover of LaLapid Magazine, The Society for Crypto Judaic Studies. You can sign up for membership and learn more here

"Astrolabes"Acrylic on Canvas 30” x 48”,  is featured in an on-line exhibit 

on my website that you can enjoy here

Mapping New Circulatory Systems

Weekly Wednesday Community Arts Workshops Continue
 (artists journal)

Over the past several years I’ve been volunteering as as Artist in Residence (AIR) with Veterans Rescue Mission, a mini house village dedicated to getting vets the services to which they are entitled. The site is dedicated to transitional living, with several full time stewards on the acre campus. It’s a fun project, no expectations, the participants drive the process. We had been working on murals, gardens, shade structures and exhibits prior to “COVID 19”.

Working on a shade structure.
Throughout the past year colleagues and I have struggled with the most effective ways to adapt our community art making practices amidst this pandemic. We have utilized new platforms, podcasts, Zoom, emails, calls and texts. For a few weeks it was safe to meet in person, that ended quickly and it was right back to Zoom. Recently our weekly sessions added artist presentations, time for journal reflection and a new mural class.

Our earth day session included time for house plants to socialize over Zoom.

We tried various collaborative drawing experiments.

Participants are doing individual projects in our houses and places of work. We are creating things and offering services vital to our community. The general unifying theme seems to revolve around this idea of adaptation- developing systems of support, for our hearts, bodies, minds and souls. There is a strong awareness of the impacts of climate change.

The change to on-line has been awkward for everyone. Community arts practice is often about spontaneity, new ideas emerge from discussions while working together, poetry being read, food  served -  that dynamic buzz of excitement.

As participants described their lives and needs we came up with the idea of art deliveries. The first round of Emergency Art-Aid kits was delivered with contributions of seeds, plant starters, art supplies and tools. We all depend on these systems, networks for production and distribution of goods and services. This idea of transit, of making, then moving objects from one place to another has revealed abundance. There are gardens, seeds, a thrift store, teachers, weavers, builders, neighbors and networks.

As I drove about delivering kits I thought of my voyage as wing akin to connecting the meridians of our city, a network of veins or rivers, a life force being animated. As we engage this system the kinesthetic excitement of collaboration produces an energy wave. We can measure that wave, observe and then re-engage it. This process of adaptation amidst uncertainty and grief is producing innovation.

We have been asking some framing questions.

  • How can we use Art-Aid kits to do things  together?
  • What do we need to realize our project goals?
  • Personal goals?
  • How do we raise each other up?
  • How do we support one another authentically?
  • How can we help each other on location specific projects like murals and mosaics?

Then more broadly:

  • How can we intentionally use the arts to lift the creative energy of this place?
  • How can we breath life into, to animate our community?
  • How does intentional breathing increase circulation?
  • Who are we serving?

In the weeks and months to come, we will find out. Slowly, as a community of makers and learners we are figuring this out together.

The Garden at VRM is thriving.

Workshops are every Wed. 4pm. To register, or if you have questions contact me through my website here: www.MichaelBSchwartz.com