joy magnetism: Pictures on my mind

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Pictures on my mind

Magnet #847 - Horace Pippin quote

I've said it before, creative people stump me. I love 'em, but I dunno how it is they do what they do. Sometimes, I stare at their heads and their hands to wonder how one thing dictates another, and beauty is the result.

Earlier this week, I was marooned in Queens with my art director, and a photographer. We were supposed to be visiting what we thought was going to be a fantastic (and free) location for a client of ours. But when we got there, it was something straight out of the Wedding Singer. Marble walls, gilt, mirrors and a parquet dancing floor. For serious.

So, while one of us desperately called for another location, the art director and the photographer started sketching out how we wanted some of our shots to be set up.

On a piece of paper, some squiggles and lines, and magically, it became a great reference point for the two artistes to get their points across to each other.

Dudes. When I draw things? They usually end up like this and this. No foolin'. Whenever I have a pen in my hand, or multiple colors at my disposal, that's what I draw. That, or cursive Ls. What?

So, that's what I notice most when I walk into any museum. The very idea that any of these folks hanging on the walls, or sitting in the galleries - or indeed, two guys sitting at a foldy table in the heart of Queens - can draw something out of thin air and a brush or pen, is just amazing to me.

This guy, Horace Pippin, he was a self-taught artist from when he was very young and won a box of crayons. He served in WWI and was injured, losing use of his right hand. When he came home, he managed to find himself a calling to painting, becoming one of the most notable African-American artists of his time, painting legendary scenes and figures central to African-American history.

He did that, having to hold his right arm with his left, to guide his painting. That, my friends, is determination.

That my friends, is God-given talent.
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