Saturday, May 7, 2011

Rolling in the Deep

STRATA, hand painted collage papers, scroll

There is a popular song out now by Adele titled ROLLING IN THE DEEP. I like those words.
My last blog post was about searching for meaning in our art by becoming more aware of our likes and interests, and making lists. Rolling in the Deep is about delving further into our depths. I believe that as artists go deeper into their inner self, these self discoveries will lead to more personal expression as their create their art works.

INNER EXCAVATION: Explore Your Self Through Photography, Poetry, and Mixed Media by Liz Lamereux. This wonderful book is filled with exercises, activities, and inspirational writing to help the artist discover more about themselves. You can find this book and others here at
"You have to find where you are, in order to figure out where you want to go." - Liz Lamereux

In the book, there are a number of artist contributors. Judy Wise is one of them. She reveals what inspires her, what nurtures her, how she finds her creative voice. The above piece is limestone clay on braced panel with stones. You can find her creative website here and her wonderful blog here.

SPILLING OPEN: The Art of Becoming Yourself by Sabrina Ward Harrison. This is a visual journal of the artist when she was young, as she embarked on her journey of self-discovery.

One task we can do is ask our self the question: Who or What inspires us? This can be artists, authors, poets, music, songs, books or movies. I remember years ago, exactly when I discovered poetry and my favorite poet. I saw the foreign film IL POSTINO (The Postman), about a postman in Italy who wanted to write poetry and show his poems to Pablo Neruda. At the end of the movie is the poem POETRY. A strong feeling of emotion, appreciation, and connection washed over me.

And it was at that age__Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from the street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.
---- Pablo Neruda

There are 2 artists who I connect to in a powerful way. Their work affects me in ways that I can't express in words. When I see their work, I feel their emotional personal expression reaching out to me, enveloping me and drawing me in.

Anselm Kiefer's art is influenced by his German heritage of World War II and the history of war and the Holocaust and is rich with references to writers and poets. I am also attracted to his use of raw textures.

For Hannelore Baron (1926-1987), making art was a meditative form of experience and communication. She escaped Hitler's Germany and the Holocaust as a young child. Her life was framed by tragedy. She sought to create 'the message' in her art: an imagery of suffering and human hope.

Sweet Darkness
Give up all other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
---- David White

And on a lighter note, my favorite movie character is from the movie THE BIG LEBOWSKI --
the Dude. I love whacky movies and quirky characters and the Dude is certainly an odd ball...

"Let me explain something to you. Um, I am not 'Mr. Lebowski'. You're Mr. Lebowski. I'm the Dude. So that's what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing." ---The Dude


Leslie Avon Miller said...

I agree with Hannelore that making art is a meditative form of experience and communication. That's part of why I love it so much.

I think its that connection with my art that inspires me; the process, the tactile quality of working, responding to the dance. Life and the experience of being alive is my inspiration. And of course, beauty.

Valerianna said...

Great post... I love the David White poem, and always good to have recommendations of good resources for students, thanks!

Hannah said...

Donna, great continuation of your last post. Your influences are wonderful, coming as they do from all directions; from Hannelore to the Big Lebowski. I've been thinking that the more we open ourselves to diverse influences--work that bears little resemblance to our own, the richer the artwork. I'm often tempted to look at work that resonates with my own--but lately, I'm trying to look at a much wider variety of artists. Btw, have you ever looked at the work of Charlotte Salomen?

by land by air by sea said...



para mi


zendotstudio said...

I do love the concept of going deeper and what better place than our art. I love the movie Il Postino. There are two more that also rank up there for me. Do you know Cinema Paradiso and My Life As A Dog.

Ah Pablo Neruda. I was at a retreat and a French man read Pablo Neruda to my friend and I one day after lunch on a sun drenched patio. It was other worldly. I remember one phrase: I had an appointment with joy".

Thanks for the memories this time and the inspiration as always

india flint said...

thank you

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

Fabulous post from top to bottom Donna!

elena nuez said...

i love Stratta!!!
brava brava brava!!!

lyle baxter said...

As always you make me think! why? what? All those questions!perhaps writing down my answers would help me find the way I wnnt to follow! Its worth a try! thank you!

Unknown said...

The Pablo Neruda poem "Poetry" has always been a favourite of mine. I just love the simple power of that last line. Great post. Thanks for some interesting links to follow up.

Rebeca Trevino said...

A lovely way to wake up on a sunday morning.
Neruda poem echos still.
thank you Donna.

Kathryn Zbrzezny said...

This is such an inspirational post, I know I will come back to it many times. I like the way you think. Something tells me you are a beautiful soul...
Thank you, ~Kathy

lynn bland said...

Your post resonates with emotion and I read and re-read it and will again I am sure. Il Postino is one of my favorites, and after art, books are my passion. I will look for those. Thanks for following my blog.

Heavens2Betsy said...

Thank you for this wonderously inspirational post. Sweet Darkness quite literally made me hold my breath. I have recently discovered a love of poetry I'd paid only scant regard to and this really resonated with me. The books are on my wish list. penny

sukipoet said...

your collage is so beautiful. i adore Il Postino and Pablo Neruda both! Thanks for all the inspiration resources. I have not seen that movie and will put it on my list. You are yourself most inspirational. Thank you.

ArtPropelled said...

Anselm Kiefer in particular has that strange effect on me too, without being able to put my finger on what it is about his work that draws me in. David White's poem is beautiful and I know I am going to read this post for a third time to take it all in.

Anonymous said...

Great art and inspiration throughout..I love the words 'Rolling in the Deep' too. Gotta become ourselves, no time to waste..

Cynthia Monica said...

An inspiring post Donna. I too love the "Dude" character in The Big Lebowski...reminds one that a an artist's (author, actor, composer, etc) sense of humor and wit can be a marvelous way for the viewer to connect to the work, be it fine art, movies, poetry, music, etc.

annell4 said...

It is said, we are like onions, and there are many layers to peel away. And it is a moment of enlightenment. But alas, there is always another layer. It might take a long time to find oneself....Thanks for the post. Really enjoyed it.

Was in conversation yesterday, and the person I was talking to, said,"but, what is art? How can you define it?" Perhaps each time we do, on any given day, the definition is different, for we are different. I have read many books and many definitions, I just like art to be "big" enough, to hold each experience, each idea and each person. Art is a "big" thing.....

annell4 said...

Happy Mother's Day!

Claire said...

i'm soooo glad i found your blog! a true wealth of inspiration and beauty...
and i just LOVE your collages - they invite me to roll in deep... thank you :)

.Trudi Sissons said...

Thank you once again Donna for creating not only a stunning new piece of art, but for reminding me of the essence of creating...the Pablo Neruda quote has been one of my favorites for years...
Hope you are well.

Jo Murray said...

As always an inspiring post. Thanks Donna.

CERULEAN said...

Great post again. Love your collage and their numbers(....)Yes, I know Hannelore Baron. Her work is so pure and beautiful.

Judy Wise said...

Beautiful post, Donna. Diving deep into ourselves; surely the most difficult and important work of the artist. And the Dude. What can I say? The coolest ever. I wouldn't have expected that but then you are full of the unexpected. xo

Ian Foster said...

A great post, super collage and many thanks for the introduction to Judy Wise.

Leovi said...

I love this collage with an excellent balance of gray tones and a nice variety of textures. Tridemensional element gives the feeling of parchment can be deployed anytime and make other changes to work. Greetings.

Barry said...

Hi D - love the thought of rolling in the deep - such a good way of looking at exploring those parts of our art that are a little less comfortable or practised. Also like the use of numbers on your Strata piece - the beginning and end concept. Thanks for sharing your exploration journey and reflections on those whom influence you - you in turn influence. B

Emma said...

Love your Strata piece. Delving deeper, hmm, sometimes I feel I'm on the tip of my tongue, just can't quite reach it!

Jann Gougeon said...

Strata . . sensitively nuanced and with such depth . . it really draws me in.

The "Dude" is one of my favorites!

mano said...

I think anselm kiefer is one of the greatest german artists. I saw some exhibitions with works of him: very impressive, wonderful textures!
your collage is beautiful!

Carole said...

Very inspiring post Donna. It takes a long time to find oneself. Maybe an entire lifetime.

mansuetude said...

Keifer hits me deeply just as the poets of his content. Esp Celan.
Friends gave me Spilling open to open art to poetry.

I have met david whyte who spoke of sitting by a fire drinking good Scotch with a friend whose talk kept him pushing on. Believing. This is a wonderful collection of souls. I think

Thank u

mansuetude said...

Oh. Also i heard j wise speak on line once. She had such a soulful voice i loved instantly.

Seth said...

Donna this post is so rich! It is filled with inspiration, inks to explore, and thought-filled wisdom. Much to think about. Thank you for posting another gem!

Petra Eller said...

Hi Donna,
As always, a very interesting post
I'm always looking forward to your collage.
Your collages are always saying a lot of your theme.
Rolling in the deep - Look behind the facade of their own.
Yes we all want.

Lynn said...

I don't know how you do it, Donna. Each post is just full of inspiration and wonderful links to other artists and poets and thinkers and ideas; and, as always, one of your gorgeous collages.
Thank you!

Missouri Bend Paper Works said...

Donna....such a delight to see Hannelore Baron as one of your favorites too! I nearly dropped over when I chanced upon a small exhibition of her work in a New York Gallery many moons ago. I love her work!!! I'm in a place of trying to move forward, but trying to understand where I am now, so I can begin to move forward with more intention...always a process...just as it's always a delight to read your posts! Thanks so much! Patti

rivergardenstudio said...

I love the books that you share here, I have them both, Inner excavation has wonderful ideas for writing, and spilling open, even the title is art.And thank you for the story of Poetry... This connection between words and symbols, words and art: the poetry of a postman. Thank you for all of this. roxanne

Gaby Bee said...

Thank you for this inspiring post!
Your "Strata" piece is brilliant, Donna. The addition of the numbers add just the perfect touch!

Have a lovely week!
Gaby xo

Anonymous said...

I've recently discovered your blog and consider it a real breath of fresh air. Thank you for bringing the work of Hannelore Baron to light for me. Her work brings tears to my eyes.

nancy neva gagliano said...

LOVE this "combination special" post...
{better than the pizza of that description},
brava! ms. duderina!

Sharmon Davidson said...

Wonderful work you've posted here, Donna, including your beautiful collage. Keifer's work has something powerfully spiritual about it that comes through even though you can't quite define it.
But really, Donna- that rug pulled the whole room together. The Dude abides!

Deborah said...

It is a powerful song. She also has an incredible voice that really lends itself to the lyrics.

Anonymous said...

what a magnificent post! your piece is gorgeous, as always, and your book list divine. i LOVE pablo neruda more than almost anyone.

and the dude! yes, yes! the big lebowski our my husband's and my "first date" movie so we try to watch it every year around our anniversary. we're about due. i'll have to go pick up the makings for some "caucasians" before we pop it in.

Lisa Ursu said...

More books for my list, thanks Donna.
Your collage is fantastic. The way the scroll is rolling across the page. I like the idea of rolling in the deep rather than over it. Doing something more than surface dwelling, intersecting with the infinite.
I love the pic of The Dude, and the quote.

"A strong feeling of emotion, appreciation, and connection washed over me."
I had the very same feelings after reading Poetry, thank you.

elena nuez said...

Dear Donna great collage as always, I looooove your work!!!!!
thanks and happy day


Leovi said...

I love this excellent piece of clay with stones by Judy Wise. Really suggestive. Greetings

Laura said...

so much inspiration here Donna...thank you!

Morna Crites-Moore said...

Anselm Kiefer's work makes me melt. It is astonishing. I love it.

I also love The Dude. In fact, I am an ordained Dudeist Priest in The Church of the Latter-Day Dude. :)