PAINTINGS: Fugue

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Richard Bledsoe “Fugue” acrylic on canvas 20″ x 16″

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No matter what the subject matter is, for the intuitive artist every painting is a self portrait. It’s not contrived or forced, it’s just the natural result of rummaging around in your own subconscious. Your situation and story gets intertwined in the imagery you create.

I still manage to be surprised by what appears. This was definitely the case in my newest painting, “Fugue.”

It started kind of like one of my earlier paintings I wrote about, “Inspiration.”  I was painting black all over an unsuccessful image to cover it up, when I saw the new content appear in the random brush strokes: a nocturnal scene of a solitary organist.

As a big fan of Bach, I immediately thought of one of my favorite pieces, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. Over the next few weeks as I worked on bringing the imagery out of the darkness and into greater resolution, I contemplated a generic title like “Organist,” but it didn’t seem adequate. I kept coming back to “Fugue.”

Finally I looked it up. I knew the word, but never having been trained in music, I didn’t know its technical meaning. In music, it means when a short melody gets introduced, and then built upon through variations.

But there is another meaning for fugue, a psychological one. It’s a state of turning away, memory loss; actions taken in a state of forgetfulness.

I knew this context too, but had not thought about it at all until I saw the definitions next to each other in the online dictionary. As I looked at my painting of the isolated musician, his back to the viewer as he plays against the silence of the night, I recognized it was the story of my life as it is right now.

Painting is such a gift, it can make anything beautiful.

ARTICLE: Michele Bledsoe in “The Labyrinth Beyond Time”

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Creatures Great and Small: Michele Bledsoe with her painting “Under the Pillow”

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I’ve written a number of times on the amazing creativity of my wife, artist Michele Bledsoe. 

Michele was recently the featured artist in an article in The Foothills Focus, a weekly newspaper focused on life in north Phoenix and its environs.

Read the article at this link: “The Labyrinth Beyond Time,” by Shea Stanfield.

The writer does a great job summing up the spirit of Michele’s painting by referencing a quote from Marcel Duchamp: “To all appearances, the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing.” Stanfield goes on to relay significant details about Michele’s experiences and attitudes towards art:

“She filled tablets with sketches and ideas that bound through her imagination. Creatures great and small would eventually be rendered in paintings as she taught herself the techniques. By all accounts, Michele has been successful on all fronts. Today, she paints in her home studio in Central Phoenix, her canvases supported on an easel her father gave her for Christmas 25 years ago. His passing a few months later added an extra portion of meaning to his gift and confidence in her, as well as Michele’s inspiration.”

The art of Michele Bledsoe does indeed navigate a special vision, her own enchanting world apart. It was a pleasure to read this article’s commentary acknowledging her achievements.

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From the article:

“Michele, over the last 20 years, has exhibited in various art galleries and venues.  Recently, she was invited to participate in an art show, at Skolkovo Art Gallery, in Moscow, Russia. The exhibit featured a number of international artists involved in the Remodernism Movement. As Michele would put it, ‘Who would have believed my painting “Forever,” a painting of a snail, is the one piece, out of all my work, that has ironically traveled furthest!’”

ART QUOTES: What is an Artist? Part 2

See “What is an Artist?” Part 1 at this link

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Peter Paul Rubens “The Four Continents”

I’m just a simple man standing alone with my old brushes, asking God for inspiration.

-Peter Paul Rubens

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Henry Miller “Two Heads”

An artist earns the right to call himself a creator only when he admits to himself that he is but an instrument.

-Henry Miller

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Paul Cezanne “Self Portrait”

The most seductive thing about art is the personality of the artist himself.

-Paul Cezanne

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Norman Rockwell “All Together”

The secret to so many artists living so long is that every painting is a new adventure. So, you see, they’re always looking ahead to something new and exciting. The secret is not to look back.

-Norman Rockwell

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Paul Gauguin “Daydreaming”

The great artist is a formulation of the greatest intelligence: he is the recipient of sensations which are the most delicate and consequently the most invisible expressions of the brain.

-Paul Gauguin