About My Art: Visionary Experience

Part 1 – How I Became a Painter

I gained insight into the nature of my painting by going back to what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I saw Star Wars in 1977 when I was 7 years old, quite possibly the perfect age to have seen that movie. I spent my whole youth wanting to be a film maker. And 10 years later, in 1987, that’s what I went off to college to try to be. I had to enroll in a freshman arts foundation curriculum, which exposed students to a whole gamut of creative disciplines, like drawing, sculpture, interior design, and commercial art.

It was in these classes I discovered painting. From the first moment I tackled a big surface as a student project I was hooked, although it took a long while and several changes of majors to understand this. But now I’ve been painting seriously since 1991, and it remains as fascinating as ever. I’ve never stopped working at it in all those years.

I’ve found the way to show my vision and tell my stories without needing the resources of a film studio. As I’ve gained comprehension of my art, I’ve been clearer about what it is I do.

I’m showing you stills from the movies in my mind. The possibilities are endless.

Richard Bledsoe “Gentlemen Astronomers” acrylic on canvas 24″ x 30″

Part 2 – Where Do I Get My Ideas

I am an intuitive artist, working not from observation but from visions that arise in my mind. The potential subject matter is limited only by the freedom of imagination, my capacity to comprehend what is presented to me, and the skill I have to render it visible.

I am not after a naturalistic recreation of the world. Painting is a dream world, and requires its own particular forms of creation. Its beauty transcends realism.

Other artists might work in the great traditions of landscape, still life, portraiture, or figurative painting. The visions I present are a blend of all these different explorations into a single unified image.

I’m sort of a mutant form of a history painter, the genre once considered the highest form in the hierarchy of Western art, but much neglected in the modern and contemporary art worlds.

The difference is story telling. Rather than make a detached work of art for art sake’s, emphasizing merely formal concerns, history painting depicts a moment of drama. It shows action arrested for contemplation, rich in implications of past, present, and future activity. It injects the element of time, suggests consequences and resolutions are pending, and extends the liveliness of the art beyond the edges of the canvas.

In my book Remodern America, I described how the images come to me:

I can sum up my art with one simple statement: The Good Lord told me to show you this.

I have visions. They come at the most random times. I could be washing the dishes, or driving to work, and suddenly the picture is there. It usually arrives now with a title, dimensions and suggestions for technique.

These visions tend to come in waves, or clusters. I’ll receive multiple suggestions over a few days or weeks, then experience a lull which can last weeks or months.

I maintain a notebook where I jot down the ideas so I don’t lose them; usually the title and a one line description is enough to recall the intact image to my mind. The book has hundreds of entries already. I will never live long enough to paint out all the pictures that have been presented to me, and new visions keep arriving all the time. I have to prioritize…

Like in a dream, the imagery is full of symbolism. The specific details shown are significant, though like in a dream it’s not always obvious, and not clear cut. There are nuances and connotations and above all, the final wordless mystery.

As I work on the paintings, I come to interpret them. Patrons will often share insights with me on my works as well, telling me meanings that I didn’t even realize, but which become clear once indicated.

Such is the seductive beauty of symbolic expression; even when manifesting universal archetypes, a symbol caresses the spectator in an intimate manner. While symbols can communicate concepts shared in common, each person experiences the thrill of recognition in a unique way, different as fingerprints.

Symbols give hints. They gesture. If you follow their indications, you find yourself gazing upon the unknowable complexity and profundity of existence.

I no longer work from preparatory drawings or grids. I create the images by painting them directly out on the canvases. While working on the paintings, the most effective results happen when I’ve become so absorbed in the process that I’m aware of nothing else. In fact, it’s like I’m aware of nothing at all.

 I vanish while my paintings get applied to the canvas. I have the continuous experience of stepping back from the work to see it, and it’s like I’m stepping out of a trance. I’m constantly surprised by what I see has appeared on the painting, because I have no memory of doing it. Turning myself over to this receptive state allows something beyond my own capacities to take over. My best achievements are works done through me, rather than by me.

-Richard Bledsoe

From Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization (2018)

Richard Bledsoe “Mothman” acrylic on canvas 24″ x 30″

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Self-Taught Artist Sculpts Beautiful Glass And Concrete Works Depicting Sea and Land

Art world links which caught my eye…

Canoe_1

Evocative sculptures of land and water. Key quote from the article:

Made of cast concrete under laminated clear float glass, Sydney-based artist Ben Young’s creations are really a sight to behold. These amazing sculptures take the form of ocean waves in various landscapes: surrounding a tiny island, breaking on a lonely lighthouse or steep shores, mainly inspired by the artist’s native New Zealand and most specifically Waihi Beach, where he was born. The translucent, aquamarine glass perfectly replicates the water in contrast with the density and dull color of the concrete ocean floor and shores, resulting in simple, minimal, yet impressive sculptures.

See the full article here: ART SHEEP – Self-Taught Artist Sculpts Beautiful Glass And Concrete Works Depicting Sea and Land

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: From 2019-Happy 500th, Tintoretto — A Retrospective Honors The Venetian Artist

Art world links which caught my eye…

Tintoretto “The Last Supper”

From the 2019 article:

But Tintoretto was putting his own spin on it. There’s so much well-known “Last Supper” imagery — the apostles sitting in a row at the table, a serene Jesus in the center. Some 60 years after Leonardo da Vinci painted his famous Last Supper, Tintoretto puts the apostles in a blender and spins them around — and paints their reactions when Christ says one of them will betray him.

“Some of them are practically falling out of their chairs backwards,” Echols says. “Some of them are reaching forward, gesturing towards Christ. The painting is full of action, push, and pull, and drama. And this is typical of Tintoretto: His paintings are always dynamic — full of energy and action.”

See the full article here: NPR – Happy 500th, Tintoretto — A Retrospective Honors The Venetian Artist

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Video-Artist Chuck Close Gives Tour of His Work in NYC Subway

Art world links which caught my eye…

In 2017, Chuck Close visited sites where his amazing portraits were transformed into public art.

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Van Gogh and the Books He Loved

Art world links which caught my eye…

The man who loved to paint and write letters also read extensively.

See the full article here: HYPERALLERIC – Van Gogh and the Books He Loved

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Unseen Artist Eric Tucker

Art world links which caught my eye…

So much talent out there which does not participate in the corrupted, virtue signaling, Postmodern absurdity of establishment art.

Key quote from the article:

Tucker was a boxer and construction worker in Warrington. And though few knew it, he was also a prolific, self-taught artist whose paintings depicted a lost, industrial era. Before he died in 2018 at the age of 86, family members discovered a trove of about 400 canvases, the best of which are now on display here.

Tucker spent his days in the front parlor of his home, painting the working-class world he knew: Boisterous pubs where people played piano and sang. Neighborhoods of terraced houses — the English equivalent of row homes — where men played cricket in empty lots against a skyline of belching smokestacks. It was a communal way of life that disappeared with Warrington’s factories.

See the full article here: NPR – ‘Unseen Artist’ Eric Tucker Spent Decades Painting — But Nobody Knew

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: The Art Spirit – Beloved Painter and Philosopher Robert Henri on How Art Binds Us Together

Art world links which caught my eye...

“Through art mysterious bonds of understanding and of knowledge are established among men.”

-Robert Henri

An informative piece on the influential artist and educator Robert Henri, the author of the classic work The Art Spirit. Henri articulates how empires follow art, and not vice versa.

“The work of the Brotherhood does not deal with surface events. Institutions on the world surface can rise and become powerful and they can destroy each other. Statesmen can put patch upon patch to make things continue to stand still. No matter what may happen on the surface the Brotherhood goes steadily on. It is the evolution of man. Let the surface destroy itself, the Brotherhood will start it again. For in all cases, no matter how strong the surface institutions become, no matter what laws may be laid down, what patches may be made, all change that is real is due to the Brotherhood.”

See the full article here: BRAIN PICKINGS – Beloved Painter and Philosopher Robert Henri on How Art Binds Us Together

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Ancient cave painters may have been stoned, study says

main article image

Nothing new under the sun…

See the full article here: SALON – Ancient cave painters may have been stoned, study says

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Get to Know Raphael in 7 Artworks

Art world links which caught my eye…

Portrait of Pope Julius II - Wikipedia

Raphael “Portrait of Pope Julius II” 1511

Seven images from the vibrant Old Master.

See the article here: ART & OBJECT – Get to Know Raphael in 7 Artworks

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Video-Bob Ross Remixed | Happy Little Clouds

Art world links which caught my eye…

The magic and wisdom of an inspiring painter, set to music.

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!