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Sunday Mar 30, 2014

Firsthand is the Source

at the met
At the Met, NYC, 2007

I was nearly finished writing and laying out my book, An Artist Empowered. Then, suddenly, I heard of an exhibit that was closing the next day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde.

Why was this important? The exhibition concludes with a gallery devoted to the work of Pablo Picasso who had his first Parisian exhibition in 1901 at Vollard’s gallery.

I had written a chapter “Picasso Unplugged” and there was a discrepancy whether Pablo’s first exhibit with Vollard was a failure or a success. I had researched the historical data but couldn’t find anything definitive. Even Pablo contradicted himself, saying it was a failure (poor me) and sometimes he would say it had been a success.

The show at the Met would have my answer. And, it did.

For something important, as in art, going to the source, the wellspring, will reveal the truth of things. Then, no one can whisper nonsense into your ears.

Wednesday Feb 26, 2014

Dalai Lama and I Connect

isle of minos
Isle of Minos

For years, I have been suggesting the merits of deleting the weak and limp word wish from one’s vocabulary. I make this point too in my book: An Artist Empowered.

A while ago, I watched a documentary where the Dalai Lama addressed some twenty thousand people in a hall in London. He decided to use an interpreter, and it was clear that they had worked closely in the past.

At one point, when the interpreter translated a word as ‘wish’, the Dalai Lama immediately corrected him: “Not wish but having a strong desire.”

Do you feel the difference? The concept of wish is passive while desire implies action.

I felt instantly connected to his holiness.

Sunday Jan 19, 2014

Intelligent is not Smart

earth day redux
Earth Day Redux

The other night I heard a radio interview with Dan Hurley, a journalist who wrote Smarter, a book about getting smarter. He brought up many good issues and insights. But, he used intelligent and smart interchangeably, which is something I’d like to clear up.

Years ago the word genius would come up between my Zen master art teacher and me. He said: “Genius is dedication.” So, we put that notion to bed.

From my book, An Artist Empowered:

“While intelligent and smart aren’t mutually exclusive, the two don’t inevitably dwell together. While smart presupposes intelligent, a person can be intelligent without necessarily being smart. When put to the test, you will discover this assessment isn’t only accurate, it is liberating.

“What is smart? And, please, leave out all that highfalutin academic stuff. Smart is how you process information differently from others in the mainstream. Smart is how you see opportunity when others see through the eyes of the socially conditioned. Smart is a direct function of intuition that is expressed through awareness moment by moment.”

Another barometer: You can easily forget an intelligent remark, but not a smart one.

Unique art flows from smart, not conceptualizing or thinking about it, which is in the realm of intelligent.


Monday Dec 30, 2013

Dharma Fulfillment

nymphette duckie
Nymphette Duckie

In the popular culture, entertainment, and media, we often see the drama of spouses arguing that for whatever reason (usually work related) one isn’t paying enough attention to the other.

Sound familiar?

This is a tempest in a teapot for the true artist and anyone who knows their true identity. When you are in dharma (your purpose in life), you are already complete and mindless thoughts are dismissed on the spot.

In this way, spouses or friends can be alone together.

Sunday Nov 10, 2013

What You See

buddha path
Buddha Path

What you see is what you get. Have you heard that observation?

We see what we want or expect to see. Haven’t you experienced seeing one thing, then seeing another in its place, the second time being the most accurate. That’s also why lawyers like eye-witnesses.

Art exists on this premise. What you see is what you get. The deeper you feel with your emotional intelligence the more you will see and learn.

And when you say, “I see,” who is that by the way?