Unearth The Dark Places

So you write, or paint, or perform music. You’re an artist (I hope without the sarcasm). What’s the difference between a masterpiece painting and hotel art? Secrets.

Imagine you’re walking in a tranquil meadow. Birds singing. A copse of trees in the distance. A gentle breeze ruffling the hair on your arms. Yes, this is beautiful.

The hotel artist would simply paint this as it. I often recall Bob Ross, who often painted gorgeous paintings of landscape on TV in a matter of minutes. Yet they lacked depth. They were a well composed and professional picture. What’s missing?

Imagine you’re in that meadow again. Instead of looking at the obvious beauty, think about the hidden. Kick over a rock. Are there worms wriggling down there? How about that fallen tree? Are there grubs burrowing in the rotted wood? These are the secrets that will transform you as an artist.

But you know you’re not done, right. It’s the rocks and rotted wood in you soul you need to delve into. What makes you scared, frustrated, angry? You need to find these emotions. Dig them up and expose them to the light. Then, you have to show them off to the world.

Scared? You should be. It’s not comfortable. But art shouldn’t be. The more uncomfortable you are, the closer to your own personal truth you’ve come.

Tim Kane

Reading is a Visceral Experience

Memories constantly hijack my brain. It’s great except the timing. Like cooking, or driving, or even teaching. What’s interesting is that the memories that reappear are almost always from exciting times in my life (like vacation or pretty much all my teen years). The only other “memories” that make an appearance are those I get from reading.

Joel Robinson’s whimsical visual abstractions of the reading experience

Often, months or years later, I can recall the exact experience of reading a particular book. I know exactly where I was sitting (the bathroom floor) as I zoomed through the final pages of Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children. It’s visceral. I recall how my arm and shoulder ached from reading so long.

Is it that reading affects my imagination? Is that why? I know that the other memories (those from my real life) I recall so strongly because of the intense emotions involved. But reading? Are those same intense emotions triggered?

How about you? How many of you have had flashbacks to reading books? I just had another now. Reading the final Harry Potter book in the hallway outside my daughter’s room (this being when she was only an infant). I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

I wonder if this is a personal insanity or one that’s shared.

Tim Kane