A Director Prepares Seven Essays On Art And Theatre Pdf Download

Pearls from artists* # 76

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

What stops us in our tracks?   I am rarely stopped by something or someone I can instantly know.  In fact, I have always been attracted to the challenge of getting to know what I cannot instantly categorize or dismiss, whether an actor’s presence, a painting, a piece of music, or a personal relationship.  It is the journey towards the object of attraction that interests me.  We stand in relation to one another.  We long for the relationships that will change our vistas.  Attraction is an invitation to an evanescent journey, to a new way of experiencing life or perceiving reality.

An authentic work of art embodies intense energy.  It demands response.  You can either avoid it, shut it out, or meet it and tussle.  It contains attractive and complicated energy fields and a logic all its own.  It does not create desire or movement in the receiver, rather it engenders what James Joyce labeled ‘aesthetic arrest.’ You are stopped in your tracks.  You cannot easily walk by it and go on with your life.  You find yourself in relation to something that you cannot readily dismiss.

Anne Bogart in A Director Prepares:  Seven Essays on Art and Theater 

Comments are welcome!   

Posted in An Artist's Life, Creative Process, Inspiration, Mexico, Pearls from Artists, Photography, Quotes, Travel, Working methods

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Q: Was there a defining moment, meeting, or event that convinced you to pursue an artistic life?

West 29th Street studio

A:  There was not a defining moment per se, but looking back now, I’d say that because the Navy assigned me to a series of boring office jobs instead of letting me fly, I became determined to find a vocation infinitely more rewarding and more interesting to devote the rest of my life to.  I came to this realization over time, rather than in a single moment. 

Comments are welcome!

Posted in An Artist's Life, Art Works in Progress, Black Paintings, Inspiration, New York, NY, Pastel Painting, Photography, Studio

Tags: artistic, assigned, back, boring, convinced, defining, determined, devote, event, fly, infinitely, interesting, jobs, letting, life, looking, meeting, moment, Navy, office, pursue, realization, rewarding, series, single, Studio, time, vocation, West 29th Street

Pearls from artists* # 75

Half Dome at Yosemite

* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

We realize now that our common human language is not Esperanto or computers or something having to do with vocal cords and speech. It is, rather, our sense of proportion, our balance, harmony and other aspects of simple and fundamental form. Our universal language, in other words, is beauty.

Rollo May, My Quest for Beauty

Comments are welcome!

Posted in Inspiration, Pearls from Artists, Quotes, Travel

Tags: "My Quest for Beauty", balance, beauty, Esperanto, form, Half Dome, harmony, language, proportion, Rollo May, speech, Yosemite National Park

New eBook!


I am pleased to announce that my first eBook, FROM PILOT TO PAINTER, is available now on Amazon!

It is based on my blog and is part memoir, including my personal loss on 9/11, insights into my creative practice, and intimate reflections on what it’s like to be an artist living in New York City now.

The eBook includes new material not  found on the blog:  25+ reproductions of my vibrant pastel-on-sandpaper paintings, a Foreword by Ann Landi (who writes for ARTnews and The Wall Street Journal), and more.

Thank you for your support!


Note:  If you do not own a Kindle, you can download a free Kindle app.

Here is the one for MACs:


Here is a link for the rest: 

Kindle Cloud Reader – Read instantly in your browser

Smartphones – iPhone & iPod touch, Android, Windows Phone,  BlackBerry

Computers – Mac, Windows 8, Windows 7, XP & Vista

Tablets – iPad, Android Tablet, Windows 8


Comments are welcome!

Posted in An Artist's Life, Art in general, Art Works in Progress, Black Paintings, Creative Process, Domestic Threats, Gods and Monsters, Guatemala, Inspiration, Mexico, New York, NY, Painting in General, Pastel Painting, Photography, Quotes, Studio, Travel, Working methods

Tags: "From Pilot to Painter", "The Wall Street Journal", 9/11, Amazon, Ann Landi, announce, app, artist, ARTnews, available, blog, comments, cover, creative, easy, ebook, foreword, instructions, interview, intimate, Kindle, loss, material, memoir, New York City, paintings, pastel-on-sandpaper, personal, pleased, practice, reflections, reproductions, support, vibrant

Pearls from artists* # 74

Untitled, chromogenic print, 24″ x 24,” edition of 5

* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

An artist is known by his or her works.  But how often do we consider that much of what we know depends on factors that were beyond the artist’s control?  A few that come to mind are value on the art market, the knowledge and forethought of the artist’s survivors as they decide to keep or discard works, research interests of art and photo historians and the ways in which these change over time, willingness of dealers, collectors, and museum curators to provide information about the existence of works, the state of printing technology, and the availability of financing for exhibitions and publications.

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy:  Color in Transparency, edited by Jeannine Fiedler and Hattula Maholy-Nagy for the Bauhaus-Archive Berlin

Comments are welcome! 

Posted in An Artist's Life, Art in general, Gods and Monsters, Pearls from Artists, Photography, Quotes

Tags: "Lazlo Moholy-Nagy: Color in Transparency", art, art market, artist, availability, change, collectors, consider, control, curators, dealers, decide, depends, discard, exhibitions, existence, factors, financing, forethought, Hattula Moholy-Nagy, historians, information, interests, Jeannine Fiedler, keep, knowledge, museum, photo, printing, provide, publications, research, state, survivors, technology, time, value, willingness, works

Q: Does your work have an overall message?

Barbara’s studio

A:   Maybe there’s an overarching message, but that’s something for viewers to judge. I generally don’t like to specify what my work is about because my thinking about meanings evolves constantly and I don’t want to cut off people’s interpretations. Other people’s insights and opinions are equally as valid as mine.  

Recently I had the experience of being told that my interpretation of an artist’s work was “wrong.”  Besides hurting my feelings, she cut off a dialog and learned nothing about how her work is perceived.  I found it sad because art is communication and an opportunity was missed.

Comments are welcome!

Posted in Art Works in Progress, Black Paintings, New York, NY, Painting in General, Pastel Painting, Photography, Studio

Tags: artist, Besides, comunication, constantly, dialog, equally, evolves, experience, feelings, generally, hurting, insights, interpretations, judge, learned, meanings, message, missed, nothing, opinions, opportunity, overall, overarching, people, perceived, recently, something, specify, thinking, valid, viewers, work, wrong

Pearls from artists* # 73

Sri Lanka

* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

The primary tool in a creative process is interest.  To be true to one’s interest, to pursue it successfully, one’s body is the best barometer.  The heart races.  The pulse soars.  Interest can be your guide.  It always points you in the right direction.  It defines the quality, energy, and content of your work.  You cannot feign or fake interest or choose to be interested in something because it is prescribed.  It is never prescribed.  It is discovered.  When you sense this quickening you must act immediately.  You must follow that interest and hold on tight. 

Anne Bogart in A Director Prepares:  Seven Essays on Art and Theater 

Comments are welcome!

Posted in An Artist's Life, Art in general, Creative Process, Inspiration, Pearls from Artists, Photography, Quotes, Sri Lanka, Travel

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Q: What’s the point of all of this? Shouldn’t we be discussing how to end poverty or promote world peace? What can art do?

Lightning Field, Quemado, NM

A:   I happen to recently have read an inspiring book by Anne Bogart, the theater director.  It’s called, “and then you act:  making art in an unpredictable world” and she talks about such issues.  I’ll quote her wise words below:

“Rather than the experience of life as a shard, art can unite and connect the strands of the universe.  When you are in touch with art, borders vanish and the world opens up.  Art can expand the definition of what it means to be human.  So if we agree to hold ourselves to higher standards and make more rigorous demands on ourselves, then we can say in our work, ‘We have asked ourselves these questions and we are trying to answer them, and that effort earns us the right to ask you, the audience, to face these issues, too.’  Art demands action from the midst of the living and makes a space where growth can happen.

One day, particularly discouraged about the global environment, I asked my friend the playwright Charles L. Mee, Jr., ‘How are we supposed to function in these difficult times?  How can we contribute anything useful in this climate?’  ‘Well,’ he answered, ‘You have a choice of two possible directions.  Either you convince yourself that these are terrible times and things will never get better and so you decide to give up, or, you choose to believe that there will be a better time in the future.  If that is the case, your job in these  dark political and social times is to gather together everything you value and become a transport bridge.  Pack up what you cherish and carry it on your back to the future.'”

“…  In the United States, we are the targets of mass distraction.  We are the objects of constant flattery and manufactured desire.  I believe that the only possible resistance to a culture of banality is quality.  To me, the world often feels unjust, vicious, and even unbearable.  And yet, I know that my development as a person is directly proportional to my capacity for discomfort.  I see pain, destructive behavior and blindness of the political sphere.  I watch wars declared, social injustices that inhabit the streets of my hometown, and a planet in danger of pollution and genocide.  I have to do something.  My chosen field of action is the theater.”

Comments are welcome!

Posted in An Artist's Life, Art in general, Creative Process, Inspiration, Pearls from Artists, Photography, Quotes

Tags: "and then you act: making art in an unpredictable world", action, agree, Anne Bogart, answer, anything, art, asked, audience, banality, become, behavior, believe, better, blindness, book, borders, bridge, capacity, carry, case, Charles L. Mee Jr., cherish, choice, choose, chosen, climate, connect, constant, contribute, convince, culture, danger, dark, decide, declared, defnition, demands, desire, destraction, destructive, development, difficult, directions, directly, director, discomfort, discouraged, discussing, effort, environment, everything, expand, experience, face, field, flattery, friend, function, future, gather, genocide, global, grpwth, happen, higher, hold, hometown, human, inhabit, injustices, inspiring, issues, know, life, Lightning Field, living, manufactured, mass, means, midst, objects, ourselves, pain, particularly, peace, person, planet, playwright, point, political, pollution, possible, poverty, proportional, quality, Quemado NM, questions, quote, read, resistance, right, rigorous, shard, social, space, sphere, standards, strands, streets, talks, targets, terrible, theater, time, times, together, touch, transport, trying, unbearable, unite, United States, universe, unjust, useful, value, vanish, vicious, wars, watch, wise, words, world, yourself

Pearls from artists* # 72

Boulder, CO

* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

Art is a process and a journey.  All artists have to find a way to lie to themselves, find ways to fool themselves into believing that what they’re doing is good enough, the best they can do at that moment, and that’s ok.  Every work of art falls short of what the artist envisioned.  It is precisely that gap between their intention and their execution that opens up the door for the next work.

Eric Fischl and Michael Stone in Bad Boy:  My Life on and off the Canvas 

Comments are welcome!

Posted in An Artist's Life, Art in general, Creative Process, Inspiration, Painting in General, Pearls from Artists, Photography, Quotes, Travel

Tags: "Bad Boy: MY Life on and off the Canvas", art, artists, believing, best, Boulder CO, doing, door, envisioned, Eric Fischl, execution, falls, find, fool, gap, good enough, intention, journey, lie, Michael Stone, moment, next, opens, precisely, process, short, themselves, ways, work of art

Research-informed theater is often informed by an assumed linear trajectory between research findings and performance, overlooking the multiple embodied perspectives that are implicated in the development of research-informed theater. To challenge this assumption, we explore how artist-researchers draw on their own embodiment and imagination as ways to understand the research findings, how they conceptualize the intended audience, and how those understandings shape the creative process of the research-informed play. Using the case study of the research-informed play Cracked: New Light on Dementia, we focus on three interrelated modes of practice: playful extending, foolish disrupting, and inventive disrupting. We argue that these modes of practice create an aesthetic of relationality, what we define as an aesthetic space within which the embodied interpretive work of artist-researchers is extended into spatial, relational contexts. We discuss implications of this theoretical framework for a new critical inquiry.

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