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SKETCHES - The WhyART Newsletter
"Transforming Education Through Art"         Summer 2008   

Welcome to SKETCHES, Michael Gerrish's WhyART.com newsletter. I offer thoughts to stretch your mind and spur your actions to produce positives for you and those you touch. Author Daniel Pinkwater said, "I believe it is impossible to make sense of life in this world except through art." Artist Francis Bacon said, "The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery." This "talking head" sees truth in both statements; let's start making sense by exploring and expanding the mysteries which surround us!
The End of Powerlessness....

"Discipline is freedom." Garth Fagan

"Painting is a self-disciplined activity that you have to learn by yourself."          
                                                                                                                        Romare Bearden

"To know how to free oneself is nothing; the arduous thing is to know what to do with one's freedom."                                                               Andre Gide
"To enjoy freedom we have to control ourselves."
 Virginia Woolf

"Freedom without purpose is an extravagance usually purchased by those least able to afford it."                                                                       Michael Gerrish

My wife and I are big fans of Garth Fagan's Dance Troupe.  They are Upstate NY's dance ambassodors ...extraordinary! Before their SPAC performance Mr. Fagan addressed the audience; he spoke about each dance we would see. The first piece was entitled, "Discipline is Freedom." Mr. Fagan recalled how his father would use that phrase over and over to describe how hard work was the true path to personal achievement. I was reminded of his story several times in the years that followed, as I met new people and prepared for new projects.

Everyone I meet seems to have something to complain about! My response to the complaints is often silence. Usually, folks complain because they feel powerless. They believe that nothing will change. Well, I'd like to proclaim an end to powerlessness! Gandhi said that we must be the change we wish to see in the world. I agree. Like Garth Fagan's dad, we can transform our context by transforming ourselves. It sounds simplistic, but it is the only way. Nothing will change if no one changes.

Part Two...What's Squeakin' With You?

My neighbor Dana told me a story about a new worker who spent his first day on the job pushing a noisy wheelbarrow. After the day's work, he thought he'd make a good impression on his boss by reporting that the wheelbarrow needed service. When he told the boss the wheelbarrow made a squeak......squeak sound, the boss replied, "You're fired. It's supposed to go squeaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueak."
I guess it proves there are times when the squeaky wheel shouldn't get the grease.

Each of us has a talent: something we are meant to do. It's up to us to be sure that our attention goes to it, and not the daily "squeaks" which, like
the Sirens' call, promise much but offer little. It's always harvest time for something. Drop those squeaks and focus on your purpose. The resulting silence will be golden!

Artist Surf

I know I will never learn enough Art History! Perhaps I can make up for it by sharing information about someone you may not know well. This month's star is painter Arshile Gorky...who happens to be my favorite artist. Arshile Gorky's real name is Vosdanik Adoian. He was an Armenian born artist whose work and life were transformed by the personal tragedies brought about by the Armenian Genocide which occurred in the first quarter of the 20th century. Gorky's work is steeped in love and haunted by loss. While some described his early work as derivative, he bridged European sensibility and American energy, resulting in a style of painting which required of viewers a whole new way to see in order to understand his message of human bliss and agony.  Google him to learn more. 

"I seek a form or language which will express my ideas for our time."   
Arshile Gorky

Sketches is a free newsletter of WhyART.com and is available by subscription. Your contact info will not be shared, and you may unsubscribe at any time. I appreciate your thoughtful comments.         Michael Gerrish • 159 1st Street • Troy, NY 12180 • (518)266-0304 • ©WhyART.com 2008