Tag Archives: artist

Newtown is your town. Newtown is everyone’s town. Moving forward with balance…

balance: 1. a state in which opposing forces harmonize; equilibrium.  2. mental equilibrium; mental health; calmness, a state of remaining clear-headed and unperturbed. 3.  awareness of both viewpoints or matters; neutrality; rationality; objectivity.

Simplicity is Complex Series-Agni Zotis
Simplicity is Complex Series-Agni Zotis

Some of the most complex pieces of artwork have balance – arranging elements so that no one part of a work overpowers, or seems heavier than any other part.

I live in Newtown, CT.  My three young daughters attend school in another district, in another state. When I talked to them about what happened in Newtown and why it happened, one word came to mind. It wasn’t evil.  It was balance – the importance of living our lives with balance. Balancing family, relationships, our jobs, careers, school, education, our physical and mental health, politics, religion and our environment….oh and some play time.

All of us, whether we’re a parent or not, live in Newtown or not, were greatly affected by what happened December 14, 2012. Yes, the community of Newtown has risen and rallied in model form.  They are labeled and seen as “strong.”  But Newtown is no different from your community.  If your community experienced a similar tragedy, you too would develop a volunteer task force, attend vigils and have the police forces of surrounding towns cover the Christmas shift for the emotionally and physically drained police officers forced to see this life-changing event up-close-and-personal.  Your town is Newtown and Newtown is everyone’s town.

Was the individual responsible for this abominable tragedy  living a balanced life?  Are you living a balanced life? I struggle every day. Most of us do. How can we learn from this tragedy?

Get a small piece of paper and a pencil. At the bottom of that piece of paper, write “balance.” Then emotionally put yourself in the shoes and in the house of aBalance surviving parent, brother, sister, friend, classmate or neighbor of a fallen Newtown soul.  Draw how that makes you feel. Aesthetics do not matter.  It can be a simple star, a cross, torn and ripped from the pressure of your pencil…doesn’t matter.  Put that piece of paper where you can see it every day. Put it on your dashboard, your bathroom mirror, your desk or next to your bed.   It’s a strong trigger and a poignant reminder of the importance of balance.

Lastly, whether you’re a chef, auto mechanic, artist or surgeon.  It’s all about having the right tool. It can mean the difference between success and failure.  If you ask a US Marine what a gun is, he/she may look confused because he/she doesn’t use a gun as a tool; they use a “weapon.” If a Marine uses the term “gun,” they may find themselves doing 50 pushups with three Sergeants on their back.  An assault rifle is a weapon…not a gun.  A gun is what is used to hunt for food….sport. Is there sport in an assault weapon?  By design, none. Nor should it be.  It’s a specific tool, designed for a specific task, for a specific user.

As a young adult, eager to get my driver’s license, I can still remember that sobering moment when my father stated while I buckled my seat belt, ready for my first lesson.  “You’re in control of a two-ton weapon.” he said.  I suddenly lost my smile and quickly took my hands off the wheel.  I was required to take guided lessons, practice, classes, register and pass tests.  Although I passed, it was not a guarantee that I would not be injured or cause injury.  But I felt better, my father felt better and the car in front of me and behind probably felt better….safer.

Balance is the answer. But we need patience. It’s a process. We can’t transform ourselves overnight.  That would be like trying to run a marathon without Central Park-Paul Shampinetraining.  As humans, we resist change. Change takes work. A lot of work. It requires self-awareness, acknowledgement, desire and most importantly, patience.   That’s why we often get discouraged, quit and give up.  We regress back to our years of conditioned lives….years.  We’re trying to change years of long-lived repetitive behavior.   Adding to the struggle and challenge, we’re a society where immediate gratification just isn’t quick enough.  Ok, so there are two answers…patience and balance.

Healing Newtown Through the Power of the Arts is lead by a strong team – Newtown Cultural Arts Commission, who is supported by the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut and the Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA). To learn how you can help: http://www.healingnewtown.org

Thank you.
Best, Paul
Paul Shampine
“Living Life with Balance”

inspiration – part 2

According to Noah

in·spi·ra·tion Pronunciation: \ˌin(t)-spə-ˈrā-shən
1 a : a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her
to receive and communicate sacred revelation.
Defined by Connie, Laura, ERICKH, Suzanne, Peggy and Magdalena:

Connie Noyes
, Chicago, IL 
Paul Shampine sculpture sculptor art artist Paul Shampine small business consultant
"I don’t think I can draw a distinction between where my life ends and my art begins" - C. Noyes

“I don’t think I can draw a distinction between where my life ends and my art begins. They are one. What inspires my life also inspires my work. My greatest inspiration is dance/movement.  I have danced my entire life and consequently everything I experience is through my body. I am very physical and consequently my work is very physical.  Often for the viewer when seeing the work live, there is a visceral experience as a result. 

Thoughts, ideas, concepts that are currently (or constantly) finding their way into my work: materials- mundane materials, dynamic relationships, the knowledge that experience is based on perception, presence to the moment, not knowing,  having and holding two dichotomous ideas together in the same space, vulnerability and metaphors of human-ness.” 

Artist: Connie Noyes
Title: In the beginning everything fit together perfectly
Medium: Recycled packing paper, oil, enamel, asphalt, resin on panel, 50 x 50 inches
Website: http://www.connienoyes.com 

Laura Barbosa, New Jersey 

Paul Shampine Laura Barbosa sulptor scupture art artist review
"there is so much me can take from nature" - Laura Barbosa

“My greatest inspiration comes from city life and nature. In the city there is so much going on, from graffiti walls to cool architecture, that it makes for a good painting. People watching is also fascinating and can lead to abstract figures and cubism art. I love color so I like to make a grand composition with different hues to enhance my artwork. Just recently I was inspired by the sun and the moon. The moonlight casting down in the alley of a very urban street with nothing but a garbage can and an old car. Perfect for creating something unique. An abstract cityscape with a raw feel and maybe a cubist human form in the foreground with Batman jumping into the scene. How cool. 

In nature, every creature is fascinating and the colors and patterns from animal fur can be used from realistic portraiture to surreal works of art. There is so much we can take from nature to use in our artwork that every artist could be inspired to create for a lifetime. 

I carry a sketchbook in my bag wherever I go so I can draw new ideas that pop in my head from whatever inspires me in my environment. Daily life is very interesting and fun if we just take the time to look.” 

Artist: Laura Barbosa
Title: UnCanny Valley
Medium: Acrylics and Ink on Canvas, 24″ H x 36″ W x 0.5″ D
Website: http://laurabarbosaart.com 

ERICKH Sculpture, Levens, FrancePaul Shampine Blog Sculpture Outdoor Sculpture art artist review
“My inspiration is drawn from the stone, from my sensibilities and from revealing my hidden emotions.”
Artist: ERICKH
Title: Divine
Medium: Marbre Statuaire de Carrara, 23.6 kg 61x32x16 cm
Website: http://www.erickh.com 

Suzanne Morlock, Wilson, WYPaul Shampine sculpture sculptor art artist Paul Shampine small business consultant 

“Inspiration is an organically evolving thread which builds on the past, is influenced by the present and is filled by the wonder of the unknown future. Artistic inspiration is that elusive element that is different for each person at different points throughout their life.
 

As an artist, I am inspired in particular by the quirky juxtaposition of a thought, a material, an artistic process and/or a moment that flips my internal sensor toward the next steps.” 

Artist: Suzanne Morlock
Installation: I spun old newspapers into a “yarn” and then knitted the yarn with 1.5″ PVC pipe “needles” — the result of a “moment”. The gallery was an old chapel in France.
Website: http://suzannemorlock.com/ 

Peggy Guichu, Phoenix, AZ 

“I suppose life inspires me.  Daily something will touch me in a way that naturally goes into my paintings.  It’s more of a spiritual, subconscious feeling with always the hope that I’ll learn something on the way.  With non Paul Shampine sculptor sculpture art artist review Paul Shampine small business consultantrepresentational work I can tell a story or evoke an emotion without it being obvious.  If you can’t name it then what is left is the imagination and life experiences that allow a personal interpretation. What I love the most is when someone finds something I didn’t see in my work.  Then I know I’ve done my job.” 

Artist: Peggy Guichu
Title: What We Lost
Medium: Oil on canvas, 24″x36″
Website: http://peggyguichu.com 

Magdalena Brzeskot, Koszalin, Poland 

“On question what inspires me….. I am not able to give a firm answer. My paintings, my whole work comes from inner experiences which last since I was a child.  That is my way to create my private world, which in a moment becomes my therapy … as, I have to admit, working makes me relaxed. Doing it, I feel good and safe. But I am mostly interested in a HUMAN BEING and I psychoanalize them.” 

Artist: Magdalena Brzeskot
Title: Silence 2
Medium: Acrylic on canvas, 103 cm x 73 cm
Website: http://www.magdabrzeskot.pl/eng.html