2008 Nov 25, 3:28am
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Small Website Update

The Tree, Graphite on Paper, by David Jay Spyker

The Tree, Graphite on Paper, by David Jay Spyker

I finally put some drawings in the drawings section on my website; it’s only a handful, but it’s better than nothing.

I’ve also been playing with a new, clean color scheme, and updating some links. I wanted something more simple so I used whites and very pale greys for the background, and shades of grey for all text and borders. There is still a complete remake of the site in the works one day, which will include some things to make it easier to update, and a clean-up of some other issues that still exist. It will be some time yet before that happens, and maybe someday I will also get around to adding some more paintings.

My other project has been setting up this blog at its new sub-domain. Writings have been transferred over from my original blog, from the news section of davidjayspyker.com (that section no longer exists), and from notebooks and various loose sheets of paper covered in my chicken-scratchings.

The drawings are here.

Addendum: My main website went through a major overhaul in May, 2010, and all drawings have moved to their new listings at www.davidjayspyker.com


2006 Aug 20, 3:35am
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A Trip to the Art Institute of Chicago

On a recent trip to Chicago we spent several hours in the Art Institute viewing our favorite paintings, and seeing some wonderful, recent acquisitions. It had been a long time since our last visit there – too long, really, maybe two, perhaps three years – and it was an interesting experience. Much of the American art collection had been rearranged, and the place had that weird, alien-yet-familiar feel at first.

In The Sea by Arnold Bocklin (detail)

I say it was an interesting experience because, from my perspective, I knew I would be viewing these pieces through eyes which have been changed by personal study, and through experience as a painter over the past few years. My hope was to see new things, new techniques, and expanded artistic languages and expressions within the layers of paint that hang upon those walls. I was not disappointed.

It is amazing how much a painter can learn about another artist and his techniques by studying his work up close. As I learn more, I come to see more information twinkling in a masterpiece, and the more I see, the more I learn. I find myself wondering what I will see and understand after another decade or two of study and painting.

On this visit, I was paying particular attention to the various representations of water in the American landscapes, and in the more classical realistic works. There was something I sought, and I think that perhaps I found it, but only time at the easel will reveal what fruits will be borne of the experience. I am hoping for a rich harvest.

Remember to visit often the things you love, lest your soul starve, and your heart wither.

~David Jay Spyker


2006 Jul 1, 11:21pm
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A Brief Thought on Artistic Community

Recent events in my own life have reminded me of the importance of community between artists. It is all too easy to become insular, isolated, when living as an artist. Our work requires hours of solitary action, observation, and thought, but without creative interaction – between artists, and also between artists and the world at large – there is indeed a certain void in our lives.


2006 Mar 27, 3:05am
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The Wings of Butterflies

Originally written February 3, 2002 at 4:12 a.m.:

I am in the studio working and listening to “Queen’s Greatest Hits II”; music has always been tremendously important to me, and I grew up listening to Queen. I remember the day that Freddie Mercury left us (what has it been, something like ten? eleven years?), and the profound sense of loss that I felt upon hearing the news. A lasting knot visited my stomach on that day. Of course I never knew the man personally, but he, along with his fellow musicians, laid their hearts bare for all to experience through the intimate nature of their words and music; when an artist takes that kind of risk, we all are given the opportunity to come to know that person on a close level. If we take that opportunity, then they become part of us, we are enriched.

The day Freddie passed, we all knew that there would be no more Queen, that the clarion song of that voice would no longer grace our ears, and that the world had lost some truth and magic; but we also knew that he had left us with something of himself that would endure even well beyond our passing. I listen to the music, and he is alive in a corner of my soul. It is something I will always carry with me. It is hope.

My thoughts inevitably drift from Freddie Mercury to Martin Maddox. Martin, that clenched knot returned to my gut when I learned of your death. You left your soul raw upon your canvasses, bleeding your heart dry with every stroke of the brush. I am glad to have known you; your work is as much a part of me as is my own – thank you.

To Freddie, Martin, and all those deep and daring souls who have gone all too soon (is it ever not too soon): your souls are “painted like the wings of butterflies” – fly. We will carry on with the show.


 
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