Packing for the Journey

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#1 ) One of the colossal influences of my artistic education is Daniel Quinn’s novel, Ishmael. Early on in the novel the teacher and student “pack for the journey". In their metaphorical travel bag the characters collect vocabulary, a map, and definitions - ideas they would regularly reference and eventually come to comprehend as their journey unfolded. In this post I’d like to take an opportunity to highlight some of the influences and essential ideas that are currently making up the first shelf of my mental library as I focus my efforts on making art in and about my home city of Cedarburg.

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Sacre Bleu Chapter Guide

The annotated underbelly of a novel

#2) The Chapter Guide to Christopher Moore’s historical fiction novel, Sacre Bleu, provides the reader with a two-headed treat. First, we get a glimpse into this charismatic author’s writer-brain. I found the blog after I completed Bleu for the first time, and immediately wanted to read it again. Moore wrote a book about visual art - the guide provides readers with a visual accompaniment to his rich visual language. It’s not necessary to appreciate the story, but man it invites even the art history novice to explore more about the hundreds of references. Plus, he provides us with the geographical and historical context. The second treat is that he writes the guide; therefore we get more from this talented author.

I plan to leave a written & visual trail of this Cedarburg art project. As I make notes and document happenings, perhaps this blog might serve to give birth to a future project or two (maybe a book?). Hit the “Explore Moore” button to check out his inspiring work. Oh, and read Sacre Bleu.

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#3) Daniel Quinn grapples with our culture’s toughest challenges and crafts a beautiful story that points us toward solutions - or at least toward actions. Ishmael (right) not only pulled me along as a reader, but spurred the evolution of my philosophical growth more than any other book. Like Hesse’s Siddhartha, the reader takes on the role of the student. The book welcomes the reader into a transformation of mind, and sets the stage for the next step as soon as the last page is complete. My work as an artist has been set in motion by the prime mover that is Quinn’s masterpiece.

#4) To The Best Of Our Knowledge is a launch pad for readers, thinkers, and artists. Aside from the Peabody Award-winning podcast, this show has so much more to offer listeners. As seen above, they accompany their thematic episodes with powerful side-projects. I was first struck by their segment on “Dangerous Ideas” - usually only a few minutes in length, I find the potency of these ideas just as powerful as a 15 minute interview. Im interested in the idea of blog side-projects and plan to create a few myself.