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  • Thirst is probably my favourite poem at this current moment & have an inordinate fondness for Cummings’s poetry

  • This is possibly my favourite E.E. Cummings’s poem, so thought I’d return the favour & add it here.
    Buffalo Bill ‘s
    defunct                     
    who used to                     
    ride a watersmooth-silver                        stallionand break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat                                                                                                                        Jesus
    he was a handsome man                                                            and what i want to know ishow do you like your blueeyed boy
    Mister Death

  • Thirst ~ “Imagine thirst without knowing water” “Imagine love without love” Thank you for sharing this. Hit me right here where the wild lilies grow. Beautiful…

  • On Golden Waves

    On golden waves
    I've seen you flow
    One light so clear
    & all aglow
    A spirit filled
    with pure sweet Love
    An angel see
    yourself above
    Just breathe &
    close your eyes to see
    In gratitude
    we are set free
    On golden waves
    we gently flow
    Our light so clear
    & all aglow!!!

    ~Cyres Esprich

  • Hi Deanna! I read this article with much interest as I had the singular luck of interacting with Peg at Skidmore College’s NYS Summer Writers Conference in 2011. I won a scholarship and was happy to be in the company of Campbell McGrath, Carolyn Forche and Peg Boyers. Peg’s was the last round of workshops and discussions in poetry. She is a fabulous advisor and an extremely helpful friend. Some of us in her group were a bit older, published here and there and exposed to more poetry talks than some others. But Peg had immense respect for all levels, and fielded queries and explained notions. There is no spectre of MFA workshops looming large in her talks. Her advice was practical and concrete. I especially cherished her one-on-one comments. In writing poetry, she helps you see history, geography and lores and myths. Particularly on her evening of reading at Skidmore, I was mesmerized. A beautiful person, she reads equally beautifully. And guess what? I had written a sestina for discussion that morning. Peg said, “In honor of my friend who wrote that delightful sestina, I’ll read a double sestina this evening!” What an honor for me! A couple months ago, she responded to my email when I told her about my collection to be out soon. Her help was certainly a big incentive to get those poems to start talking.–ND

  • A great interview

  • Great to hear from you again, ND, and thanks for your very generous words here. I remember you well in that workshop and do hope that our paths cross again before too long. Good luck with BLUE VESSEL!
    —PB

  • I just wanted to stop by and say thanks to Deanna & Combustus for your generosity of spirit in getting behind my work. I also wanted to say hello and thank you to Combustus readers for taking your time in reading and your discernment and interest.

    John

  • Beautiful and insightful interview. The cut falls, once again, to poets to set the world to rights. Those poems, read again felt like a healing balm, probably me just being my crazy self but something in them today has reminded me of Donne’s compass analogy can’t quite work out the connection (to my mind). I’ll go away and read that too again.

  • Today, I discovered something important. The immeasurable artwork of Ryan McGennisken is a revelation. It represents what I truly appreciate most in art, that is, purity of intention and an irreproachable spirit of personal investigations. The lines are delicate and the atmosphere has a timeless purity which is fascinating. I wish the artist well and thank Deanna Elaine Piowaty for bringing this to our attention.

  • I stay in Africa where the transfer of technology and education is a recent event in my country. The African way is in music, the rhythm of music, the words of a song, singing it when working, despairing, in public and in dying or just being happy at a street corner. Story telling at open fires, hands illustrating, body conveying the message and eyes surfacing the soul. This is our way and it is slowly eroding because of how technology is introduced to our people. That it has become more superior and more worthy than the old ways of interacting through body and gesture. Kids are now expressing themselves on a two dimensional flat screen. Not even breaking a sweat while becoming ops specialists in slaughtering the pixel enemy. They are anti-social playing with their technology while there are visitors, overweight and emotionally stupid. Now I don’t blame technology but we need to get our priorities right. Art is integral to mental health and child development.

  • Technology threatens to erode the connectiviy of human beings to one another, the dialogue of natural communication and the passing down of ritual and culture. Art is vital to human development. I have great respect for Deanna Piowaty for successfully implementing technology to have positive impact. Her on-line arts magazine Combustus advocates the arts by connecting artists around the world and valuing their contribution to society.
    Linda Arkelian

  • Powerful, disturbing work and a great interview, thank you.

  • Fabulous – I really enjoyed this selection. What a tender and rich way to view the world!

  • “The Ecstasy” I found particularly stunning, as well as “The Coronation,” which if put in the right place and context, could possibly start a riot or two. Quite controversial, indeed, but in all the right ways. And in “Fall/Advent,” there’s a morbid but true sense of deep tranquility I’m seeing here, and that communicates to me. Overall, very nice work.

  • Thank you Deanna!

  • you are an inspiration John! thank you

  • Excellent painter!!

  • Thank you Jaakko!

  • exceptional talent, outstanding artwork

  • Judith Peck continues to advance toward becoming one of our most empathetic observer artists of the human condition. From her luminously sensitive painting, ‘Veiled Gender,’ to her compelling new series of which ‘Jus in Bello’ is so far the most successful, Judith seems to be constantly in a metamorphosis state, each new painting defining her commitment to honoring the value of the human soul.

  • Henrik, Your paintings move me deeply. I would love to write about your work in an art magazine for which I review. Let me know if you are interested.
    And Bravo! You have the gift.

  • Absolutely stunning!

  • I would call your works provocative, rather than disturbing. “Disturbing” always seems to carry a bitter aftertaste. I think all great Art is provocative…whether it makes the viewer think or feel differently, whether it turns all things to their opposites like a traditional carnival, or whether it enters a layer of our dreams where the images simply won’t go away and are never what they seem. Kudos to you!

  • I see Bothwell’s work as sort of dreams that were captured, the ones you have repeatedly or the ones you wake up from. Personal and idiosyncratic, not as social commentary. Dreaming is when the body and the psyche can communicate in symbols and feelings. For anyone to judge an individual’s dream is ridiculous. Her work is sometimes unsettling and not about giving easy answers, but always beautiful and thought-provoking. Real.

  • Judith Peck’s work is so beautifully emotional. The eyes often have a level of desperation and pain yet with the anticipation of hope. There are several images with veils — contemplation, enwrapped, removed, coiled around the head, as well as the images that seem ready to emerge from the possibly cracked-veil view that she has mastered. Throughly enjoyable to view and contemplate!

  • Beautiful work. 🙂
    I especial like “I Dreamed I Saw An Angel,” and “Dreaming In Color,” but they all are really good. 🙂

  • I love all of your perceptive insights and comments about my work! Thank you all so much for taking the time
    to respond to this article. You have given me new ways to look at my work myself!

  • Judith’s art continues to impress and provoke deep, deep thoughts: about me, my surroundings, my world. Always impressive, familiar and different.

  • “I Fell Into A Dream” is a masterpiece. Her work is inspiring.

  • Thank you Duffy!

  • Such Masterful Work! I Thank you

  • Appreciate it, Christopher!

  • Thanks Deanna and Rose. I love the challenge these paintings present to the viewer. First, as paintings which you (ok, I) can’t help but ask, “Do I want it on my wall?” For some, the answer is, “Absolutely!” For others, “Not so sure.” But this betrays my own limited view of what a painting is. What is cool about Rose’s work is that as you look, you’re confronted with a contrast: sometimes discomforting, sometimes fun & intriguing which is as much (or more!) a reflection of you, the viewer’s stance. I also very much appreciate your exploration into gender; art can do so much to remind us of the rich complexity that we try to hide with meaningless dichotomies.

  • I have always been an admirer of Rose’s work, great interview.

  • If there’s an edge or line between attraction and repulsion, most of the figures in these paintings walk it or rather plunge into it, drawing the beholder with them in a negative rapture, no parachute in sight (OK, I too like spinning allegories). One wants to pull a curtain on a scene but doesn’t, standing there gawking….fascinated.

    • Eloquently put, Anthony! Yes, that’s it exactly! The viewer feels uneasy, wishing they could help in some way…yet there is also a strength emanating from her subjects, hinting that all is not quite what it seems, that there is more than appears at first glance. Rose Freymuth-Frazier’s stories haunt, for sure.

  • I very much see Reginald Marsh in these paintings, the salubrious sexual figures, faces in orgasmic bliss, intriguing symbolism and even often retro in representation.

    • Of course I initially bristled at being compared to another artist I had never heard of until now, but after looking at Marsh’s work, and how different it is, I welcome the thoughtful comparison.

    • While in terms of technique, Rose Freymuth-Frazier’s neo-realism style is much more paired-down than Reginald Marsh’s (hers being cleaner, free of detailed backgrounds or clues to the context of her stories, as she emphasizes instead intensity of color and emotional impact), I can see what you are speaking to, Salvatore: That sense of Voyeur playing a significant role here (with Marsh inserting him right onto the canvas, while Freymuth-Frazier lets us consider whether the Voyeur in question has just left the scene of is in fact ourselves). Lovely! Thank you, Salvatore!

      Here’s a nice link that serves as example of Marsh’s work: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/reginald-marsh-they-pay-to-see-5379440-details.aspx

  • Gorgeous paintings.

  • Great article. Inspiring, also, just how the universe adds a little thing to your life, like a blank journal, and a few years later your gift is giving your words to the world. — Thanks for sharing, D.

    • Yes, I agree, Michael! Jean Kwok’s story reminds us that we never know when these precious gifts will come, but that they most certainly will. Our work is to be ready to receive and respond when they do. And Ms. Kwok certainly did. May we all possess such courage!

  • Thank you Deanna for sharing such amazing work, breaking traditional beauty stereotypes, like this painting (Ms. Mannered) showing the woman with one cleaning glove, sad eyes and red mouth, exposed voluptuosity, a real life story !!!

    • Rose Freymuth-Frazier is a storyteller in the deepest sense, I completely agree, Saidi! Her worlds are both fantastic and all too close to the bone. Thank you for taking the time to visit and share your impressions.

  • What a terrific selection of images, sounds and altogether, a feast for the senses. Thank you to all who contributed patiently to this portfolio. . .its rather superb!

  • Thank you Deanna and Dante for this very inspiring interview. You are very right Dante, aloneness is a vital aspect of a true human relationship with ourselves and others. The ‘political’ world wants power over us so we are trained to be lonely rather than to understand the nourishment and power of solitude and living from our souls.

    It’s great to be introduced to your art too.

    With gratitude
    John

  • “It is beautiful to be alone. To be alone does not mean to be lonely – it means the mind is not influenced & contaminated by society” J. Krishnamurti. ‘Solitude is the price of greatness’ Yogi Paramahansa.

  • It is a pleasure to discover your work, Dante. I grew up in a very rural, small fishing village. Some of the best moments in my life were alone in the forest. It is wonderful to see an artist who also appreciates nature and solitude. I am glad that your work is seen beyond the gallery setting where only art world people go. May you continue to find amazing things to share with others. ~Destry Sparks

  • Just wanted to say thank you, Deanna, for the attention, and to your readers for the lovely comments and for taking the time to read and stop by.

    It´s great to be introduced to your poems too, John, amazing and inspiring interview!

    Best Regards,
    Dante

  • Very interesting article! I lived for eight summers alone in the woods on an island, at one point in my life.
    My real friends were the deer, wolves and of course my cat. I really think it saved me. Solitude is wonderful!

  • superb article of an incredible documentary filmmaker…great job…

  • Fascinating article! I lived for several years as an expat in a developing country. Upon my return to the USA, I was fascinated about the discrepancy between the status quo and what the USA news covered of said country. Some wars get excessive coverage and others get zero coverage, or, what I found more surprising, are even promoted as desired tourist destinations, with designated “safe” tourist areas within these very troubled countries. I think it is also interesting how viewers willingly gravitate towards “feel-good” stories and won’t question official stories. It is encouraging to know there are journalists willing to take risks and unveil hidden stories or amplify muted voices.

  • Great work Marlaine!

  • How wonderful to have stumbled upon this interview of poet/physicist Samuel Peralta – am just reading his War and Ablution but have been a fan for a good while now…am trying to think what led me here but I’ll be damned if I can remember. Also happy to learn about Combustus – an interesting publication, of which I was not aware before. Thank you for this – it was like finding a gift on the doorstep on a snowy winter night.

  • Her work is amazing…thanks… (the interview is bitchen too) 8o)

  • Thanks a lot for the positive comments. I appreciate! ~Marlaine

  • Thanks again to Salvatore and Deanna for the opportunity to talk about my work… and thanks for the wonderful comment, I’ve met so many amazing writers on my journey, many of whom had written stories and poems I wish I’d written. So glad you have “War and Ablution”, it’s a collection that I wasn’t sure would carry well because of the nature of the subject matter – but I thought what it said was important enough that I had to put it out there. In the end, it’s done incredibly well, probably because its commentary on war and human suffering resonates with so many. Thanks again, your response – and the responses on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere – make the work worthwhile.

  • Deanna’s article tells how I feel bout Marslaine’s creations; her dolls are a quiet joy for the soul.

  • I like the sense of humor and the surrealist spirit evident in this work. Reminds me of Francesca Woodman.

  • I like Bugaev’s world. I like his approach. I like his practice. I like his process…

  • Tom Waits comes to
    mind…http://m.youtube.com/results?hl=en-GB&gl=US&client=mv-rim&q=Tom+waits+&submit=Search

    Almost a complete reinvention or revolt against the new formalism and principles of dynamic photography. I respect the self-assured insolence because ‘the Russian’ is free-falling inside his own vision. It takes courage. The monochromes and image manipulation shows great skill and a refusal to apply perspective because methodology says so. I will pay good money for this work. Well done!

  • Excellent, The growing length & breadth of Combustus is impressive!

  • Kara Fride, i have listened to your music, truly listened, and you reached out to me and brought me in…… the melody and the words are “true”. Thank you, i will share your music with my friends.
    barbara

  • Dear Deanna ~ Fride Hanberger’s song (https://combustus.com/fride-hanberger-singer-songwriter-stockholm-sweden/) sounds to ME like it did come from a whisper. BUT, it’s true,” To release the burden onto my pencil and paper, to finally get rid of the weight.” although it may be harrowing, at the “release”, it is cathartic and very satisfying to see it laying across the paper. Such a revealing interview, Deanna….. as always, you have your way of getting the Artist to reveal himself, in a way, that gives us true insight, insight that may reveal something about ourselves.
    barbara

  • breathtakingly beautiful in every way

  • thank you Flora! And thank you Deanna, for the wonderful article. It’s an honor to have been included in such a beautiful publication!

  • Fascinating and brave work…in a time when we are living longer and longer, we can only hope that more people will be able to see the Beauty of the body in all its ages. This work screams at us that there still can be power and presence in those final decades of our lives.

  • beautiful jewelry made by a beautiful artist

  • Great article. We have to be as creative in fighting for these kinds of programs as we do in operating them these days. Here’s what we’re doing in NC: http://aplus-schools.ncdcr.gov. This is a program that places arts at the core of the curriculum, as the organizing principle. This is a growing program –here in NC and in other states. It is administered by some amazingly creative people at the state Arts Council and the Dept. of Public Instruction, but there is also outside funding–a great partnership. The evaluations of this program say that it moves learning forward, not just in the arts but across the whole curriculum.

  • Dear Deanna, another excellent piece. You are visionary and courageous. Please, keep treating us with such wonderful and inspiring art and narratives.
    B

  • Great article. I taught art to students K-6 at one point in my life and found that it opened doors to students who weren’t used to doing well at anything except making art. It gave them a chance to interact with other kids who were considered more ‘intelligent’ that the teachers usually favored. I love the idea in this article that there was room for individual expressions as well as community art that everyone could be collectively proud of.

  • Wonderful and thought provoking use of elderly in his compositions. Rather fond of the aging Wonder Woman soaking her feet with her three cats! I also liked the photo of the artist with his “inspiration,” his grandparents. I work with the elderly, many of whom are pretty sharp and spry, I can imagine some of them in these pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  • Fantastic work guys!! The artwork is amazing!! I’m really impressed by the quality and I think that sculpture would look very well in my garden…it’s really important to let children get the chance to experiment and explore through art. Not everyone fits into the educational system well and sometimes getting the chance to do something different highlights abilities that may have otherwise been overlooked. I think working as a team on a project helps promote social skills and helps improve confidence in children. Brilliant work!

  • Got to work with Kaaren at Willamette Primary last year. What a wonderful experience. Michelle Johnson –Willamette Primary parent.

  • I also was lucky enough to have worked with Kaaren as a parent volunteer on a primary school mosaic project. Watching Kaaren work with the kids was inspiring! Her steady, calm, and and caring approach, her ability to leave the creative bits of the work in the hands of the children, gave them the confidence to do great work. The sense of community that was created, and the pride these kids felt upon completion of the mural, was the true benefit of the project. The beautiful mural just keeps reminding us of that.

  • I think that your sculptures are gorgeous. I love the composition and the fact that humans are bags of walking carbon. Great work.:-)

  • X-tra Great ! New. Unique.

  • Beautiful and inventive – I was moved by the use of Kundera’s title – that is one of my favorite books. The definition of ugly turned on its head – very impressive.

  • the structure is everything –loved it all.

  • Exquisite art work. It is difficult to pick the “best” piece, they all have a special pull and charm from the seductiveness of “The Players” to mystery of “Terra Incongnita.” I loved this article the first time you published it and it is still one of my favorites. Thanks for the re-run!!!!! 🙂

  • Thank you for writing this article and interview on Pam Hawkes. She is one of the most talented artists working.

  • Amazing!

  • Rich, evocative poetry – I look forward to reading the book. It seems to be out of stock on Amazon at the moment. Beautiful photos, too!

    • Oh darn, Anatoly! There were eight just a short while ago. I will let him know, thank you. Yes, I could swim in his poems all day. So pleased they had the same effect on you. Thanks for leaving a comment, friend.

  • This is from a French song by Demis Roussos Après la Fin du Monde – after the End of the World

    Après la fin du monde
    Il restera quand même
    Une peinture de Picasso
    Une chanson de Trenet
    Une dernière baleine,
    Le Christ à Corcovado
    […]

    Un poème d´Aragon
    La cathédrale de Reims
    Quelques pages du Petit Prince.

    After the end of the world
    There will still be left
    A painting by Picasso
    A song by Trenet
    One last whale
    The statue of Christ in Corcovado
    […]
    A poem by Aragon
    The cathedral of Reims
    A few pages of Le Petit Prince

    Thanks Combustus

  • Great paintings!

  • Congratulation for “‘I Still Dream”

  • I hear and see you. I am happy for you that you are able to express your feelings through your paintings. Shame is a particular favorite and a painting I can relate to.

  • i am left opened and bereft on a shoal of wet night and spirit filled air….thank you.

  • I do not believe the death penalty works as a deterrent to violent crime. I also believe that the system is so “corrupt” that the death penalty imposition is clearly biased. As Sister Helen Prejean points out, there is a clear pattern. If you are poor and belong to a minority, you may end up dead by lethal injection. The sad reality is that we pride ourselves as the beacon of justice, liberty and fairness and yet we treat our own with contempt and with total disregard to the basic principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Bravo for the ones like Sister Prejean, we need millions more like her but in this land of milk and honey, we are lucky to have one.
    Thanks Deanna for bringing this to light.

    • She is an amazing spirit, Byron. A five-foot-three dynamo who has dedicated her life to trying to stop these injustices to which she has become privy. Even now she is serving as spiritual adviser to a new man on death row, and she tells me she knows without a doubt he is innocent. The responsibility she has placed upon her own shoulders to help save his life and that of others is beyond words. Truly humbling. Yes, we need more like her. Sister Helen is a gift to humanity.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Byron. Your words are lovely.

  • The thoughts, words, and art of Luciano Civettini are touching, heartfelt and healing. Thank you to Deanna for bringing them to us, and Luciano Civettini for putting them to paper.

  • I like this poet and poetry quite a bit. It’s something I’d like to publish at Zombie Logic Review

  • “Sister Helen Prejean & the death penalty: A Critical Review”
    Dudley Sharp

    Start with the truth.

    From the parents of rape/torture/murder victim Loretta Bourque, a Dead Man Walking victim:

    ” . . .makes you realize the Dead Man Walking truly belongs on the shelf in the library in the Fiction category.”

    “Being devout Catholics, ‘the norm’ would be to look to the church for support and healing. Again, this need for spiritual stability was stolen by Sister Prejean.” (1)

    ===

    Case Detective Michael Vernado, in the rape/torture/murder of Faith Hathaway, a Dead Man Walking victim”

    “I wouldn’t have had as much trouble with (Prejean’s) views if she would have told the truth . . .”

    ” . . . (Sr. Prejean) based her book on what was in I guess a defense file and what (rapist/murderer) Robert Willie telling her.”

    ” . . . she’s trying to mislead people in the book. And that’s something that she’s going have to work out with herself.”

    “(Sr. Prejean’s) certainly not after giving anybody spiritual advice to try to save their soul.” (1)

    ===

    Sr. Prejean finds that THERE IS NO GREATER SUFFERING , MENTALLY, THAN BEING A GUILTY MURDERER ON DEATH ROW (2)

    Did she consider the mental suffering of a parent who lost their innocent daughter to a rape/murder or, possibly, the mental (and physical) suffering of that girl, as she was being raped and murdered?

    Of course the sister considered it and she made her choice – the murderer.

    ======

    Book Review: “Sister Prejean’s Lack of Credibility: Review of “The Death of Innocents”, by Thomas M. McKenna (New Oxford Review, 12/05). www(DOT)newoxfordreview.org/reviews.jsp?did=1205-mckenna

    “The book is moreover riddled with factual errors and misrepresentations.”

    “Williams had confessed to repeatedly stabbing his victim, Sonya Knippers.”

    “This DNA test was performed by an independent lab in Dallas, which concluded that there was a one in nearly four billion chance that the blood could have been someone’s other than Williams’s.”

    ” . . . despite repeated claims that (Prejean) cares about crime victims, implies that the victim’s husband was a more likely suspect but was overlooked because the authorities wanted to convict a black man.”

    ” . . . a Federal District Court . . . stated that ‘the evidence against Williams was overwhelming.’ ” “The same court also did “not find any evidence of racial bias specific to this case.”

    ======

    MUCH MORE WITHIN FOOTNOTE 1, BELOW

    ======

    (1) “Sister Helen Prejean & the death penalty: A Critical Review”
    http://homicidesurvivors.com/2009/05/04/sister-helen-prejean–the-death-penalty-a-critical-review.aspx

    (2) Prejean: Death penalty is torture, TimesLeader.com online, October 1, 2012,
    http://www.timesleaderonline.com/page/content.detail/id/541638/Prejean–Death-penalty-is-torture.html?nav=5010

  • There are always more than two sides to any public policy debate. Understanding requires a critical look at any two opposing sides.

    Tookie Williams: Redemption? No. Contempt
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/03/tookie-williams-redemption-no-his.html

    RACE & THE DEATH PENALY: A REBUTTAL TO THE RACISM CLAIMS
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/search?q=racism

    “The Death Penalty: Not a Human Rights Violation”
    http://homicidesurvivors.com/2006/03/20/the-death-penalty-not-a-human-rights-violation.aspx

    “Killing Equals Killing: The Amoral Confusion of Death Penalty Opponents”
    http://homicidesurvivors.com/2009/02/01/murder-and-execution–very-distinct-moral-differences–new-mexico.aspx

    “The Death Penalty: Neither Hatred nor Revenge”
    http://homicidesurvivors.com/2009/07/20/the-death-penalty-neither-hatred-nor-revenge.aspx

    “Moral/ethical Death Penalty Support: Modern Catholic Scholars”
    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2009/07/death-penalty-support-modern-catholic.html

  • I think it’s terrific you’re doing such fantastic work in ceramics, an under-utilized media for serious, provocative works of art, such as yours. Bravo! So well done.

  • Thanks Steve. I think there is a lot of room to push the boundaries in clay…and I intend to keep on trying to do so. 🙂

  • Very sensible as well as uncommonly profound . . . I’ll look for more of your inspiring work. I write poetry and prose mostly with a narrative focus . . . Your ceramic sculpture seems akin to what I’m trying to do.
    Floyce Alexander

  • Do it your self, daily. Nobel idea,

  • So beautiful, and healing, to look at. My sister died, too, and we sprinkled salt water around her hospital room. So salt is special to me, too.

  • I love the idea of the arts having healing powers. It was jazz that healed me in my youth in a soft and tender touching of my spirit. Thank you for this thought provoking publication.

  • Dear Deanna, I can’t get enough of this section. I have seen once, twice and I always “discover” something new. I just can’t get enough. It is so powerful, moving, mysterious and it keeps calling you back….. 🙂
    Bravo!!!

    • Such lovely feedback, Byron. Thank you. And I know what you mean ~ there are some artists whose work runs so deep that there is no way one can process it all fully in just one sitting. But ahhh, what pleasure and riches to be found in the exploring and savoring…

  • Morishige says: “I always try to concentrate on only the sound itself—what I am making with my instrument…
    I think that the best condition for improvisation is to play without thinking, just feeling and doing. Similar to meditation.”

    I could not agree more. Both posts on improvisation are most welcome.
    Daniel Heikalo, composer and improviser.

  • Fabulous work!

  • nicely done… He brings up a few salient points about the lack of support in America for artists and the general “up-tight-a-tude” of America, especially when it comes to matters sexual. thanks

  • Lovely work. As an artist, I’m very interested in the relationship between beauty and repulsion.

  • I have a copy of Roger’s documentary. Much of it I agree with. I do believe though that in art, sometimes, what is not conventionally beautiful can be very eloquent, necessary: Guernica… Bacon… Diane Arbus… my own free improvisation that comes from a deep place in the subconscious, Cecil Taylor’s work, etc… But I agree 100% with Roger on the depressing and destructive effect of bad architecture. It is soul-killing. One person who has written extensively on this aspect is Christopher Alexander.

  • When I’m working on a problem,
    I never think about beauty.

    But when I’ve finished,
    if the solution is not beautiful
    I know it’s wrong.
    -R. Buckminster Fuller

  • simply amazing!

  • My first reaction was that Ryan Schultz is painting what has been shown in photography for at least two decades. These are the photos of Larry Clark and Nan Goldin done in paint with a nod to the classical forms and thinking of Joel-Peter Witkin. Is this new in paint? Perhaps. But the subject matter is not ground-breaking in the art world.

    The argument that one must be of a world to understand a world is an old one. It has appeared in the world of therapy and addictions since the inception of AA and its sister groups. I have always had mixed feelings about this argument. Another alcoholic, addict, street kid (fill in the blank with the disenfranchised group of your choice) may understand your experiences and your psyche, having gone through sometimes similar things, or they may not. The assumption that someone who has not experienced what you have experienced cannot understand nor have insight nor have deep emotional connection to you is also fallacious. If this were true, then compassion and insight from someone with other experiences than your own would not occur or would not have any value. It is possible that someone with very different experiences and thinking can see what those who share a belief, an experience, an addiction cannot.

    Is there a place in the current art world for Ryan Schultz’s work? Of course there is. He certainly is exploring and portraying a section of the world that does exist, a section of society that matters to him, and a subculture that many try to avoid looking at. He asks us not only to “see” those who are often invisible but to give them value. His style of painting certainly works to elevate the subject matter, as he intends.

    I find it interesting that so many artists, Schultz included, feel it necessary to negate other artists. I suppose this is a phenomenon that has been going on for centuries. This is also the downside of being too immersed in the world of art criticism (art comparison). Sometimes, you just need not to worry about this. Add to that list whether or not someone would live with your work. If your criteria as an artist is whether someone is going to hang it in their living room, you might as well just make work that goes with the couch.

  • An interesting interview. I’ve never heard anyone call themselves a painters painter before, (although it’s something we all secretly would relish) it’s a statement set up for a thousand voices to respond..’no you’re not’. But good for him, it’s all hype and pretty much like the artists who he is dissparaging, it seems to be all part of the career plan.

  • Fascinant.Merco beaucoup pour l’excellent post.

  • I recently ran across another take on Beauty from Boris Groys’ article, “Decadent Geometry” (a critique on Damien Hirst’s 1993 installation “Acquired Inability to Escape, Divided” in Parkett magazine, 1994): “Beauty, as Rimbaud says, is bitter and cruel; it causes suffering and is itself a sufferer. The decadent celebrates the ideal for the very fact that it can wound and is also vulnerable. The ideal is thus embraced by art for one last time — as a beautiful death in the midst of an anguished life.” I must admit that I much prefer the ideas on beauty offered by Michael Pearce.

  • I was in tears as I finished this article. Living life as a creative experience is something which should be as natural to us as breathing – yet we are often side-lined by our frenetic existence and drawn into numbness and self-doubt by those tiny, insidious thoughts which tell us that we are at fault or are to blame or are simply not good enough.

    The positioning of words and works of art here made this incredibly powerful: I read, paused and thought while my eyes found their way across each line, each image, each expression in these amazing pieces of work.

    I was lucky – lucky and blessed: I grew up in a rural community with two sisters. My mother was a teacher and my father a farmer. Farmers believed that sons would do the hard work on the farm and that having only daughters was a liability and so my father was ribbed by other men that he’d have to sell up his farm when his three daughters got married and left the rural life behind.

    My father, in turn, said that he was proud of and delighted by us whether we were boys or girls. He and my mother never limited us in any way – they encouraged us to be strong, independent women and to follow our passions. My passion became the farm. I worked it with my father and ran it myself when he was injured by an animal some years later. I also went to university, completed undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and travelled the world. My sisters, too, completed degrees and grew into the women I knew they would become.

    And now? I returned to Northern Ireland and to the old farm some years ago. I work now as a lecturer and playwright, encouraging truthful, creative living in the amazing young teenagers who come my way, but I still have soil in my veins: I have learned, as the article says so eloquently, to be true to myself. Reading this piece, with tears in my eyes, I was reminded powerfully that I wouldn’t – couldn’t – have it any other way.

    • Anne, thank you for your poignant and powerful response. You convey so beautifully the value of creative living. Your life is testament.

    • Thank you, Andrew. Its difficult to say the least, to keep my thoughts to myself and let them (the out-there sufferers) destroy themselves when what they think they are doing is supporting others. Crazy… women with no self-respect supporting others with no self-respect. Its a vicious cycle and I can’t help them. So I give it to Spirit and pray for any kind of psychic moment to occur.

    • Yep. I too often understand that whatever I say in response to their meager inquiries about what I think is just some kind of bah blah passed by the wind. Deeper, I suspect they are listening to me. I am seeing changes … some “I am important” kind of action. Thats only how I can support. :/
      Keeping it real for women and everybody else that dwells on this planet.

    • Anne McMaster… thank you for your story and the strength that your parents instilled in you and your sisters. You are a gem among women. I salute you!

  • What a thought-provoking interview – and how the short films have caught my attention and made me think!

  • An interesting perspective on music. Most of his philosophical approach operates on the outer edges of traditional music theory. There are lessons in this for all artistic genres, as well as some principles to serve as life perimeters when we want to stretch out and experiment outside of the boundaries we establish for our selves.

  • Deanna,
    Thanks so much for this wonderful article. It is, in fact, quite timely, as I have a few friends that suffer interminably (and in many cases, unknowingly) from the deep seated belief that they are responsible for abuses that occurred in their earlier lives. Getting professional help has only provided them with pharm. drugs that I can clearly see have tripped them up in accepting the existence of, and acquiring proper care to reach a healthy balance mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually in their lives. I believe they don’t even know what that place is and can’t possibly imagine that it actually exists. Pharm. drugs don’t exist for attaining healthy balance in human beings. So these poor women refuse any suggestion pertaining to holistic healing practices. I know, I’ve tried to gently suggest various things and have been “poo pooed.” This is very sad, yet I support any positive attempt by them to overcome their pain. In the meantime, I see so clearly that none of them truly believe, nor understand how to heal themselves and/or find a decisive healer that can get to the root of much deeper issues. They know what their reactionary issues are and yet, continue to medicate and self-medicate. It grieves me that most of these women suffer from depression, bi-polarism and other mental dis-ease for which, I believe, they consider incurable within themselves. Also, physical ailments such as fibromyalgia seems to be running rampant. I have come to understand firboM a little as it is evasive at best to medical professionals and has no cause or cure. I can only deduce that it is a by-product of these wonderful women’s inability to get proper help for the deep seated beliefs set on by childhood atrocities. Behavioral reactions whirl pool in their lives, sucking them deeper into the void set on by society’s post WWII attitudes. I also see some of them continue to remain in emotionally hostel family situations. And yet, what can I ever say to them except to support positive efforts to change their situations. But they don’t take my gentle suggestions seriously cause I don’t live in a hostel environment that continues to beat me down. In fact, I have been the mirror sometimes for their own hostility that I suspect is toward themselves. Sigh.
    Nargolwala’s article reminds me that these wonderful women are my contemporaries and that my mother, sisters and I too were subject to those societal views about women. My father was a pilot in WWII and was fortunate that the war ended as he was awaiting his orders. In addition to those views was a huge catholic upbringing in the mid-west that compounded an active disregard for women in general. So I understand Nargolwala’s views on the state of women today and am blessed that you have asked me to share it. I will share it in the hopes that at least one woman will sit up and look deeper into her self and understand the lies she has been taught about herself are just that, lies.
    Oh, there is so much healing that needs to happen for women in this world. Fortunately my daughter has the benefit of my deeper understanding of family history and a kind father that never went to war.
    Peace, Love & Light,
    Laura

  • Thank you so much, Laura, for your kind and important comments, particularly on the ways the women you mention continue to blame themselves. I hope they are able to get true help in shedding that myth, so that real healing can begin.

    • Andrew.. it is my hope and prayer for these women that I have mentioned, that they find a hand-hold of some kind to rise above the current situations. More importantly to me is my daughter and my son that they understand that women are to be honored. I honor my daughter in all that she is and speak to her often about disregarding society’s rules and expectations. My son (almost 16 years) has been raised to respect his mother most … and all women in general. I ask Spirit every day that my son will be the kind of decent man that my husband is…. Namaste.

  • Thanks very much.

  • I was so enjoying this article and your website even though I should contribute and help keep you moving along. But the dang floating head following as I read along with the “make a donation’ was so irritating i never finish this article or made a donation

    • Always open to feedback, Jim! Any suggestions you have are taken seriously. What would you like to see instead? Since this is a complete labor of love, the reality is that I will not be able to continue this without support much longer. Most of us let ourselves off the hook by convincing ourselves that everyone else is doing their part in keeping what’s important for the greater community viable. But that is no way realistically for any endeavor to survive. If you can come up with an alternative means of funding, by all means, share!

    • Jim, If this is your offer to spearhead a fund-raising committee, I graciously accept! You can connect with me privately at deanna@combustus.com

  • It’s not long after 6am on the 16th of June in Northern Ireland as I begin to write this. I walked the old road up to this farmhouse just as dawn was breaking earlier this morning; it didn’t seem like a night made for sleep. My father was born on this farm in 1918. He worked the fields with a horse and plough; he walked to the local primary school each day, taking a peat (for the stove) and a slate to write on. By the time he died in 1995, men had conquered the sky – and space – and the internet had shrunk the world to a single mouse click. He married my mother in 1954, but it was another nine years before I was born, closely followed by two additional sisters. He told us stories of his life – of a lost world and an almost forgotten time – and I walked the farm with him as I grew, learning of the harsh beauty each season brought with it and the unremitting toil of one who works the land. He loved the land, he loved the farm and he loved us.
    I miss him still.

    Sunday

    Sitting in a flat-backed pew,
    Beret tremulous on my bobbing, pig-tailed head,
    I drop my eyed from the sun-stained pulpit
    And watch our hands together
    As the sonorous words flow past us;
    My small child’s hand engulfed in yours.

    You have long fingers
    Tapering and elegant,
    Beautiful.
    Artisan’s hands.
    Carpenter’s hands.
    Never meant to be the soil-stained hands of a farmer.

    Sunday sermons are our time together;
    Our family squashed into a single pew.
    Soft notes from the organ caught in motes of sunlight;
    My hand warm in my father’s grasp.

    There always remains a gracious beauty in your hands;
    They turn the pages of the books you read to us, your girls,
    They mend, they bind, they soothe.
    They hold me steady as I wobble on my bike;
    They mend punctures, fix engines, make things good.

    I watch them age before me,
    Yet they still remain a thing of beauty and of joy;
    Strong, tanned, a little less certain now,
    A frail hesitation at the end of each arcing move.

    When I lose you,
    And my heart catches, like a breath,
    At the memory of you,
    It’s not just your smile or your voice that draws me back;
    It’s our silent Sunday sermons
    And the loving warmth of your hand on mine.

    In loving memory: William Robert McMaster 1918-1994

  • All of them were wonderful to read and quite touching in their own ways. Thanks Combustus for continuing to move and inspires us in the deepest ways.

  • Tremendously engaging work and interview. Like dreamscapes there is something familiar and unnerving in these works, as well as a strange and beautiful light.

    • How interesting that you connected Tom Chambers’ work to the images of dreams, Sal! My friend Laura Stanziola introduced me to his work when she knew I was exploring the power of dreams for an upcoming interview I was doing with two archetype dream therapists who’ve founded an interesting approach to dreamwork inspired by Jung’s famous Red Book writings. You will get to see more of Tom Chamber’s work later this week when I publish their interview, as I’ve woven in Tom’s photomontages throughout. I find his work mesmerizing and deep in their-openendness.

  • Very interesting. The discussion of fantasy cyber relationships I found to be of most interest. I tend to be wary of of my emotions when I start to feel a connection with someone online. I don’t trust it I think because I don’t know how it works. I think her approach to intimacy provides a framework for her clients to get in touch with what they want, how they want it and the meaning of it all. Sexuality and intimacy needs she stated are not commonly shared between partners (the partner is the last to know) and that there are places that we tend to not want to share with anyone. My big take away from the piece is to define a relationship by how far we allow each other to walk through the door of that secret place as a measure of what we have together in a relationship. I don’t think I have ever had a way to measure the depth of a woman’s feelings for me, when I was in a relationship. It has been if we got along then things were great. Not a good way to fulfill a partners needs I would say. I thought that part was valuable to me. As always Deanna you did a great interview~

    • Chet, beautifully put: “..how far we allow each other to walk through the door of that secret place…” Typically we aren’t taught to even consider that, or to evaluate what we mean to each other. I know from my own experience my on-line friendships have easier access to my depth; it is less risky for me to share a deep secret with someone I will most likely never meet. Hopefully, experience and maturity lend me a better idea of who I am and what I am willing to share.

  • Very detailed and in depth interview with Kelly Rees. So much important information is in the discussion.

  • Fabulous. Can’t wait to come back again and revel in his mastery

  • I thought Prof. Michael Pearce’s analysis of Valls’ work was complete and indepth. Higher degree of complexity to the work than immediately meets the eye. I thought the expression on the girl’s face spoke volumes about the other elements of the work. Her facial expression covered the entirety of human emotion except for pleasure. I was drawn to that in each piece. I liken her eyes to the experience of looking at a Georgia O’keeffe piece that draws ones eyes to some deep center place and then back out again. I enjoyed the art and the analysis. Thank you Deanna.

  • Read the entire article with absolute wonder at this talented person. Oddly enough, and I read carefully, came to the end and realised it was a man (via) Ian Hall. Perhaps the sensitivity of the strokes. . .a fine interview and gallery, thank you.

  • Lovely interview

  • Fantastic work.

  • “What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.”
    ― Walt Whitman

    This is a remarkable but dark piece by the Spanish painter, Dino Valis. Trained as a surgeon, he turned to painting. I have come to the conclusion, that contemporary art is like that of earlier periods is representational. Except that artists of the past attempted to portray the physical world, while contemporary artists are just as preoccupied with representation, but now try to portray the soul. They don’t usually recognize it as such, but their material reveals the true subject. It is ironic that in the past people believed in the soul but only tried to represent the body and the material world, but now the soul is no longer accepted but artists like Valis struggle to portray this mysterious entity using the the imagery of the body and the physical world to hint at deeper unseen regions. Of course, artists have always revealed the soul in their work. There is no way to avoid it. All our productions and everyday actions, even the simple unconscious gestures and facial expressions generated as we go through our lives, unwittingly expose our deeper natures. Mind reading is hardly necessary. We reveal ourselves with every breath to those who can read the body and hear the intent behind words.
    Soulful art like our dreams tends to have a dark aspect because we have so much unprocessed pain and fear distorting our acceptance of ourselves in this present moment.

  • Great interview! I actually own the painting at the very bottom of the article – the one with the little girl and the bunny 🙂

    Her work is so amazing!

  • Very interesting work. After seeing this sample of Oaxaca’s work I can say that I will be able to recognize her work when I see it again. Definitely in a class of her own. Thanks Deanna~

  • An extension of love, indeed: such beautiful and moving images which are intimate and yet gently sad – moments in time which will never again occur. Beautiful, beautiful work – and a gorgeous interview which makes me want to see more of this very talented artist!

  • Dino Valls work fulfills one theory of art that I have been teaching for 35 years at UCLA Arts Extension, Ventura College, Brooks Institute. That is for fine art to be meaningful and not boring, it must contain mystery, ambiguity and contradiction. The art must ask more questions of the viewer than it answers. Only in that way will audiences continue to return for the aesthetic experience. Marcel DuChamp once said that for a work of art to be important, we must wait until the artist has been dead for 50 years to discover its important to the culture. I have a feeling Dino Valls work will fall into that category.

    • Thanks a lot to Michael Pearce for his wonderful article, and also my gratitude to all of you for your interesting comments about my work.

  • i have always found that poetry takes one deeper into the human psyche and the feelings of its writer. I thoroughly enjoyed this interview.

  • Thanks a lot Deanna for this wonderful article!

  • Extraordinary photos. I vacillate between viewing them as sculpted works of art ( due to the gravity defying poses) and viewing them much the same as any other visual artistic work by creating a narrative for each photo which details some of the who, what where and why.. This work entices the imagination to awake.

  • You are so right. Amanda SHELSHER’s art enchants. SHE is the gift.

  • Fabulous interview–beautiful works! Thank you!

  • What a strong, honest voice you have, Jonna. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Amazing words and text.

  • Raw, honest and some of the most courageous writing I have ever come across. Beyond that, I am speechless.

  • Brilliant interview with a great artist. Reading it you soon realize that the artistic process is being openly shared as well as the life of the artist. Very generous. And of course, his art is most beautiful and thoughtful.

    • “Generous” is the perfect word for Aron Wiesenfeld’s responses, Sal. Yes. And your accompanying piece on his work honors all of us. Eloquently written and I can tell from a true heart/soul/mind connection. Thank you.

  • Superb art and a fine interview! Thanks 🙂

  • Thanks Veronica!

  • Thanks Combustus. The paintings “Forest Terminal” and “Pensive Unrest” are wonderful, as they all are, but those two seemed part of my own dreamscape. I also very much appreciated the artist’s matter-of-fact answers to the question as he makes excellent points on being a working artist.

  • These are BEAUTIFUL and STUNNING! Although surreal is too disturbing for me, I have to admit that surreal artists not only have great technical skills but fantastic imagination, too!

  • Fine interview! Thanks for sharing

  • I have enjoyed this interview. Hope that censorship will decrease in Pakistan. Really really nice poems by Omer Tarin, so lyrical.

  • Very happy to see interview of Prof Omer Salim Khan (Omer Tarin) , very comprehensive one with good and lofty ideals

  • It is indeed a privilege to read this latest interview by Pakistani poet and scholar Omer Tarin. His poetry is always powerful, moving, full of vivid imagery; and here, it shines forth along with his words on a score of other subjects, awash with light and wisdom. I must say this is a very nice issue of this magazine, I also enjoyed reading the nice interviews of Ajay Brainard and John Stanizzi. Congratulations.

  • This is amazing! Thank you!

  • Very interesting to read this. I enjoyed very much the poems also.

  • Interesting project. 🙂

  • Excellent, Michael. “These are the mysteries of the aftermath”.

  • The courage of the models is very humbling. BRAVO.

  • Real people, great paintings thank you

  • I don’t think words can keep up with the multitude of meanings of your images. I, for one, am more than happy that I learned about you today. It made my own October 5th much richer, and made me think about so many things! Bravo Aleah!

  • I always assess of judge any writers integrity by the company they keep and thus their applied politics!
    I wonder if you have heard of the book The Republican Noise Machine by David Brock? Or American Fascists by Chris Hedges (and Chris’s work altogether)? Or the writings of Henry Giroux – particularly his recent essay Beyond Savage Politics and Dystopian Nightmares? And The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein?
    Why do I ask this?
    Because all of the horrors described there were dramatized on to the world stage by Rogers friends at the American Enterprise Institute, The Heritage (lies, lies and more lies) Foundation and The American Spectator

  • I love this artist. Her design, colors and raw subject deserves to be seen by everyone that loves truth in art. Her technique as well as her choice of subject is quite stunning. I wish I had the $ to own just one of her paintings.

    Deanna, this remains the goal of a truly great craftsman. To create an image that tells a story, beginning to end. This work of Aleah`s does that so eloquently.

    I would like very much to converse with anyone who is interested in discussing Aleah`s work.

    ~ Dominic Duval

  • Great paintings…

  • Touching and revealing at the same time. I love the “maybes” in the penultimate paragraph, Really that’s what we’re left with and the writer’s courage to shape them.

  • “In recent years, Odd Nerdrum has been using a two-colored palette after Appelles’ technique, which consists of red, yellow, black and white.”

    Is it the case Nerdrum is using just four pigments to create the painting above, or four colours (which could include many pigments?)

  • What fine poetry! Really enjoyable , also a very detailed and useful interview.

  • Fantastic artist!

  • Beautiful work–congratulations, Alexandra!

  • Nice interview Dom. Coltrane and Dolphy 🙂

  • She’s amazing! Love her seriousness, her dedication and her soul. Thanks Combustus.

  • I love your work of art. It moves me…

  • Wonderful interview with quite an interesting Artist. Thanks

  • Wolpoth is a phenomenal sculptor. The way he sensitively coaxes the delicate qualities of flesh out of a block of wood is artistic sorcery!

    • Isn’t it true, Steven, indeed, that the act of creating art is more than what happens between maker’s hand and the medium? Something else must be at work, and when it is…yes! Sorcery! Wonderful word for it!

  • fascinating work,the figures evoke loneliness on the one hand but they attract the viewer to reach out to them,at least this is how I feel. I had not realized at first that the artist uses wood.I like it when he leaves the cracks of the wood to become part of the sculpture.

    • Isn’t is magical how an artist can create something that both exists separate and apart from us, in its own unique pocket of place and time and feeling…and yet, through this originality, creates something so very universal that we relate to intimately? Such divine alchemy!

  • Thank you Deanna, this is just beautiful work. It is more than just the art of sculpture. There is a pathway that leads one on a journey deep into the souls of the pieces to glimpse the life that the artist has breathed into them. They become more than representation; they become bearers of the artist’s essence and provide a windows into the human spirit.

  • stunning work

  • shocking, beautiful,surreal, wonderful. gut-wrenching

  • Greatness / humility here. Thanks.

  • Teresa, my dear, you will have so many solo shows in your career–the world will enjoy your series soon enough, I am quite sure! I think your work is fabulous, and it will only get better as time marches on. It was a pleasure to meet you at the Greenhouse Gallery a couple months ago. I am sure our paths will cross again! Thanks for the interview, Deanna–Teresa is one to watch. 🙂

  • Thank you Andy Kehoe for starting my day with “wonder.” A pleasure to read and to dwell upon your amazing works of art.

  • Exceptional work, Dino. Riveting.

  • “Reflecting experiences and opening doors to new possibilities”–I love Tom Chambers’ work. I can see the passion for music…spirituality…a certain dreamlike quality permeates his imagery. I relate at an almost primal level to his work. It’s no longer sufficient for me to enjoy digital images of his work–need to live with one of his pieces. Great interview!

  • sin palabras no conocia sus trabajos..excelenteees!

  • I read this article with much interest.Thank you, Deanna.

  • Marwa Al-Najjar has a very unique style of painting. Her subjects all seem to be in deep contemplation and using their strength to rise above it all. The war and the resulting displacement is there, but in a more resolved sense. The use of so much gold in her work seems to exemplify the strength that comes from the experience of living and growing a kind of wisdom about what is important in this life. Thanks Deanna.

  • There is something nostalgic in these enchanting pieces..darkness lingers however I feel safe..so reminding me of being on the threshold of danger when reading or indeed being read menacing tales as a youngster..only imagining horrors but not actually living them..They capture our childhood innocence but can also lure us into the reality of the shaded side of adulthood.

  • Wonderful work…strong, enigmatic, compelling imagery. There is a “darkness” here…but it is rich, and contemplative work that poses questions. I like that a lot. Bravo, Andres.

  • gorgeous artwork – wt. complimnets – dervogt

  • So many good things in this interview… “I want to keep working toward becoming a better, clearer, more honest poet.” Awesome.

  • xamustard, I thank you very much for reading, and for your kind words. Pax. John Stanizzi

  • What a wonderful interview. Truly revolutionary work for this era. Relevant, Necessary. Meaningful. Opening new territory for introspection, dialog, and analysis of individual and inter-relational aspects merging with deeper revelations of gender and race. Really provoking work!

  • Beautiful modern classics, evidently emanating partially from a fine recent history of great british sculpture, but also obviously very much an emergent artist’s own style. I wish I had ten quid, I’d definitely buy one.

  • Thanks Leila! Your words are humbling.

  • Excellent work on stone. Tops.

  • Thank you, I really enjoyed this interview. It’s great to read a little of the back story and thoughts behind such wonderful work. I feel deeply moved by your work Patrick, especially this ‘significant other’ series. These works have struck a cord with me that I can’t quite explain.

  • Amy, thank you for your feedback. It’s amazing that you’ve connected to the work and my words so passionately! Connect with me on Facebook to stay in touch and see new work as it happens: https://www.facebook.com/patrickearlhammieartist. Cheers.

  • In this ever changing world that separates us from our natural beings it is so beautiful to witness the relationship vangelis shares and celebrates in his work.. He breathes organic air. It is truly stunning.

  • I love this interview with Andrea! Not only is she a talented and wondrous painter; she is also a kind, warm person. I LOVE her paintings!

  • Thanks Deanna and Cumbustus for bringing again another magnificent piece on contemporary artists. This was a wonderful collection ~ my favorite being, “Entomófaga.”
    Excellent interview, it just leaves wanting for more…. 🙂

  • Great work, Luke! I can definitely see your apprenticeship with Odd Nerdrum. I think there is a big difference between overly sentimental and evocative work that connects at the visceral level with human emotion. Yours does the latter–and I deeply appreciate that. It was a pleasure to meet you at TRAC 2014–wish we’d had more opportunity to talk at some length. Best regards, Steve

  • Les soins de la lumière
    Me font taire des mots de trop
    De tendresse
    De questions
    De réel qui reste vrai
    Même après
    Même avant
    Le silence m’adresse la parole
    Pas contre
    Mais pour la vérité
    Pour ses valeurs
    Dans la douceur de la peur
    Je retiens un fond de lieu
    Un peu plus loin
    Derrière les visages
    Ces vagues sans milieu
    Distance ces creux et ces hauts
    Comme des saisons
    Je juxtapose l’ensemble
    Le lieu et la visage
    Le mirage et l’apparition

    Réjean Desrosiers © 2014 04 12

  • The work of Gail Potocki seems to be indiviual chords from the artist’s musical composition . Her pieces only await the moment when they will be set to music and the first note played. There is a quality in her work that is larger than the visual frame. Much like a great jazz musician whose music paints pictures after proving to be too large for just an auditory frame. I will remember her work much like a great musician; once you hear them, one is able to distinguish them from the crowd. Thank you Deanna for consistently providing thought provoking art in Combustus.

  • Another Big Head painter. I love big paintings, but I genuinely wish more artists could either use the entire human figure to express their thoughts, or else content themselves with working smaller.

  • Wiesenfeld is a remarkable painter, full of surprises. For example, the strange building in The Night is the Reichs Chancellery in Berlin, built by Albert Speer for Adolph Hitler. Is that part of what the picture means, or…?

  • really beautiful work. love the layering

  • I myself also take a significant interest in psychology and the processes of the brain. This interview has definitely encouraged me to consider taking a deeper dive into the world of neuroscience to better my knowledge on the subject and hopefully influence my work in a positive way. I feel that work that takes a certain neurological direction such as Jennifer’s often tends to resonate in the mind of it’s audiences over other works (such is my personal experience). Jennifer’s work is certainly beautiful and has left a generous space in my mind for reflection!

    • Hi Chelsey,
      Thank you so much for your thoughtful response! It sounds like we’ve got some common ground. I suppose if art is expression of self then psychology is embedded in it. Enjoy your exploration Chelsey!! Cheers, Jennifer

  • Great interview! I identify with Jennifer’s work since we both have used humor to communicate through our paintings, wonderful work!

    • Hi Sharon,
      So nice to see you here :). and thank you!! Ya know, I’ve never been able to take myself too seriously. And I love love love the sense of humor in *your* work.
      see you online! Jennifer

  • nice job Brandon…

  • Aron Wiesenfeld is one of the greatest storytellers of untold stories!

  • Brave painter.

  • Brave and graceful.

  • I really enjoyed seeing Maya’s work and reading her words about it. I can feel the emotion and passion laid down in her process. I really appreciate the play between destruction and production. It is something I try to achieve in my own work. Thank you Maya for sharing your beautiful work with the world.

  • Love Teresa Elliot’s bold, gorgeous work….straightforward, elegantly simplistic, yet complex…real, down to earth, eternal…..thanks for the great interview!

    • Thanks you so much M crow! Appreciate it. Teresa

  • I’ve known about Mia Bergeron for a couple years now, but i’m thankful for this article it seems to give much more insight; she really is a thinking artist that doesn’t just create beautiful paintings but paintings with stories and introspection.

  • Jennifer’s work is so uniquely her own. It’s so great to read more on her and see more of her works here. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite too, but only because these are all so wonderful.

  • Another wonderful interview Deanna. It looks like Steven paints truth from his heart. Wish to see his work in person some day soon.

  • The work is sublime. The woman is a gift to all, not just Italians and love that she tries to use natural light. . BRAVO to both Helene & Brandon. Deanna I have nothing but deep gratitude for all you bring us. . .beyond generous. . .merci

  • All his paintings are so evocative, but I love the painting of women the best.

  • The soulfulness of Stanka’s work just sucks you into that mysterious veil of universal connection. “There is no separation in a world that breathes” I was very interested in learning the philosophy behind her work and that statement not only satisfied my curiosity but also instantly made me feel connected to a like mind. Thank you for these insightful interviews!

  • I really enjoy your works, blending a beautiful painterly style with humor and delightful visual surprises. As an observer, I am drawn in to interact visually with your paintings, then look closer, eyes darting around your wonderful sense of design and pattern. And as an artist myself, I identify with your statement about ‘the process’, surrendering to the paint, the moments within and allowing something new to emerge. This creates an energetic, rhythmic movement spontaneity evident in your brush strokes, the repetition, the life force you invested, the contrasts of light, color and shadow – that cannot be planned! I find the same ‘give back’ when teaching Nia – creating art with people in movement, starting with a concept or intent then allowing the music and moment to moment sensations to ‘take over’ within the framework of the technique and freedom in form. In the end a personal movement masterpiece was created by those who chose to ‘show up’. Nia and art…synchronous, each feeding one-another. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and work Jennifer! Warmest cheers, Randee Fox, Nia Faculty Trainer, Artist, Equestrian Educator

  • Ha! John Gnagy! I used to draw from my mother’s copy of that from when she was younger.
    Teresa’s handling of the paint, especially in the ‘mud’ pictures, is fantastic! And thanks for the link to Temple Grandin, great bundle of information there. Cheers!

  • I enjoyed the discussion of how background changes by country and movement. I also especially appreciated Knoop’s The Three Graces.

  • Michael Pearce elegant essay on Dino Vall’s allegorical paintings is so insightful. I’ve always been attracted to Vall’s paintings, but now I know why. Thank you for leading me out of the darkness and into the light!

  • I have been a fan of Jeanie’s work since first finding it on The Endicott Studio’s “Journal of Mythic Arts” blog. Her “Handless Maiden” paintings made an indelible impression, and I have been an inspired admirer ever since. It is wonderful to see her work being received so well out in the wide world, and to find it featured here on *this* amazing, beautiful and enlightening blog too. Thank you!

  • Irene’s paintings are transcendent. Her book is lovely.

  • I love her paintings of the bulls! So potent and majestic…

  • I was immediately captivated and drawn in when I saw Stanka’s work, something spoke to me. The colors, light and the innocent delicate faces that seemed so timeless and yet seem to have an ethereal quality. Her graceful strokes and layering of the paint is just beautiful. She is an artist I will definitely continue to follow her work. Thank you so much Deanna for your great interview! Love this work!

    • Trisha thank you. It means the world that my work is able to make a connection with you. I so appreciate your kind words.

  • Just breathtaking.

  • Judith’s art gives us a subjective interpretation of our human condition which we can all connect with.That’s the power and importance of art.She gives a voice and connection that speaks to our deepest recesses of the soul. Moments of our lives are framed and described with lush textures and breathtaking color.

  • I am also a fan Of Annie Dillard, but your work reminds me of Haruki Murakami. One foot in reality and one foot in the ether’s. With every painting you take us on an adventure, and like a good roller coaster you keep coming back. “32” just blew me away. I’m so glad Deanna interviewed you so that we might get to know you better in your words. I’ve been a fan for sometime. I love your web site. Best wishes Mia

  • The weird reactions show that the art is doing its magic. If a viewer can project a narative onto a piece with utter conviction, then the artist has done that wonderful thing that we all strive for.

  • I only discovered Mia not long ago, I like how she talks about her process of painting, and enjoy seeing this process in her finished pieces. It adds so much interest to a painting and shows that even professional artists struggle expressing their ideas and even fail at paintings sometimes. Usually, when I fail, I’m more inclined to give a painting up altogether, but as Mia demonstrates, you could just come up with a unique and interesting piece if you persevere, so you can only gain, even from pieces that first seem to be headed for the bin. My favourite two of her paintings displayed here are “When You Get There,” for the unusual perspective and bold style, and the other is “Loss.”

  • It’s amazing to see where inspirations can come from in ones past as a painter. I love you works, especially the beautiful and textured brush economy.

  • I recently discovers the incredible works of Mia Bergeron. This article is amazing how it shows great paintings with many interesting stories behind them. My favourite has to be “32”, with its unique layout.

  • Great article! His execution is amazing, and beautifully achieve his desired effect. His paintings really draw you in and provoke feeling.

  • I found this interview and saw a photograph of Helene’s painting ‘Milk” on Facebook which led me to the Combustus blog and I’m so glad I found it. Helene is a beautiful representational painter and as an artist and mother of four grown children myself, I appreciate reading her point of view on the subject of being a painter who happens to be a woman with children. It’s quite a challenge:); but as Lee Krasner said (although she didn’t have children of her own, unless you count her difficulties keeping Pollock alive), “Even when I’m just looking, I am working.” I am so looking forward to reading more about today’s representational painters, thank you!

  • Cherylene Dyer is an artist whose work I will be following with interest. These are beautifully intimate and the interplay of light and shadow is inspiring.

  • Love the unfinished quality of her work. Forces us to complete the pictures.

  • Absolutely beautiful! So moving, and each painting tells a story about the person. Olivia captures the essence, mood and emotion of the moment.

  • wow so wonderful great interview

  • FRANCOISE DE FELICE’s works simply seduce the viewer, I admire the beauty and emotion , the contemplation and the sadness she has captured in her subjects. Long after I have viewed them, her paintings reach out to me and make me wonder again and again what deep thoughts are haunting the subject’s mind,

  • A wonderful interview! I agree with her assessment that the honest search to understand more than we know is far more compelling than slick and unfelt work. I admire her beautiful and thoughtful body of work!

  • Knoop’s art is riveting. I deeply respect the inestimable life circumstance of melding any career with motherhood. I felt the influence of her motherhood in her art.

  • I love these paintings! Extraordinary talent!

  • I love to paint & Rosemary brushes I understand are the best! And as an artist I can appreciate photography and the photographers eye!

  • Alyssa Monks’ tranquil, frightening women underwater moved me close to tears when viewing them. A lasting impression, I have shown to many others

  • I have a deep love and appreciation for Edgar’s work. When I first saw it, I assumed the artist was female. I had never seen a male artist paint a woman with this level of inner complexity. I can relate to these women. I can imagine their inner lives, because it’s obvious they have one. I want to thank Edgar on behalf of all women for not making “sexiness” the source of his muse’s strength!!!

  • The quality and detail of the brush work is astounding. A master craftswoman at work. Such life shown…

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