By likemindblog



BLAKE MCARTHUR, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, whose style is labelled  as abstract expressionism says that he doesn’t attempt to create abstract representations of particular objects or concepts, but rather simply tries to express himself through colours, shapes and textures.  “Musis is an important part of the creation process for me, and I allow myself to be carried away by the music I listen as I paint, letting it, rather than conscious thought, guide my hands.”

Part I of Blake’s interview.  Part II will be published next week.

 Blake, thank you for participating in this project, and for sharing your thoughts and your wonderful art with us.  Shall we begin with the following questions:

1) What is art to and for you?

 This is an extremely difficult question for me to answer. I suppose that the broadest definition would  consider any form of visual expression to be art. By this definition, a childs kindergarten drawing is as much art as is any Van Gogh or Picasso painting.  I personally tend to think of art in  more narrowly focused, and more personal terms. I personally don’t consider something to be art unless it evokes some sort of an emotional reaction in me. This somewhat implies that something that I consider art may not be considered art by other people, and vice-versa.

The reaction that is evoked doesn’t need to be pleasant either. For example, Edward Hopper is one of my favorite artists. His works make me feel lonely and sad, which is not a feeling that I enjoy. For that very reason, I would not want a Hopper piece to grace my walls, however I certainly consider his work as some of the most powerful art I have ever seen.Blake - Inferno

 The walls of my home are filled with abstract paintings from a variety of artists, including a couple of my own pieces. When I look for art to serve a decorative purpose, I look for pieces that evoke positive emotions for me. I suspect that this is why I’m drawn towards abstract pieces, since I find the appeal in the colors, shapes and textures. To me, the art is not in the re-creation of reality, but in the creation of an alternative world where imagination and emotion rule.

Although I greatly admire the skills required to create faithful reproductions of reality, I don’t personally consider realistic depictions of “things” as art, unless they can also evoke some sort of emotional reaction in me. For example, I have seen pencil sketches that are so unbelievably realistic that I have had to stare at them for several minutes before I could determine that they were actually drawings rather than photographic images. That skill set is mind boggling, and I wish that I was blessed with that talent, but unless the artist can capture some emotion, and make me “feel” the piece, I don’t really think of it as art as much as amazing illustration. I certainly don’t intend to imply that realism isn’t art, but rather that the art is in the capturing of the “essence” or “soul” of the subject rather than simply creating a recognizable copy.

 I also think that there needs to be some minimal amount of “substance” to a piece in order for me to consider it art. For example, just like I would not consider 3 notes strung together as music, I find it very hard to consider paintings such as “Voice of Fire” as art. For those not familiar with that piece, it consists of nothing more than a broad stripe of deep cadmium red flanked by two identically sized stripes of ultramarine  blue. Although some may find it contradictory, I do consider Rothko’s color planes to be art, as I do see a subtle substance within them.

Finally, I also feel that there has to be some sort of “cohesion” or “harmony” in a piece to be considered art. Simply throwing paint on a canvas does not create art any more than random notes create music. It can certainly be said that all music is an arrangement of notes, however I don’t think that the reverse is true – all arrangements of notes are not necessarily music. Surely they are all sounds, but unless they fit together in an appropriate way, they really can’t be considered music. In the same way, any time that paint is applied to a canvas or paper, the end result will be a painting, but unless the colors, shapes and textures somehow manage to “work together”, I personally don’t consider the painting to be art. Fortunately, visual art is much more forgiving than music, and the results obtained from random strokes and movements can often result in a finished product that “works”.

 2) What inspires you?

I don’t think that I can actually pinpoint anything in particular that gives me inspiration. Usually my inspiration comes from something that I see “in real blake - RiseOfTheMachines2life”, (such as a beautiful sunset, hoarfrost on a winters day, or the beautiful colors of autumn), or something that I see on TV, in a magazine or on the Internet. For example, I recently watched a documentary on TV about the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, and was inspired by the amazing colors of the lava flows. I am also very often inspired by seeing the work of other artists. I spend a couple of hours per week browsing through various art sites on the Internet, and am totally amazed by how much truly wonderful art is available. There are some truly exceptional artists that have not yet been “discovered”, that are producing absolutely astounding works, and I am often inspired by viewing their art.  Music can also serve as a source of inspiration to me.

3) When you are in the process of creating, painting, where does it take you?  Where does your mind travel?

 Whenever I am painting, I am also listening to music. My best pieces are created when I allow myself to simply get lost in the music, and allow the music to guide my hand. When I listen to music like Pink Floyd, I find myself being carried away to another world, whether I am painting or not. When I am painting while listening to such music, I find that I can let my sub-conscious take control and allow my mind to travel to wherever the music takes me.  The marks that are made on the paper or canvas are primarily driven by the music, and not so much by conscious thought.

Thanks for this most interesting conversation.  I will publish the rest of it next Friday.  See you then!  Please visit  the following links or join Blake’s Facebook Fan Page.





Please make sure you continue reading next week.  Your comments are appreciated it.  Let us know how you relate to Blake’s art, what does it evoke in you?

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Filed in: ART • Friday, January 22nd, 2010


Musique et peinture…le couple idéal!!!!


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My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours