Why do we need art in our lives? We all do.

philosophy

Why do we need art in our lives?

Why do people go and look at art? What are they up to? Why are they staring at all these famous pieces of art in museums and art galleries? Why are these famous paintings worth millions of pounds? Well the answer is we don’t really know. These “sacred” paintings become shrines.

Why?

The reason is that the “unknown” shines through in partially articulated form.

That’s the role of real art; that’s the role of artists. Real artists are inspired by the mystery of the unknown. They contend with the unknown. They are drawn to it. They can’t help it. That is because real artists have a personality trait that predisposes them to “openness”.

Openness is one of the five personality traits of the Big Five personality theory. It indicates how open-minded a person is. A person with a high level of openness to experience in a personality test enjoys trying new things. They are imaginative, curious, and open-minded.

Creative people just die if they can’t be creative. They have no vitality. They are cursed with having to try to make sense of things and cursed with having to make a living at that which is almost impossible – it’s more or less impossible to monetise creative action.

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Creative action though, is not without VALUE. Creative people, by their very personality, are entrepreneurs. They revitalise cities, they make things beautiful and magnificent. Just think of the collaborations in Europe over the past 2000 years to make beautiful things.

For example Barcelona’s Cathedral Sagrada Familia will possibly be finished in 2026 which is 144 years since its beginning. Imagine the vision of a work of art put into practice with timespan of 1 ½ centuries. These days town planning usually has a maximum of two year timescale. The beauty of Barcelona’s Cathedral will continue to be in enhanced over the decades and centuries to come as it’s form and beauty grow with time. Cathedrals are a prime example of Divinity expressed through beauty

Beauty is crucial to economic development. You can see this in tourism. Why do tourists flock to Barcelona, why do they flock to see other important architectural sites of beauty, museums and art galleries? Why do they go to places for theatre and dance productions, music and film? Because they are drawn to beauty. So of course we need to encourage the expression of beauty through the arts.

We do need to keep justifying the value of art to make people understand. We need people to understand that art is vital. Without beauty there is no call to higher being.

It’s hard to make a thing of beauty but it’s worthwhile. Everyone should strive to make a something beautiful even if it’s just one thing. Be daring, be colourful, make something beautiful. Generally people are scared of it. They buy beige, boring, upholstery- matching art for their walls at home from furniture shops! You can express beauty in your garden, in something stitched, in painting your furniture!

Buy art from an artist. It opens your eyes to the beauty of the transcendent. Beauty is a pathway to transcendence. We live fully by beauty.

Life is too dull and tragic in the absence of the sublime.

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An invitation to my next exhibition in April is over on the Exhibitions page.

One Great Easy Way To Bring Nature Into Your Work Life

Outdoor life

Creative thinking out of doors

Do you find yourself sitting in front of a screen for hours, hard to tear yourself away because of the endless trails of ‘research’ it can lead you on? Do you worry that that you spend too much time in meeting rooms and offices? Is the only opportunity you have for outdoor time at the weekend and even then there are too many jobs to get through you miss the chance?

Here’s a great idea which I guarantee will benefit your outlook, perspective and health. I experience this way as often as I can and it’s very rewarding.

Here’s an example from this week. A brainstorming session was required and idea generation was the purpose of a meeting with two other artists.

We decided to meet at Attingham Park National Trust instead of an office or studio space. The snowdrops were calling. Here we were, three practising artists with different but complementary practices who are involved at Boundary Way Project an allotment site in Wolverhampton which aims to bring arts and health to the community in a natural setting amongst other exciting activities.

As an experiment with meeting venues we met up in the lovely courtyard cafe at Attingham and obviously needed some analytical warm up discussions regarding the excellent quality of cake and coffee first. Then we got down to business.

It was very quiet at 10am and there was excellent easy to access wifi to help us to share links etc. Not many people around, even on a sunny day until 11.45 when the lunch crowd arrived but even then it’s such a huge group of rooms there’s plenty of room. We still had loads of space around us and there’s no background music thankfully.

The clincher

After the main body of the meeting we took a walk for half an hour together. THIS IS THE CLINCHER IN MY VIEW. This distinguishes the experience from meeting in a coffee shop.

During the walk many other ideas emerged and were discussed in a more creative way. I’m sure this is to do with fresh air, moving our bodies and feeling the spaciousness and freedom. Also visual stimulation (especially for artists, but I believe for all) can provoke new thoughts of course.

Thank you to Moya Lloyd and Anne Marie Lagram  for your huge creative input. We have many exciting plans.

We will definitely meet this way again – maybe at other National Trust properties where there are similar facilities and stimulation – not to mention great sticky ginger cake!

An opportunity for you to get outdoors with me

If you would like to experience an outdoor environment (with good indoor space if the weather is not so good) and try your hand at easy art making, please have a look at this event in June this year CLICK HERE and consider joining me at Boundary Way. No experience needed but you will go away refreshed, artified and with a beautiful book to take home.

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For other workshop opportunities with me in my lovely Victorian studio in Wolverhampton:

Please go to the Workshops page of this site

Wrekin Crows

The Crows, The Plot and The Wrekin 12″ x 12″ SOLD

 

Two Art Galleries in Liverpool You Must Visit For Inspiration

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If you think Liverpool is a good place to shop you are right but it also has several wonderful art galleries and it would take a stay of a few days to visit everything on offer.

Two galleries are outstanding: Liverpool Tate and The Walker

Today I visited both. Five minutes walking distance from Liverpool Lime Street Station, the Walker Art Gallery has a labyrinth of rooms and many famous paintings. I was particularly struck by this Monet

‘Ice Breaking Up On The Seine Near Benecourt’ which was painted in the same chilly conditions as today in freezing January conditions. Monet, like most impressionists, painted outside and he complained of the bitter cold during the painting of this which may explain his longer and more hurried brush strokes than in most of his paintings.

What I really wanted to see was the work submitted for the John Moores Prize but it’s not quite on show at the moment but there is a good selection of paintings which have won since 1957. My absolute favourite was this by Peter Doig

He’s a favourite painter of mine. This piece is called ‘Blotter’ and is of the artists brother standing on a frozen lake in 1993. It’s a huge piece of work and features this brilliant lilac colour….this photo doesn’t do it justice at all.

There are also twenty or so Lubaina Himid pieces from her collection ‘Naming The Money’ of 2004 scattered through the gallery. She won the Turner prize last year (power to women over 50 for a change!). In Room 9 there is a selection of artworks curated by her. The installation ‘Naming The Money’ was gifted by Lubaina to National Museums Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum. It addresses how Europe’s wealthy classes spent their money and flaunted their power in the 18th and 19th centuries by using enslaved African men and women. Groups of the figures are positioned around the gallery in positions determined by the artist.

The Walker Gallery are very relaxed about photography (as long as there’s no flash), unlike the Tate Liverpool. The staff are very helpful and want you to get the best from your visit. There’s a cafe and a children’s experiential room plus lots of talks and tours. Entry is free.

I also liked seeing the Lowry paintings in real life and several others, particularly Matisse. Also there’s a fabulous collection of outrageous Grayson Perry dresses – well worth a giggle.

On to the Tate Liverpool. I was there particularly to see John Piper’s work – a large and well documented exhibition with work ranging from his pre student years right through his life, including his War paintings (he was employed as a War Artist in the 1940s), stained glass, sketchbooks, publications and landscape. There were quite a few of his collages and some of Picasso’s who inspired him immensely. I love his lithographs in particular.

– I loved these… So good to see in real life. The mark making was inspirational. I love to make collage myself and I can definitely take ideas away from seeing such a great collection.

This exhibition is on until March 18th and costs £10 although is free with a Tate Friends card which I think I would consider buying.

The cafe is superb, big plate windows overlooking the Albert Dock and excellent food including vegetarian and gluten free breads. There’s a small but well stocked gift shop with very friendly and helpful staff and the whole place feels like a wonderful and inviting place to visit.

Here is The Albert Dock which you see from the cafe. A lovely place to wonder and almost deserted on a cold January day. The Liverpool Tate is about 13 minutes walk from Liverpool Lime Street Station.

All in all an inspiring and eye opening day in Liverpool – I’m definitely going to make it a regular place to visit.

Where will you go for inspiration?

Solstice, Nature and British Wildlife

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Preferring to celebrate Yule and the December Solstice with it’s lean towards nature, I have been painting small pieces with a message of peace. They look contemporary in these deep white, specially made box frames and are available as seasonal gifts. Please message me if you are interested – they are £90. Support artists and keep the economy local! 

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Another local artist over in Shropshire, Anne Marie Lagram has produced an Advent Calendar for counting down to the Solstice. In the doors are seasonal pictures and some information about traditions around Yule time. She also has a beautiful Country Wisdom and Folklore Diary available for 2018, full of traditional tales and lore. I am lucky enough to be featured on the April page by way of a painting – “Song Bird”. Here is the link to the website: https://www.talkingtreesbooks.co.uk/product-page/country-wisdom-folklore-diary-2018

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“Song Bird” by Clare Wassermann Acrylic Ink and paint

I am thoroughly into the British wildlife genre at the moment – such a rich array to work with and all leading up to a solo exhibition I have next Spring at the Museum of Cannock Chase Gallery

At the moment I am enjoying working on some oil paintings which I find very absorbing. Hopefully the movement and energy of the hare shines through. hare-on-easel-clare-wassermann

So whatever you are doing and celebrating this coming month, keep warm and make the most of spending some quality time with friends and family to restore you in preparation for the oncoming New Year.

Don’t forget that workshops in my studio in Central Wolverhampton can be found here – book some in advance and treat yourself to a creative break!

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Some meditative music and inspiration

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Last night I was lucky enough to have a ticket to hear Ex Cathedra sing at St Peter’s Church in Wolverhampton. The music was beautiful, historic and other-worldly. I was transfixed and mesmerised.

No applause all through enabled an atmosphere of divine meditation throughout. The church was lit by candles only and the singers held candles to see. A small group with the purest of purest perfect voices. Music in many forms, both western and more esoteric eastern help me to visualise colour, form and ideas. This can then transfer into artwork. Quite apart from that both art forms can lead to a deeper inspection.

This image is a mergence of two, one the view of the window and ancient brickwork in front of me and the other a winter tree with an abandoned nest signifying homecoming.

I am painting this afternoon in my studio at Newhampton Arts Centre. All welcome to visit. Some gifts for Christmas available.

Who knows what that experience last night will bring.

#inspiration #art #music #wolverhampton

A brief early 2018 overview…..Upcoming Workshops and Exhibitions

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Workshops for you to participate in at my studio in central Wolverhampton

Lots of lovely creative workshops planned for early next year. Please contact me to book – more details on the Workshops Page.

Sunday 4th February
11.15am – 1.15pm
Sketchbook / Art drop in club £5

Thursday 8th February
8pm – 9.15pm
Relaxing Soundbath with Liz Pritchard £8

Friday 16th February
10.30am – 4pm
Creative Sketchbook Day with Clare Wassermann
Tap into your creativity £35

Monday 26th February
10am – 3.30pm
Simple Stitch with Elise Stewart £25

Thursday 1st March
10.30am – 3.30pm
Art Jewellery with Linda Alton £35

Saturday 10th March
11am – 3pm
Hellebore Brooches – Needle Felting with Kanj Nicholas
£35

Thursday 8th March
10.30am – 3.30pm
Oil Painting with Wayne Attwood £25/£30

Thursday 15th March
7-9pm
Social Media for Creatives a workshop you shouldn’t miss by Tosca Lahiri

£10


Sunday 18th March
11.15-1.15pm
Sketchbook / Art drop in club £5

Thursday 22nd March
8pm – 9.15pm
Relaxing Soundbath with Liz Pritchard £8

Thursday 22nd March
10.30am – 4pm
Abstraction Day with Clare Wassermann
£35

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“Crow” Clare Wassermann Oil on paper

I do hope to see you at one or more of these lovely days.


Upcoming Exhibitions

I currently have some work up at The Lighthouse in an exhibition alongside other local artists so if you are off to the cinema please do have a look in the gallery downstairs.

In 2018 I have a solo exhibition at The Museum of Cannock Chase Gallery from April 28th – June 17th

It’s free to come and there is a lovely museum to take a look around plus a cafe and wonderful walks on the Heathlands on this part of Cannock Chase adjascent.


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“Forest Bathing” Clare Wassermann – acrylic on canvas

Exhibitions Coming Up

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This weekend (October 14th and 15th) is the second Wolverhampton Open Studios event – it’ll be a lovely way to visit artists in their homes and studios. I am taking part between 10am and 2pm each day.

Here is the link to the website – you can see everything that is happening here – I am exhibiting in my studio and at Boundary Way Allotment Project which is open from 1-5pm both days.

www.wolverhamptonopenstudios.co.uk

and here is a link to Boundary Way: https://boundarywayproject.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/a-sense-of-place-art-exhibition.html

What’s On from now until Christmas

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What’s On – Clare Wassermann’s Studio – Room 103, Gallery Building, Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton

Thursday September 28th

Sound Bath with Liz Pritchard – a beautiful way to relax and immerse yourself in singing bowls, crystal bowls and gongs. 8 – 9.15pm early booking essential – very popular!

£8

Saturday September 30th

“Painting With Fibres” – Autumn Offerings in felt with Kanj Nicholas11am-4pm all materials included (SOLD OUT)

£55

Sunday October 1st

Sketchbook Club. Come and enjoy tea/coffee and make work in your sketchbook with a group of like-minded people. Untaught / bring your own materials / have fun 11.15-1.15

£5

Friday October 6th

Medgel-‘Portrait of a Witch’ is a collaborative piece between visual artist Anne Marie Lagram and storyteller which will entice an audience to become involved in exploring the landscape and components that make someone be identified as a witch. Pagan festival downstairs on Saturday

FREE – but please let us know you are coming

Saturday October 14th – Sunday October 15th OPEN STUDIOS

In association with Wolverhampton Society of Artists 11 – 2.30pm

FREE

Thursday 12th October

Sound Bath with Liz Pritchard – a beautiful way to relax and immerse yourself in singing bowls, crystal bowls and gongs. 8 – 9.15pm early booking essential – very popular!

£8

Wednesday October 18th

“Sacred Earth”  Gentle movement to inspire painting on the theme of Harvest and Abundance – with Sarah Vernon and Clare Wassermann  – no experience necessary

£35

Sunday November 5th

Sketchbook Club. Come and enjoy tea/coffee and make work in your sketchbook with a group of like-minded people. Untaught / bring your own materials / have fun 11.15-1.15

£5

Thursday 9th November

Sound Bath with Liz Pritchard – a beautiful way to relax and immerse yourself in singing bowls, crystal bowls and gongs. 8 – 9.15pm early booking essential – very popular!

£8

Saturday 12th November

Keith Hackwood – psychotherapist and Mindfulness trainer “Mindfulness For Self-Compassion”  explore  ways of applying mindfulness to caring for ourselves

£25

Thursday 16th November

Oil Painting with Wayne Attwood Vice President RBSA 10.30am – 4pm

£25 or £30 using our materials

Friday 17th November

Batik on Rice Paper Workshop with Jacky Fellows – materials provided except please bring watercolours and brushes. 10am – 4pm

£25

Saturday 18th November

Textile Workshop with Clare Wassermann in Association with Wolverhampton Society of Artisits

£25

Saturday 25th November

Felting with Kanj Nicholas – Painting With Fibres – wet felting to produce a piece celebrating Winter

£55 inc all materials

Saturday 2nd December

Needle felting with Kanj Nicholas – a Christmas Theme

£35 inc all materials

Sunday December 3rd

Art making as a response to stories told by International Storyteller Ana Lines – Clare Wassermann leads the art making. Theme “Winter” – no experience necessary. Age 15+     10.30am – 4pm

£30

Thursday December 7th

Sound Bath with Liz Pritchard – a beautiful way to relax and immerse yourself in singing bowls, crystal bowls and gongs. 8 – 9.15pm early booking essential – very popular!

£8


Please book via Clare www.clare.wassermann@gmail.com

Open Studios coming soon

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Today I have been at the framers working on some lovely floating frames for some very small works. I wanted to have some affordable art pieces for my Open Studios coming up on October 14th and 15th. 

This will be part of many Open Studios throughout Wolverhampton that weekend. More details to follow soon. 

Here’s what are being framed as we speak:

Shropshire Hare – 7″x5″ acrylic on canvas

The Deer Who Came To Dinner – 7″ x 5″ acrylic on canvas

Moonlight Becomes You – 7″x5″ acrylic on canvas

Challenge Yourself

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We’ve had some wonderful art making this summer … a small group here and a few “outsiders” have worked away at a month of a landscape a day and then a collage a day for another month.

So ….. what’s next? Who’s joining in with “A Sense of Place”? The idea is to produce a little piece of art a day along the theme. It’s a broad title and a sense of place can be anything it means to you.

Ideas:

Where you are now

Something from your history

Your ancestors

Your homeland

A story setting

Landscapes you love

Ideas of places you’d love to go

Your community

An imaginary landscape

Places you have visited that day

Holiday destinations

Around your home and garden

Your town

Your country

The World (!) zzz ….

I could go on.

Let us know what your thoughts are as you produce each piece. Please post on Instagram or Facebook

and anywhere else on social media you want to and please tag #asenseofplace17

That way we can search the tag and see what we are up to.

This begins on September 6th and the aim is to produce one a day but it doesn’t matter if it’s less frequent. Who’s up for it?

Challenges give rise to Growth

My Instagram is clare_wassermann_art