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  • Writer's pictureJohn Lewis


Updated: Feb 17, 2022

First: Art is the the creative manifestation of a cultural psychology, where the community disgorges its aspirations and anxieties into a useful metaphor. Or… something like that. Second: The role of the artist is to go to the edge, where the campfire glow ends. She is to reach into the dark, confront the fear of ignorance, pluck something useful from this, and bring it back to the light. Light is where the community is centered.

I cannot promise that my image-craft lives up to either lofty notion, and am inclined to shy from such piffle. But in my drawings, one can see the anxiety. She would have to look close, where I utilize small, manic scribbling to build up values and tones. Like matter, at the smallest level, it is an abstraction. It does not represent anything concrete; however… It might invoke thoughts of script, the dream-like writing to an inscrutable language. Language is beautiful, as at the fundamental level, it is tiny blocks that impart only essential and basic meaning. Sound. Utterance. But once the string of variables comes together, one can cast spells of experience; create narrative, tell stories, woo another into romance, offend a nation, talk to the gods, converse in trans-generational prose.

Like language, when one sees my drawings, the scribble disappears into an image as the viewer moves away. I love people: their faces, their bodies. I like architecture: something akin to civilizational clothing. And I like morphed shapes which come from unconscious absentmindedness. I tend to keep to these things. If any particular image I draw vaguely imparts a political or cultural stance, it is generally light, and leans toward irony. Sometimes… I feel like a bemused outsider… able to fit in, but constantly interested and surprised by our ethical and moral pieties. As the saying goes, “If you don’t laugh, you cry.” I find this to be very helpful.

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One last note ... right now, Art ETC, downtown (18th E. Rio Grande St.), is exhibiting local Colorado Springs artists. Please check out all it has to offer, including a couple of my pen-art images.

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