Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Art is taking the chaos of life and imposing order on it

In high school I had a wonderful-nay, beautiful AP English teacher.  How I write today is a manifestation of my personality and her technique (and all the good parts I attribute to her technique).  Religiously, almost daily, she would remind us as a class that "art is taking the chaos of life and imposing order on it."  Never in my entire life will I forget that saying, I don't think it possible if I put forth my greatest efforts.  It's permanence within the depths of my skull are not entirely due to the pounding repetition of the phrase, but also because I have not encountered such a combination of words that resonates such a truth about the world until hearing this one.  We as humans don't have many orderly things.  Sure, we take a stab at democracy and religion and running corporations, but those don't always work out; nothing ever does certainly.   Art on the other hand, art is honest and truthful and therefore orderly.  What better way to explain and interpret the world than taking something from within yourself to offer up to the rest of humankind.  If more people participated in some art form and presented it, I bet we wouldn't feel so alone as a race.

The world being so large, and me being so wee, I haven't seen as much art as I would like, but I'm hungry for more.  I've been fortunate enough to have gazed upon a handful of gorgeous art museums in Paris.  Thankfully, the Getty is within my grasp as well; I'm there quite often.  And besides that, every time I enter a new city my goal is to find the nearest and best (based on my taste and opinion) art galleries and exhibits.

Currently, my favorite artist is Mick Lestrade.  I stumbled upon this creative genius at the weekly display of art among the beach at the lovely Santa Barbara. The first glimpse of Mick's work had my eyes begging for more.  So I find myself in Santa Barbara whenever feasible just to flip through his beautiful interpretations of this world.
My darling boyfriend of mine purchased me one of Mick's paintings for my last birthday.  I wake up every morning just titillated at the sight of it.  As you can see, one of Mick's techniques is to simpley thrust paint splatters among a canvas and then he finds the picture from the splatter...GENIUS! I adore the man (the most charming little French man you'll ever meet) and all of his work.

Now, in the past I haven't been a large fan of exposing my paintings to the general public, for the plain reason of I felt it too exposing.  My paintings are the chaos of my life and my attempt to impose order, so I thought the process of sharing to be all too revealing.  But then in Meisner class last week I had a revelation (hard to believe, I know).  Markus was talking about how the point of art is to share, to help other people learn and to grow (hence my statement made concerning the world being a better place if more art were to be swapped around) and that it was even selfish to keep one's art to himself.  So here I go Markus! These are a few of my paintings...
This one is an ode to Mick.  He has a similar one, but instead with a caucasian person holding an ice-cream cone (mine is cotton candy).

Kelsey Jean


Tuesday, October 26, 2010


First off I apologize for my lack of blogging.  Being back in the strange and mysterious land of Thousand Oaks has taken a wee more time adjusting, to get back into the swing of things, than I anticipated.  But I digress, and here I appear once again.

As a student and enthusiastic learner in general, I absolutely adore most all of my classes this semester-with the exception of Geology of course, what would an aspiring journalist/actor need that for?  One class in particular that is having an immense impact on me is Meisner.  Ironically, the class that has had the most impact is worth the least amount of credits (none at all).  But that right there shows just how appealing this experience is.  Every Friday for three hours about 20 or so actors congregate to listen and learn and awe at everything our professor, Markus Flanagan, has to say.

Markus is such a fascinating human-err, excuse me, God.  Markus knows everything, it even says so on his resume, don't believe me Google him.  Sure, he may have been born with this gift of all-knowing wisdom, but most likely he picked it up from Mr. Meisner himself (Markus' teacher of the technique back in the day).

Meisner deals with the concept of repetition.  Without giving everything away, basically repetition is a process in which two people start out repeating petty words to each other based off of convenient observations.  The point is to match the sound of the person and to explore the word for something never recognized in a single word before. The next step involves diving into the person's soul, exploring them as a person and the meaning behind the words they present to you, all while repeating.  After that, it becomes about listening to every tinge in your partner's voice, picking up on subtle cues about their person...that's about where I'm at.  I don't fully and completely understand the big picture, but that in itself is so thrilling to me.  Every class I feel I experience an epiphany, only to have that epiphany be morphed into something new by the next.

This class, this concept, this way of life, or cult has slowly begun to take over the theatre department at the school I attend.  The 20 or so in the class are obsessed (and rightly so-it's truly fascinating) and the remaining participants in the department, I assume, are sick of hearing about it.  Whenever we can repeat, we do it, no matter campus placement, no matter the people present.

I'm terribly excited for this phenomenon.  I feel extremely fortunate to have stumbled into this technique and I simply cannot wait to learn more, gobble up more Meisner.  I'm in love, I'm obsessed, I'm in a cult.

Until the next unanticipated moment,
Kelsey Jean