Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Dark Guest in a Colorful Way

Meet an artist I feel to be someone great to the art world!

Title: A Touch of Poison

I will be featuring artists when I get the chance to. I want to show off the local artists that are making a dent in the world of art. It's not an easy thing to do. Meet them, learn their stories, see the art, and get in touch with them if you would like to purchase a piece by them.

This is someone I ran into one day...
I saw his card one day. I first noticed the colors and the amazing shapes. Then at a second glance I saw that there was way more to this art. I was amazed and curious. I wanted to know what this was...why it was. Then by some crazy way of the world he moved in next to my grandma. I was lucky enough to get to speak to him face to face. He even allowed me to come into his home and see his other pieces.

I got to see them displayed in his home. I went in and saw his room where he had stacks and rows of colorful markers and pencils. I couldn't help but get excited about this. I have my own room that is full of piles of colors, papers, drawings good and bad. This guy had something going on. I was attracted to the pain in the pictures. the darker story to the bright and cheerful colors. It made sense to me. I did art like this...but he was being brave! He was being a local artist that stood up and wasn't scared to show him self skinless. His heart and mind was open to be studied and he was proud of it. BRAVO!

okay well enough of my is his story and some wonderful photo's of his art!

Jason was nice enough to write a bit about his story :

When I was in grade school I used to trace and copy cartoon pictures from Disney and Warner Bros. In middle school and in high school I was always the odd dorky kid never really knowing what social group to try to connect with and would typically find myself daydreaming. In college when I would try to study from my notes, I would find a few important words in the myst of several sketches. Needless to say I would have to refer back to the textbook. 
 After I graduated from college with a BA in psychology I wanted to go back to school and become a therapist.  I had a few jobs in which I worked with abused children as a counselor and never quite made it back to school.  I did finally find a steady job as a caseworker for disabled children. Over the years and through my experiences I have found that I needed an outlet to relieve some of my stress and found myself drawing again. This time I started drawing images from my own mind. Things that make sense to me.  As an artist, you take risks that open yourself up to being judged, criticized and ridiculed. I have been asked questions like “do I do drugs” for inspiration or have heard comments like “ what the hell goes on in your mind”.
 My simplest answer is that no I don’t do drugs and I don’t know what the hell goes on in my mind. I put the pencil down and just create. I never know what the picture looks like before it gets done. Typically I do not have a clear objective or statement that I am trying to make. I think it is more important to me to convey an idea or narrative. I want the viewer to stop, look and contemplate. If I can do that, than I feel like I have done my job as an artist. 

Title: Pain (sharp and dull)

Title: Parasite

In the last 6-7 years I have shown my artwork in Redlands, Ontario, Riverside and Pomona. I have been in group shows and solo shows. I have been lucky enough to have had a few articles in the paper, recently being shown in the Highlander (UCR paper) and the press enterprise. I have sold pieces ranging from $30.00 to $1,000.00.
Myspace account
Email account

Title: Instinct

Thanks for taking a look at someone I feel is doing something new and impressive in the world of art. It's not easy to show your mind and pain.
Please let me know if you know an artist you would like to have me feature.
e-mail me subject:  featured artists

If you would like to know more about what makes Jason tick and what he plans to do with his life please read on.

     I have always had an interest in art, but have only recently discovered the impact that art can have on people. It is astonishing to see how artistic application can be used to create positive change in people’s lives.  My experiences with art, combined with a comprehensive understanding of the field of Psychology, have, in my own life, proven that artistic expression can be both emotionally soothing, as well as an effective therapeutic intervention.  The constructive advantages that I have encountered with art have created a personal desire to impart these same positive benefits to others.  Pursuing a Masters of Arts in Psychology (Art Therapy), would allow me to gain a comprehensive understanding of how to effectively work with clients in overcoming personal challenges through artistic expression.
       It seems that I have long been in search of a catalyst for personal expression; an outlet through which I could communicate my own voice and creative vision. As I began to draw at a young age, I found that outlet.  I had an immediate connection with art, as a tool, with which I could convey thoughts and feelings that would otherwise be difficult to articulate.  The expression of my own personal thoughts and feelings seemed to allow me to become more self-aware, and gain a deeper understanding of my personal aspirations.  

   As time passed, I became more aware of my personal identity, not only through art, but through various educational and professional experiences.  During my high school career, I worked as a peer counselor.  I seemed to have an innate desire to assist others during times of crisis.  Through this experience, I had a personal awakening.  I had found that not only was I helping others, I was developing a more adaptive maturity by gaining an awareness of my own identity.  As I became more self-aware, I found that I not only wanted to express myself; I had an internal need to do so.  To attain a more comprehensive understanding of how art and therapeutic interventions could positively impact my life, and the lives of others, I began to enroll in high school art and psychology classes.  It was then that I began to truly appreciate the complexities of the mind, and how thoughts and behaviors could be influenced.    

    After graduating from high school, I decided to continue the study of the complexities of the mind by focusing my higher education on the study of psychology, along with a complementary venture into the study of art. The field of psychology, as a course of study and a college major, seemed to offer many opportunities for self-growth and extensive job opportunities. However, I still had a desire to learn about art.  Some of my course electives included Drawing, Art History and Creative Writing.  These courses led me to become aware of the significant role that art can have in personal growth, and in society as a whole.  

     Throughout my university education, I was able to apply the theoretical concepts I was learning in the classroom to the clients I interacted with professionally.  I worked in a group home for abused children who presented serious behavioral challenges.  I got to see how some of the teenagers that I worked with were beginning to show signs of personal struggle, as they seemed to lack a way to express themselves.  This lack of ability to communicate typically revealed itself through fighting, suicidal ideation and, at times, lewd conduct and rape. Almost daily they were being told how to act, how to feel and how to treat themselves and others, but rarely given an alternative to express themselves. On occasion I would try to encourage them to write down their feelings or just sit down and draw. The intention was to create a diversion away from a potential crisis that was certain to happen with bottled up emotions and feelings. Little did I know, I was providing a therapeutic tool to help them resolve conflict, and also giving them a personal tool that they could then use later in life. 

      After graduation, I gained employment in a position that allowed me to further connect with those who may have difficulties expressing their thoughts and emotions.  I embarked on a journey in professional case management that continues today.  For the past 15 years, I have been employed as a case manager for children with developmental delays.  Over the years, I have worked with nearly an entire generation of children, and have been witness to what has been referred to as an “Epidemic of Autism”.   There has been a sharp increase in the rate of children diagnosed with Autism over the past few years.   These children, who have been diagnosed with autism, often have a very limited ability to communicate verbally with the world around them.  So, it is common to see the frustration these children experience, most likely because they lack the ability to communicate.  Quite often, these frustrations seem to lead to emotional outbursts and aggression.  And as I observe these children during episodes of frustration, I remember what it was like to have something to say to the world, and yet lack the tools I needed to do so.  It would seem that I have seen a pattern with an inability to communicating with the world. It would seem that people from all aspects need a “voice”, for some that voice will be through Art.

     I would like to get my Masters of Arts in Psychology (Art Therapy) so that I may be able to assist those who are unable to communicate effectively.  Whether the challenges in communication are due to physical or mental limitations, I would like to assist others to convey their feelings and emotions.  Over the years, I have seen that having a “voice” with which to communicate, whether through words, art or another mechanism, has a profound effect on people and their loved ones.  I would like to gain the skills necessary that would allow me to effectively impart these valuable skills to others by pursuing a Masters degree.

Thanks again for your time.
I hope you enjoyed this story and the wonderful pieces of art that he so sweetly shared with us.
Keep Checking Back!
I am waiting on another artist to give me the OK! I have a few more dark artists in my mind to share with you.

Holla Watson

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