9 Comments

SoundEagle in John Clinock’s Art Rat Cafe


SoundEagle in Art Studio

cropped-dsc04054_21John Clinock’s art is abstractly suggestive and tentatively provocative, cleverly interweaving colours, textures and densities to produce varied contrasts, zonal contours, layered tapestries, as well as nuanced interplays between clarity and ambiguity.

Brave and Bravo at once!

A short critique by Click here to contact SoundEagleSoundEagle on 29 November 2012
Upon some pondering, SoundEagle has composed the following statements to conclude about painting:

The canvas is an inexhaustible two-dimensional field capable of containing multidimensional ideas borne of a potent mind and latent psyche; of delving into the recesses of dreams and realities to capture the figurative or the symbolic; of establishing new scaffolds or old frameworks; of experimenting with geometry and symmetry; of being adept in rendering proportion and dimension; of pushing the kaleidoscopic boundaries of colour and tone, light and shade, intensity and saturation; of controlling strokes, potentiating gestures and focusing perspectives; of diffusing intentions and observing unintentions; of adapting, manipulating, perceiving or visualising certain ways, shapes and forms on a flat surface; of intensifying possibilities, concentrating impossibilities and contemplating implausibilities; of imagining, arranging, projecting, intersecting, juxtaposing and intermingling subjects and ideas by themes, regions and subtleties; and of the coming together of acrylic and Letraset, plaster and cardboard, photocopies and magazines, pen and paper, paints and pigments, ink and wax, as well as fabric and found objects on cradled panel and frame.

SoundEagle would like to present John Clinock to you on the basis that here is a visual artist whose canvases seem to have encompassed all of the above about painting.

John is a painter who has shunted overt justification and analytical appraisal of his art by and large. Over the years, his emphases have been on cherishing the cumulative benefits of creative agency and professional experience, as well as on harnessing the aesthetic impulse, the prolificacy of representation, and the fecundity of high-level abstraction through introspection, mystery, paradox and magic, in/by/via which a range of effects and results can leap onto his canvases, having been summoned, emancipated or sublimated from his subconscious and intuitions.

John is a retired teacher who has taught art for more than two decades; a lifelong student who is still taking classes in a course at the local art school; and a blogger who has sought to transcend the barriers of age, technology and (sub)culture. His attitude towards learning and life and the admirable way in which he conducts online conversations with SoundEagle and others are evident and consistent across different subject matters, including those taking place beyond his own blog and unrelated to his art, as the following list of three posts convincingly demonstrate:

  1. Why Blog 3 comments from John Clinock
  2. End-of-Year Greetings from SoundEagle in Readiness for the Festive Season and Faster Website 1 comment from John Clinock
  3. If My Name Were Moon Tonight… 1 comment from John Clinock

SoundEagle had been very fortunate to be having the following “interviews” and discussions with John Clinock over two days in late November 2012. The discussions comprise three parts: the first concerns a single drawing entitled “Full Moon”; the second deals with a collection of drawings where an evolution in, or a succession of, styles and techniques can be identified; and the third concentrates on a series of mixed-media paintings.

Notes and Treats

All of the following discussions are presented verbatim, word for word, over which SoundEagle has added extensive presentational formats, images and two galleries with hover-over captions, plus Richard Dehmel’s poem “Transfigured Night” and Arnold Schoenberg’s music of the same title on YouTube and Vimeo.

To see the caption of an image in either gallery, hover the cursor over the image.

Click any image in either gallery to enter the full-size carousel view to browse, comment on, reblog and/or like image(s).

Full Moon. 18″ x 24″. Pastel and Conte on paper. 2012. (Drwg #34)
  1. Hi John,

    Your painting entitled “Full Moon” reminds me of Arnold Schoenberg’s sumptuously romantic and sensuous musical composition called “Transfigured Night”, composed in 1899. The string sextet “was inspired by Richard Dehmel’s poem of the same name, along with Schoenberg’s strong feelings upon meeting Mathilde von Zemlinsky, the sister of his teacher Alexander von Zemlinsky, whom he would later marry. . . . Dehmel’s poem describes a man and a woman walking through a dark forest on a moonlit night, wherein the woman shares a dark secret with her new lover: she bears the child of another man. The stages of Dehmel’s poem are reflected throughout the composition, beginning with the sadness of the woman’s confession, a neutral interlude wherein the man reflects upon the confession, and a finale which reflects the man’s bright acceptance (and forgiveness) of the woman . . . .”, quoting Wikipedia.

    It is quite clear that we are all lovers of the moon here. Please kindly allow me the honour to have my own moon-inspired poem read and commented by you at http://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/if-my-name-were-moon-tonight/.

    Thank you in anticipation.

Transfigured Night
Richard Dehmel
Two people walk through a bare, cold grove;
The moon races along with them, they look into it.
The moon races over tall oaks,
No cloud obscures the light from the sky,
Into which the black points of the boughs reach.
A woman’s voice speaks:

I’m carrying a child, and not yours,
I walk in sin beside you.
I have committed a great offense against myself.
I no longer believed I could be happy
And yet I had a strong yearning
For something to fill my life, for the joys of Motherhood
And for duty; so I committed an effrontery,
So, shuddering, I allowed my sex
To be embraced by a strange man,
And, on top of that, I blessed myself for it.
Now life has taken its revenge:
Now I have met you, oh, you.

She walks with a clumsy gait,
She looks up; the moon is racing along.
Her dark gaze is drowned in light.
A man’s voice speaks:

May the child you conceived
Be no burden to your soul;
Just see how brightly the universe is gleaming!
There’s a glow around everything;
You are floating with me on a cold ocean,
But a special warmth flickers
From you into me, from me into you.
It will transfigure the strange man’s child.
You will bear the child for me, as if it were mine;
You have brought the glow into me,
You have made me like a child myself.

He grasps her around her ample hips.
Their breath kisses in the breeze.
Two people walk through the lofty, bright night.

Verklärte Nacht (originally in German)

Zwei Menschen gehn durch kahlen, kalten Hain;
der Mond läuft mit, sie schaun hinein.
Der Mond läuft über hohe Eichen,
kein Wölkchen trübt das Himmelslicht,
in das die schwarzen Zacken reichen.
Die Stimme eines Weibes spricht:

Ich trag ein Kind, und nit von dir,
ich geh in Sünde neben dir.
Ich hab mich schwer an mir vergangen;
ich glaubte nicht mehr an ein Glück
und hatte doch ein schwer Verlangen
nach Lebensfrucht, nach Mutterglück
und Pflicht – da hab ich mich erfrecht,
da ließ ich schaudernd mein Geschlecht
von einem fremden Mann umfangen
und hab mich noch dafür gesegnet.
Nun hat das Leben sich gerächt,
nun bin ich dir, o dir begegnet.

Sie geht mit ungelenkem Schritt,
sie schaut empor, der Mond läuft mit;
ihr dunkler Blick ertrinkt in Licht.
Die Stimme eines Mannes spricht:

Das Kind, das du empfangen hast,
sei deiner Seele keine Last,
o sieh, wie klar das Weltall schimmert!
Es ist ein Glanz um Alles her,
du treibst mit mir auf kaltem Meer,
doch eine eigne Wärme flimmert
von dir in mich, von mir in dich;
die wird das fremde Kind verklären,
du wirst es mir, von mir gebären,
du hast den Glanz in mich gebracht,
du hast mich selbst zum Kind gemacht.

Er fasst sie um die starken Hüften,
ihr Atem mischt sich in den Lüften,
zwei Menschen gehn durch hohe, helle Nacht.

  1. There seem to be three categories within this gallery of drawings showing substantive evolutionary changes in techniques as well as ideas:

    The first eight drawings in the top two rows are obviously more geometric and remind me of not just kaleidoscopic mandalas (as I first thought without noticing the captions in the first place) but also totemic patterns and spirographs. The other two categories are represented by two related sets of very inventive pseudo-portraitures and complex ensemble designs.

    SoundEagle looks forward to more additions to this gallery.

  1. Mixed media is a domain or style of visual art that SoundEagle especially likes.

    John, I have three questions:

    What materials do you used for mixed media?

    Do you find that some or all of your mixed media works tend to be more prone to deterioration and/or discolouration than more traditional media do, given that the former involves many different materials to begin with?

    If your answer were affirmative, could you have used much more durable materials to begin with, assuming that they were available and not too expensive?

    • John, I do realise that the first question has been partially answered by the captions of the images above. I am after a more unifying or consolidating explanation rather than that which is applied or pertaining to individual or particular paintings.

      • Sorry, I don’t understand your question…

      • In other words, and without being exhaustive or limited by my brief clarification here, my question is one that asks how an artist or painter (in this case, you) decided to adopt certain (kind(s) or class(es)of) materials over other (set(s) of) alternatives in certain project(s) over certain period(s).

        Part of your answer to my first question could be explaining why you chose certain materials over others, and whether the decisions had any bearings on or relations to techniques, canvases, timings, availabilities, durabilities, philosophies, aesthetics, ethos, traditions, school of thoughts, theories, modalities, personalities and so on.

      • SE – I’m sorry – I can’t resolve your questions – they are all left brain and I work almost entirely by intuition and process. I would love to be able to explain my creative process with an intellectual spin but it’s not within my realm of reality. I have basic materials that I buy to accomplish what I envision. If a material is missing I improvise. Influences on my art are legion. I spent two years in art school, four years in university, twenty two years teaching art and am now completing a two year course at the local art school in Vancouver. I have studied art history and contemporary street art. All of this feeds into what I do. If you have ever immersed yourself in the act of art you will understand how it evades words. There is a well spring inherent in my being that flows through me and will not be denied. I sit at my canvas or drawing board and empty myself. The images emerge and I channel them onto a surface. I engage in a conversation with whatever becomes manifest on the surface. It’s like making a new friend. I am not judgmental and nor do I self critique – I accept and honour what appears. I hope that this covers some of what you are asking – thank you for your interest…

      • I am grateful to you, John, for taking the time and care to provide this candid and solid revelation here of your artistic life and vision. There is no denying that art and its proponents, approaches and subject matters can often be very subjective and not always amenable to tangible comprehension through words alone. And sometimes, artistic works are almost entirely left to the mind or eye of the beholder to make sense of them, as much as inspirations, motivations and creative processes can defy clarification or justification.

        It would be amiss of me to demand or expect from you any particular kind of answer, which is, and should be, free to take any form.

        Thank you very much for sharing with us so many works that speak from and touch your heart (and mind). I, for one, am bathed in your aura, however tenuously or vicariously through the vivid colours and gestures on your canvases.

      • Thank you for your inspiring words and for exploring my posts in such depth – greatly appreciated SE…

      • You are most welcome, John. Your dedications to art and your long service to teaching, as well as your understanding of, and devotion to, certain art forms and genres across the social divisions of class and culture, are all very admirable to SoundEagle, who used to have some brief involvements at the School of English, Media Study and Art History of a university in the distant past. I would like to have your blessings as I intend to dedicate one of my December posts to you.

        By the way, since you are not one of SoundEagle’s followers (yet), I would like to inform you that I have just published a new post at http://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/end-of-year-greetings-from-soundeagle-in-readiness-for-the-festive-season-and-faster-website/.

        Thank you.

      • SE. Thank you again and of course you have my blessings – I am honoured by your intention. Have no doubt that I will be a follower of your site, however; right now I am trying to catch-up on a vast backlog of communicating with my present followers and others. I will now follow the link you sent – warmest wishes, John

    • SE -1. the materials used are mentioned in the text for each piece. 2. I haven’t yet noticed deterioration or discolouring in any of these works. 3. I imagine that, in years to come, some changes may occur in some of these pieces, however; this is not a priority for me at this time. I finish each work with either cold wax or acrylic sprays so probably they will outlast me!…

cropped-dsc035432

9 comments on “SoundEagle in John Clinock’s Art Rat Cafe

  1. SE. I am completely blown away and honoured by the caring time you have taken to share my art, my comments and your words that explore what I do. You have reflected so clearly my creative process and I am flattered by this whole post that you have so generously dedicated to me. I send you my thanks and sincere appreciation.

    Like

    • Hi John, SoundEagle is delighted that you find this latest art review of your oeuvres satisfactory.

      As a suggestion or an afterthought, please consider sharing this favourable review with your readers by reblogging this post on your blog, as it would be rather advantageous and timely in the new year to inject a “third-party” post narrated from a third-person’s viewpoint, and thus imparting some highly independent perspectives on the contents of your blog, especially given that in preparing this review, SoundEagle has/had been neither influenced by the views and opinions of other people and the media, nor prompted/motivated by any financial reward and/or contractual obligation.

      Like

  2. Finally I found a way to listen to the Schoenberg-piece you posted – as you requested, SoundEagle.

    In fact I am still listening to it while writing this comment.
    My partner – who studied music – tells me that Mr. Schoenberg was quite inventive in the realms of classical music and this is a rather early piece by him.
    I like the musical adaption of the poem and how Schoenberg is taking the listener on an emotional journey through the story it tells.
    As for Herbert von Karajan as conductor I have to admit – with all respect – that his approach is not really my cup of tea (quite generally and not just regarding this piece) as I always seem to miss some quality of heart and warmth and somewhat clarity (in lack of more accurate terms). But that may be, like so many things, merely a matter of personal taste.

    Thank you for sharing. :)

    Like

  3. In addition to the issues of personal taste and subjectivity, there are those of conducting, recording, instrumentation, media format and availability as follows:

    I agree that Herbert von Karajan, the top-selling classical conductor, is not universally admired for his approach to music recording (and conducting). According to the American critic, Harvey Sachs:

    Karajan seemed to have opted instead for an all-purpose, highly refined, lacquered, calculatedly voluptuous sound that could be applied, with the stylistic modifications he deemed appropriate, to Bach and Puccini, Mozart and Mahler, Beethoven and Wagner, Schumann and Stravinsky… many of his performances had a prefabricated, artificial quality that those of Toscanini, Furtwängler, and others never had… most of Karajan’s records are exaggeratedly polished, a sort of sonic counterpart to the films and photographs of Leni Riefenstahl.

    Perhaps German conductors such as Wilhelm Furtwängler (1886–1954), Rudolf Kempe (1910–1976), Otto Klemperer (1885–1973), Leo Blech (1871–1958), Fritz Busch (1890–1951), Erich Kleiber (1890–1956), Hans Knappertsbusch (1888–1965), William Steinberg (1899–1978), Franz Waxman (1906–1967) and other notable ones could have done a better job in general and in specific recordings, though it is unlikely that all of them had conducted and recorded Schoenberg’s “Verklärte Nacht”, much less being available on YouTube or Vimeo and enhanced by visual elements.

    I suppose that other factors to consider may also include one’s preference of the sextet versus the string orchestra, as well as the recording process and technology. Some people like the intimacy and purity of chamber music whilst others the lushness and sonority of orchestral music.

    Thank you very much, Stefanie, for commenting here with such care and sincerity, and for taking the trouble to find a way to listen to the music in spite of the fact that GEMA has blocked or censored certain online materials in your country for some reason(s).

    Like

  4. Thank you for this thoughtful and well researched reply, SoundEagle.

    I am by far no expert in terms of classical music, nor am I familiar with the names and work of all German conductors (much to learn for me from your response). So I do only speak from what I feel and notice when I listen (and Mr Karajan’s work happend to cross my way quite firmly for a while).

    Herbert von Karajan – I assume – may have had his own reasons why he conducted like he did – just like other conductors have (had) their’s.
    And so it may be that some people prefer his work because they can relate more to his approach while other people (like me) resonate more with other aspects which might be more present with different conductors.

    The considerations you named above (recording, instrumentation, media format and availability) are surely some to keep in mind. Actually I have been wondering about the availability of other recordings.
    Besides some may like a special orchestra or assemble of musicians during a special period – and those may happen to have worked mainly with one conductor during that time. – And the instrumental part of the version posted by you, here, is (as far as I perceive it) awesome and extremely well done.

    The “trouble” to find a way to watch the video was worthwhile, by the way, as the solution I found is one that generally seems to work for YouTube (and I assume that Matthias – wo knows English himself – has also seen your comment with the “Thanks” aimed at him, by now.) :)

    Much love!

    Like

  5. Hey! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m
    definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

    Like

  6. Well done SoundEagle. I see…that you have realized John is a man to be admired. He walks the talk. I particularly enjoyed the interview…and learned more about John and his artistic process…which is obviously very instinctive…comes from the heart and mind…just confirmed what I suspected. I couldn’t use all the features you employed as my computer is limited…but it was very well done SE! I will be back to look around your site as there is much to explore!

    Like

    • Hi Tincup, happy springtime to you! How have you been recently? Absence makes the heart grows fonder and you don’t have to prove the point anymore. Besides, SoundEagle has been pining for your visit for nearly two months since you stated in one of your comments that you “will be back to look around [my] site as there is much to explore!”

      Like

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