4 paragraphs of good advice... or not

Outsider art and primitive art share a common trait, they are made with limited resources. These limits may be raw materials, knowledge, or adverse conditions. In spite of these obstacles, these works of art have a spontaneous energy and immediate appeal. The intellectual lurks inside the emotional. 

As artists we strive to improve. We practice our craft. We critique and develop our pieces. But skill is not enough. There needs to be an element of the unknown, the leap of faith where art transcends the artist. Creative people try many ways to get to this liminal state where creativity thrives; isolation, meditation, exploring nature, drugs and alcohol. To some degree, they all work, but each has it's drawbacks. 

Now consider the limitations of primitive art, the artist must create despite the lack of some element. You can do this in your own work, just try to make something without your regular tools. For a musician, try to play or write a song on an instrument you don't know. For an artist, try using some inappropriate medium. For a writer try limiting your vocabulary in some way. 

Lately, I have been using a pocket-size drum machine and a 4/6 channel mini-mixer. I can put guitar, bass and vocals through the mixer and recording on a guitar looper pedal. This means I can overdub but I can't edit tracks... Once it's on there, it's there for good. I end up making endless versions of the song which causes me to rethink almost everything. The end results sound primitive but listenable. When I get into a real studio with these tunes, I will have a good idea what to do.

1 comment

  • Fae Marie Beck
    Fae Marie Beck Toledo WA
    Dear Brook, I'm using this platform to contact you. The email address I had for you doesn't work I've been listening to your CDs with much pleasure. Once again, I find your work inspired! Such talent you have. I hope you are doing well in these troubled times. We are safe and healthy and feel extremely fortunate to be living here where isolation is easy and nature is close at hand. Doug has been watching a red tailed hawks nest. He is convinced that eggs are in the nest and that they will hatch soon. The nest is in a very tall cottonwood tree. When he first spotted it, it was easy to watch two adult hawks flying to and from it. Now the leaves of the tree almost completely obscure his view. I=E2=80=99ve been having fun in my studio. Our neighbor from the log cabin comes and paints while I work in clay. I'm so lucky to have her companionship and our exchanges regarding art spur me on. Our daughter Ann and her husband, Tom, come up from Portland every weekend and help us with cooking and various improvement projects. Ann also spends Mon - thru Wed with us, working in the garden, and on the tree farm. What a blessing! Give my regards to Sandy. I enjoy her FB posts. You are eating well! Sincerely, Fae Marie

    Dear Brook,

    I'm using this platform to contact you. The email address I had for you doesn't work

    I've been listening to your CDs with much pleasure.
    Once again, I find your work inspired! Such talent you have.

    I hope you are doing well in these troubled times. We are safe and
    healthy and feel extremely fortunate to be living here where isolation
    is easy and nature is close at hand. Doug has been watching a red
    tailed hawks nest. He is convinced that eggs are in the nest and that
    they will hatch soon. The nest is in a very tall cottonwood tree. When
    he first spotted it, it was easy to watch two adult hawks flying to and
    from it. Now the leaves of the tree almost completely obscure his view.
    I=E2=80=99ve been having fun in my studio. Our neighbor from the log
    cabin comes and paints while I work in clay. I'm so lucky to
    have her companionship and our exchanges regarding art spur me on.

    Our daughter Ann and her husband, Tom, come up from Portland every
    weekend and help us with cooking and various improvement projects. Ann
    also spends Mon - thru Wed with us, working in the garden, and on the
    tree farm. What a blessing!

    Give my regards to Sandy. I enjoy her FB posts. You are eating well!

    Sincerely,

    Fae Marie

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