The Artist

I met him at the National Watercolor Society gallery and he was only ten and already making decisions for his chosen lifes path. The young man had the sobriety of focus that Rainer Maria Rilke writes about in his book "Letters to a Young Poet." I painted this portrait of him with a backdrop of magic mushrooms. The symbol since paleolithic cave art of personal creativity and transcendence as The Artist. 

The Artist, received the Jain Malkin Award in the San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibition 2016. Thank you to Juror Mark E. Mehaffey for including my painting with so many other excellent water media paintings. 


 Works of art are of an infinite solitude, and no means of approach is so useless as criticism. Only love can touch and hold them and be fair to them. Always trust yourself and your own feeling, as opposed to argumentation, discussions, or introductions of that sort; if it turns out that you are wrong, then the natural growth of your inner life will eventually guide you to other insights. Allow your judgments their own silent, undisturbed development, which, like all progress, must come from deep within and cannot be forced or hastened. Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this alone is what it means to live as an artist: in understanding as in creating.

Urban Hermit

Urban Hermit, Oil On Canvas, 54x36"122x76cm

The Urban Hermit, watching and waiting in the personal sollitude of a noisy, modern city . He reminds me of Number IX in the Tarot Deck, and Led Zeppelin's song Stairway to Heaven. Is the Urban Hermit still a seeker, aspiring to the light of truth and wisdom or has he been distracted from his journey?

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN LYRIC
There's a lady who's sure
All that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven
When she gets there she knows
If the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for
Ooh ooh ooh ooh and she's buying a stairway to heaven
There's a sign on the wall
But she wants to be sure
'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook
There's a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiving
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it makes me wonder
There's a feeling I get
When I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving
In my thoughts I have seen
Rings of smoke through the trees
And the voices of those who standing looking
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it really makes me wonder
And it's whispered that soon, If we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason
And a new day will dawn
For those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter
If there's a bustle in your hedgerow
Don't be alarmed now
It's just a spring clean for the May queen
Yes, there are two paths you can go by
But in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on
And it makes me wonder
Your head is humming and it won't go
In case you don't know
The piper's calling you to join him
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow
And did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind
And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll
And she's buying the stairway to heaven

Urban Hermit-Babushka


Eve-sHe, oil on canvas, Stephanie GoldmanUrban Hermit-Babushka, Oil on Canvas, 48x30"

There she stood in the crucible of the vegetable market,
fire eyed and proud, saying I AM alive. Immediately, the following poem came into my mind and she was/is immortal.

Do not go gentle into that good night
Dylan Thomas, 1914 - 1953

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.



Though wise Wmen at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.



Good Wmen, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.



Wild Wmen who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.



Grave Wmen, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.



And you, my Mfather, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

https://m.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/do-not-go-gentle-good-night

NATIONAL WATERCOLOR SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL OUTREACH WITH CHINA

Ken & Stephanie's  
NWS Board Report From China

Ken Goldman, NWS President and Stephanie Goldman, NWS Recording Secretary went to Shenzhen China to attend the opening Ceremony of our NWS International China/American Small Image Exchange and the Shenzhen International Watercolour Biennial.

We did not plan to stay longer than 10 days, but everything changed when the president of FEDERATED WATERCOLOR SOCIETIES OF CHINA published an interview with Ken throughout China, showing images from his earlier Chinese Brush Painting period (1980 - 1983 - blog post), plus several images of his current work in a Chinese Watercolor Magazine.
Because of this publicity, six Universities invited Ken to lecture, demonstrate and dialogue with all expensed covered for both of us.

So, on December 3, we flew into Shenzhen and on December 5 attended the opening Ceremony of our NWS International China/American Small Image Exchange and the Shenzhen International Watercolor Biennial.


DECEMBER 3, 2015  - JANUARY 5, 2016

December 3 - 8

Shenzhen International Watercolor Biennial
and
NWS Small Image Exchange Exhibition:

Ken Gave two opening speeches













December 8 - 11
Artists invited to sketch in Shantou City 
and to all paint on a 30 meter scroll












Ken and Stephanie’s section of scroll 
























December 11
We met our new host from the Federated Watercolor Societies of China 
and continued our journey to Fujian province to lecture in Xiamen City.
The Jimei University’s Art Department in 
Xiamen is the entire high-rise on the left










December 12

We attended an art exhibition of University instructors (which included 40 of Ken’s watercolors) and met with leaders of Jimei University and the Fujian Art Society.
Always big Welcome Banners










Ken delivered one of two lectures he’d prepared entitled 
MY 45 YEAR ARTISTIC JOURNEY 
CONDENSED INTO 45 MINUTES.










We toured the Clouds Art High School

















December 13 and 14












Then we traveled to nearby Quanzhou City where Ken gave his second 
lecture on WATERCOLOR AND WATER-MEDIA: THEN AND NOW (the entire history of Watercolor) at the Guanzhou Normal University, 
and was interviewed by a local television station.




















December 15-17

Then it was on to Hubei province in Wuhan City 
where Ken was asked to give both lectures at the Hubei Institute of Fine Art and we were invited to dialogue with artists of the Hubei Watercolour Institute.

 Approximately 300 Students and instructors














December 18-23 

BEIJING












Extracurricular activities












Stephanie and I visited Tsingua University in Beijing where we dialogued with teachers and artists for two days. Here, Ken was included in his third exhibition with instructors.










A Professionally framed pop-up exhibition of Ken’s small works.











Then, at  the Beijing Central Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture, Ken delivered both lectures and gave a painting demonstration.












Always given really warm welcomes











Yikes!
Ken asked to demonstrate Chinese Brush Painting skills from 35 years ago in front of instructors!



























 A Special visit with 
Master Guan Weixing 
our NWS 2005 award winner












BEIJING - Beihai Park: Lovely Mandarin ducks 
(prettier in lake than on the lunch table)  














The home of Mandarin ducks 
with a beautiful smoggy sunset








December 23 - 26 

On to Qingdao:

The University’s setting and 
architecture is very beautiful 









At 3 pm after meeting other art instructors and 
having lunch, Ken delivered both lectures at the 
Qingdao University Library Report Hall.






Xi’an December 26-29
We traveled to Xian to see the incredible sights, sounds and eats of the Silk Road. 













Seeing the Terra-cotta Warriors










A beautiful, intense hike up famous Hua Mountain (way above the smog)















December 30 
We flew to Dunhuang sand dunes to see the Crescent Oasis Buddhist Temple. 






Crescent Spring Buddhist Temple nestled 
in Sand Dunes along the Silk Road










Yardang National Geo-park
Unique rock formations developing over a period of 700,000 years.













Then on the 31st drove to the Mokao 
Grottos where we saw the amazing Buddha caves.  













January 1 
We flew into Shanghai.













January 2 
Shanghai Historical Museum and walked along the riverfront. 










January 3 
We explored the historical markets of Shanghai and had exotic tea.













January 4
We visited Faculty and Directors at Shanghai Normal University










Ken gave his last lecture at Shanghai Normal University.






January 5 
Home sweet Home to America xxoxox!!!!!!!













Wonderful new friends!!!!!!









We would like to thank all of those involved in making this an adventure of a life time. We look forward to seeing our new friends here in America and again in China. ken&steph