October 6, 2010

Invoking the Muse in an Altered State

Howard Finster, one of my favorite artists, was described by a doctor as psychotic.  Howard slept only four hours a night, drank huge quantities of Coca Cola (adding extra sugar to it), chicory coffee and experienced hallucinations where Kennedy, Elvis, Marilyn and others would show up and talk to him.  He was also fueled by his faith.  A Georgia tent preacher, Howard had a vision and felt called by God to paint his sermons.  Whether or not we agree with his world views, he definitely had a muse who propelled him forward to make thousands of works that would influence the folk art world in a profound way.

My muse also feeds on some toxic substances and on my faith.  When I plunge into a project, my hands move on their own, my mind blanks out and I experience a zen feeling which is the closest I can imagine to what the mystics speak about when they reach an altered state of prayer or meditation.  Are we artists all a bit off?  I examine this in a bit more depth in a post on my blog.

Whatever the experience, it must be said that the world would be a much sadder place without our contributions.  Support our TAFA artists by visiting the Etsy shops in our shop catalog above as well as the other artists on TAFA.

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