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VIEWLIST: Bulletin Board: Inspiration Information, Conceived by Karen Schifano, 2009

The word “inspire” (originally meaning “to infuse with breath”) is a verb, but can also transform itself into a noun or adjective. It’s very active, and yet also implies being receptive, even demands openness, a readiness to receive, and a sharpening of perception and awareness. From one thing, there is a direct connection to another thing, a kind of touch that is nurturing, rich and full of promise. Potential becomes realization; we wake up rejuvenated, re-energized, and ready for action.
This group of inspirational flotsam and jetsam from our homes and studios is incredibly varied, running the gamut from a poetic quote to the restoration of a house, from the image of a computer desktop to strips of colored tape on a wall. In some instances, there’s a surprising leap from the image seen here to the finished work, in others there is a clear and recognizable relationship. I hope that as you are intrigued by an image, you will click on it to reveal the caption or thoughts of the artist, and then go to the individual websites linked to each name. Through a dialogue about how the mysterious process of getting from A to B or even Z unfolds for each of us, new avenues of search can open up, and we can be re-inspired by this “Inspiration Information*”.
* by Shuggie Otis
Participating Artists (left to right, row by row):
Stephen Maine | Richard Bottwin | Paul Corio | Joanne Mattera
Kevin Finklea | Billy Gruner & Sarah Keighery | Linda Arts | Erik Saxon
Henry Brown | Rory MacArthur | Melanie Crader | Matthew Deleget
Daniel Argyle | Li-Trincere | Chris Ashley | Linda Francis
Sylan Lionni | Shinsuke Aso | Douglas Melini | Brent Hallard
Lynne Harlow | Guido Winkler | Michael Zahn | Karen Schifano
Lynne Eastaway | Daniel Göttin | Simon Ingram | Daniel Feingold
VIEWLIST is our online project space where we invite artists and others to curate a visual essay of images. VIEWLIST exhibitions are experimental and usually thematic, and can include art works spanning various time periods, movements, and geographic locations. Exhibitions may also include ideas and images from disciplines outside of the visual arts. With VIEWLIST, we’ve created a venue that focuses exclusively on ideas, a kind of idealized curatorial space, where exhibition budgets, loans and acquisitions of art works, timelines, and all other logistics are set aside.
Stephen Maine: "In my studio, I rarely pin up things that weren't made there. But when I drift or sag I sometimes refer to the writings of artists for a shot of adrenaline. They remind me that writing is a useful means to formulate (not just express) thoughts, theses, theories, positions: direction.  This is a photo of part of the bookcase where I keep books written by artists."

Richard Bottwin: "Next To My Studio Door: Homage to Picasso assembled from Dumbo street "objects"; Image of CD slipcase that came up when I googled “Rodchenko”; 3 assorted talismans given by fellow artists; A thermometer so that I have an objective understanding of exactly how hot and uncomfortable my studio is during the summer."

Paul Corio

Joanne Mattera: "The attached jpeg shows a bad printout tacked to my studio wall. It's the most inspirational image in my studio. Shot at an angle, it was meant to show an installation wall of small Silk Road paintings, an ongoing series of little color fields with an almost textile-like grid. Instead, as a flawed print, the image has instead provided me with a raft of ideas. See the striations where the color was running out? They suggested scrims of color, which prompted me to try something similar with my paintings, such as Silk Road 87.   The more pronounced lines prompted me to see what would happen if I dug into the surface. I applied multiple layers of wax paint and then dragged a metal tool across the surface to expose some what’s underneath. An entirely new series, Vicolo, resulted. (Vicolo is Italian for alley.)  I work freehand so while the result is a formal linear arrangement, it’s also quite organic—and physically engaging.   Every time I look at this serendipitous little mistake, with its odd hues and funny lines, I find another way to think about what I'm doing."

Kevin Finklea: "Studio corner walls with 'A List of Things We Said We'd Do Tomorrow #20, acrylic on wood, 2009'. A favorite corner where I work out what I need to do. Here pictured with a piece being completed."

Billy Gruner & Sarah Keighery: "This photo that sits on my desktop is of an original steel cube house that Sarah Keighery and I have managed to possess in the Blue Mountains, near Sydney. The housed was designed in 1961 by Croation architect Nino Sydney, for a mysterious Russian client and electronics collector named Dimitrieff - the sole owner to date.   Importantly, this simple type of project building was in part key to the development of what is known in Australian architecture as, 'Sydney (International) Style'. Like other houses designed by Seidler or Petit and Sevitt groups at that time, it is significant because it marries regional detail with international influence and, 'aspirational' urban designing - a process long considered in regional terms, and that has had a profound impact on my current thinking about art.   We are currently returning it back to its original austere modernist tone of black and white paint. We intend to use it as a gallery named L9 (the title of the house design), and our studio. Note there is a kangaroo who has been living in the grounds that face onto a severe gully and national park, he appears reasonably friendly. All of this I have been pondering regularly of late, especially when traveling and making the Collective works and the related Punk Paintings."

Linda Arts: "I don't work with such a thing as an inspiration or a mood board. I do have these little black books (sort of a creative dairy) in which I draw and write things down or do whatever is needed. That, in combination with my former work brings me further in the development of new work. But I liked your question and I don't want to leave you empty handed...So, what I did is make a picture of my books that are my source of inspiration."

Erik Saxon: "Studio Wall: The collected photos represent an interest in the similarity of forms in the universe; the image on the left is a breaking wave; the oval shape of the wave relates to the oval of a galaxy. The newspaper photo to the upper right is: 'blinking stars called Cepheid variables that are scattered among the dusty arms of the galaxy NGC 4414...The galaxy’s center contains primarily older, yellow and red stars, while the spiral arms are spotted with younger, bluer stars, and lacy dust clouds.' (Primary colors in nature.) The Crucifix of Cimabue contains a circle and a cross (shapes I refer to as primal forms) plus the oval shape of Christ’s head. Maybe the oval should be considered as a primal form. Frank Lloyd Wright was an early influence on me; (we share the same birth day; water and its movement.)"

Henry Brown:  "Technical drawings used in my paintings."

Rory MacArthur: "CMYK: Kitchen table collage (color registration tabs torn from food packaging)."

Melanie Crader: "A photo of items on my studio table."

Matthew Deleget: "View of my research library on abstraction and conceptual art. Artist monographs section. I've developed a bit of a book problem, but I use my library daily."

Daniel Argyle: "Carl Andre, Radial-Arm-Saw-Carved Wood Piece, Quincy, Massachussetts, 1959, Wood (Destroyed). It's a pity this work no longer exists. We have to defer to the photograph. I love the way the title of the piece describes the material, the process, and the tool used."


Chris Ashley: "A good amount of my art making and research time takes place on the computer.  Giotto means a great deal to me.  Just look at all of the wonderful resources available at our virtual fingertips."
Linda Francis: "Dirac, Feinman, Me, My Cat Schroedinger."

Sylvan Lionni: "Sandbox: I keep so many folders of images that I look at, but here are the two I use most often.  One is a folder of paintings I like*  and the other is a temporary repository of all the images I collect -- images come in, stay in the sandbox for a while before I move them to their final resting place. (*not shown here)"

Shinsuke Aso
Douglas Melini

Brent Hallard: "Any time of day, not necessarily focused on studio work, I walk over to this corner and check out: I may add, or just read the messages and walk away.  This corner has nothing more than taped lines I use to look at.  At the moment I'm using plastic paper. So my current bulletin board is just that – awaiting the next notice, functioning as an inspiration, or just simply something to consider – a jotted-down line of color. July 3rd, 2009"

Lynne Harlow: "I'm attaching a photo from my studio.  It's a quote rather than an image.  But it hangs inside the door of my studio and has real meaning for me every time I see it."

Guido Winkler

Michael Zahn: "Desktop."

Karen Schifano: "Street snapshots (literally, public street paintings), artists’ work I like, installation shots of earlier work, my Dad with one of his sculptures."

Lynne Eastaway: "Not the greatest shot but my 'wall of images and inspirations' are on the back of a cupboard in a small storage area.  I prefer my actual work space to be clear of any thoughts but my own and wherever possible clutter free. I do like to have images that please and feed my thinking somewhere accessible, that I pass by often. Simple iconic shapes with a strong sense of presence.  Matisse' shape and pattern central to evolution of my practice over 35 years."
Daniel Göttin: "Visual thinking test bits 2009."

Simon Ingram

Daniel Feingold: "Brightness, pitchblackness, horizonless ground and star, infinite desire, anywhere it leads."