Exhibition of Paintings by Rick Ulman
Meadow Road, Partick, Glasgow
July 15 - August 14
In the mid-1960s I came to Scotland, where the language was rich and the landscape was dense, - spent the first year in Edinburgh in Spital & Bread Street, met Jim Haynes and Ricky Demarco, the Traverse Theatre – and wrought-iron. On to Wormit in Fife, to a house on a rock in a burn, surrounded on three sides by McGonnagall’s “Silvery” Tay.
I was young, from a land that was young, where “old” meant only an arms-length into the past. Scotland became a source where folklore permeated the fabric of the present and the past, where Celts and Picts and Gaels left their marks, where stone walls waltzed around the edge of gardens, sowing their textures in my mind, and coal and whiskey warmed me.
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art contributed a wealth of textile-lore, while weekends in the borders brought me to the ruins of Kelso and Melrose, the weaving mills of Galasheils, and walks on fells whilst gathering wool from bracken bush and gorse to dye with onion skins and card and spin. D. M. Black & Ian Hamilton Findley sharing poetry – the latter “Concrete”, the former full of black and red judges; Tam McPhail smithing sculpture, George McKay Brown brewing verse and story, steeped in the lore and history of Orkney.
I visited Jeannie Robertson, gypsy treasure outside Aberdeen, dispensing equally nourishing portions of broth and ballads.
Young folk must learn to speak. Young artists must discover their vocabulary. My initial years in Scotland were an immersion into a storehouse of cultural ideas spanning centuries, sufficiently complex to sow the seeds of discovering a process of learning that was to serve me well, providing the tools for a creation-centered life.
Away in America, I painted, sculpted, photographed & wrote. Made books & films, performed and built music, taught, & did TV and talk-radio. And breathed. AND…
I’m now back in Scotland, Reconnecting and Expanding Exposure: With lore and folklore, history and change, living by water, birds and waves. With stones and steps, textiles and textures. With “Scottish Gray”…and again making my colors brighter…widening my palette.
I bring with me several ideas that inform my craft:
> The problem of the artist is not how, but what to paint, and how to see.
> The artist must look equally within and without.
> I agree with Paul Klee – The artist makes visible the invisible.
> I am not consciously involved with symbolism. I often chose a familiar image to eliminate the question “what is that supposed to be”.
> I trust my innate sense of “resonance”. If an idea, image, or concept causes internal vibrations I unquestioningly go with the flow.
> The creation of art is not a social activity. It is not necessary to anyone but the artist. It is nonetheless enriching.
Jim Russell: Tel: 0141 337 1283 | email | Showcase
|Scottish Art Circle|
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