Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Hawaii Artists 2007 Show

Over the last several weeks, I have been working on getting my artwork exposed to more than just myself and a handful of interested friends. It’s great to get the compliments of others and, of course, I give myself the strongest kudo’s. But, for me to achieve the objective of a famous, world-renown artist I had to move from my comfort zone to a much more risky area: the general public. A little history is in order to form a basis for these things I’ve just said.

Those of you who have followed my blog, “Brittle Liquid’s Journey” (http://dickhoyer.blogspot.com) know that my trek towards world-wide fame (and the accompanying income) has been both arduous and easy. It’s been arduous in that I ended up doing everything else but pursuing art. I worked at jobs and businesses, some interesting, some excruciatingly boring instead of art. Art was a minor issue in my life as so many bills and money needs clamored for my attention. I didn’t grasp the idea that I could have fun doing something I loved and make money at the same time. I was chained to the belief that art was for children or very special people, who just happened to be crazy enough to pursue their calling. I couldn’t do it; I was so far away from having the drive to do artistic things for money that I pushed any art thought deeply away. I was convinced art was not possible for me.

Yet, so much of my thoughts were about art, either producing it or viewing it. There were times when my artistic “bent” was called to needful things, like designing a poster for the ACLU or in college, designing and building an award-winning float for Homecoming. Sometimes, I did things that were artistic but were disguised as something else. One thing that comes to mind is “The Champagne and Chocolate Couples’ 10K Classic, The Most Elegant Running Event in Hawaii.” This was a foot race, staged on a resort golf course that really lived up to it’s billing, “Most Elegant.” We had choral groups and violins on the golf greens. The race organizers wore tuxedoes or long garden dresses. The aid stations were decorated like hotel serving tables, including floral arrangements. All the volunteers wore white gloves and bow ties. The artistic element for me was in the grand design of the event from the applications to handing out roses to all the lady finishers. Everything was done with the idea that the participants were entering into a piece of art, were a part of the art and would leave the art with a vision of the art within them. Simply put, as art happens in the mind, so did this event, even though there was a physical element involved by actually completing the race.

I could see art in some of the lowliest things, like TV or print commercials or even the design of a can opener. I marveled at the ways art communicated ideas, even those of Salvador Dali or Picasso. I looked at some art and thought I could do better and tried to. My efforts were laughable, at best. Since I couldn’t get the idea transmitted on my first try, my impatience took over and I dropped my efforts. I didn’t know then that art is a process and a progression of efforts building to something recognizable, at least to the artist. All I had to do in reality was to do a little at a time, practice a little but do that frequently and, in time, I would find success. I buried even that small assignment in favor the larger issue of earning a living for me and my family.

I paid scant attention to my dreams which had me producing art; those were just night-time illusions. I was laid off or dismissed from several jobs in the past and every time and I mean every time that happened, always my mind said, “This is a good time to start your art career.” The thought was so strong that I might even go to a museum to see what might encourage me. I went to poster stores to look at what was selling and what I might offer. I went to bookstores and libraries browsing the art sections, particularly instruction books on how to create art. Hanging over my head though, was the need to get a job to pay the bills. I shut myself off from the possibility that I might quietly do some art and work full-time. For some reason, it was an all-or-nothing thing for me; either I was a fulltime artist or a fulltime employee, nothing in-between. Call me stubborn, if you will.

As some of you may recall, my re-birth as an artist occurred when my most recent marriage broke up and I was left with many choices about how I would spend my time after work hours. Not surprisingly, that still, small voice within said, “So, Dickie, wouldn’t you say this is a good time to revive that artist idea?” Suddenly, the thought was easy to entertain and I set about to do so fiercely. All the drawings I had surreptitiously kept away from my family were dragged out and judged worthy or not. I set about drawing or tracing all manner of photographs, especially those of female nudes. I bought art supplies and set up my daughter’s now-vacant room as a studio. I drew from the moment I got home until I collapsed in bed. I made up for lost time with a vengeance. Even when I dislocated my right middle finger from vacuuming the house with so much vigor, I kept on drawing, taping the pencils to my cast. The drive to produce was insatiable. I couldn’t get my ideas down fast enough. At work, I kept a notebook handy and doodled in it constantly. The courage to produce came easily and soon I was making stuff that was not only recognizable to me but, attracted the attention of some important people and in the words of the poet, I took a different path and that “…has made all the difference.”

I realized that my art was going to be different if it was to gain any acceptance and lead me to my goal of becoming a world-famous artist. I chose stained glass art as it was an area few people tried because of its perceived difficulty. I had a background in it as I had been a glass artist some years back in my first marriage. I had a modicum of success then, selling anything I produced. Yet, the vagaries of paycheck production won out and I demurred to getting a job. This time, it was the subject matter that would be different. Instead of making “staid” glass windows of traditional ideas or even those that reflected Hawaii, like poi pounders or plumerias, I would take stained glass in a direction no one had thought of just yet. I would take stained glass as often found in churches and create erotic stained glass.

The most frequent response I received when I talked about my idea was, “I’ve never heard of that.” It was like music to my ears. Those responses meant I found a niche and now all I needed was a market. With a lot of help from a stained glass studio, I produced a one-man show, “The 2004 Hawaii Couples’ Stained Glass Classic: Original Erotic Art” which was staged in a downtown restaurant, CafĂ© Che Pasta. The show was for a month and I sold some pieces. Some of the work was censored and had to come down, a huge disappointment to me. I think the only person disturbed by my offerings was the Catholic Arch-Bishop of Honolulu, who, it is reported, immediately cancelled his weekly luncheon reservations for the entire month of my show. Well, as far as I was concerned that very reaction told me I was on to something—or so I thought. I set up a website, www.dherotica.com and marketed it through Google with lots of hits and no sales. I wondered as to what would attract buyers. I went so far as to commission a study and presentation for the pornography industry, www.dherotica.biz designed to show them that erotic stained glass would be an ideal addition to their product mix. I was doing a lot of this while I was unemployed though I had some money from a small inheritance to keep me in rent and food.

Eventually, I ran out of money and had to go back to work. By now, however, I decided I would concentrate on producing erotic art rather than windows. I had no place to make my pieces, anyway, but I could use the same PC program used to design stained glass windows to simply create art. The program included color stained glass samples within it so I could instantly color my works once the drawing was done. I found lovely flesh colored glass to bring my “girls” to life and interesting other colored glass for backgrounds and such. All I needed was models.

And they came forward in the person of Che-Che and her cousin. They posed for me and brought much delight with their various pictorials. At one time, I was receiving about 80 photographs a month which I turned into art as fast as I could, sometimes two or three a day and seven to ten on each weekend day. As I did more, I got better, up to and including their faces. The art became more realistic. Their facial expressions became more accurate in reflecting their moods. I learned to portray them with a minimum of lines so that their portraits were simple but powerful. I learned how to size the projects so that I told their story not necessarily from head to toe but using the most engaging parts of them. I created hundreds of art works of them, learning something new with each one, making progress each time, if only it was to change the thickness of the lines I used in portraying their eyes.

Everything I did was but a step closer to my dream of being a world-class artist. I finally got to the point where I needed the court of public opinion to tell me if I was on the right track this time. I took a couple steps in that direction by showing some of my artist friends what I was doing and they seemed to be suitably impressed. I asked my first college art teacher for his comments and those changed my art for the better, immeasurably. All I had to do now was find a way to expose this new art to as many people as I could and see what happened.

Suddenly, as I was now open to directing my efforts to exposure, several websites came my way. Each showed promise but the one that caught my attention—and my dollars—was http://yessy.com/dickhoyer For just pennies per day, I would get exposure to literally thousands of art aficionados, some of whom might even buy. In truth, since January 21st until today, February 2oth, some 4,000 people have at least clicked on my site. Because of that frequency, Google has me listed by name on page one of their engines, if one only types in “nudes.” Surely that means something. Then, I found http://brittleliquid.artremains.com which put me in the company of other artists. Some of them found my work intriguing and commended it to others. By now, I found myself feeling more courage and confidence when a “call for artists” arrived from the Honolulu Academy of Arts for the “Artists of Hawaii, 2007” show, an annual event. This was what I had been working toward for so long: acceptance. I immediately offered three pieces, “My Storied Scarf,” “I Am,” and “Obedience,” all of which can be seen at http://yessy.com/dickhoyer. Let me caution you, they are all nudes.

To be accepted into such a prestigious art show would launch my career, surely. Once I submitted my art through the appropriate channels, all I could do now was to wait as the jury would meet sometime in April for the July show. At last, a chance to reveal my works to the public in a very important way. If you know anything about me by now, I won’t be sleeping much for the next month or so as excited as I am.

Watch this space for updates on my progress toward possible acceptance and certain success…surely, right?

I Breathe You In

My Dearest Princesa CC,

Always I feel the warmth of your love and affection.
You never leave my thoughts.
I have your heart because I carry it in mine.
You are the spirit that keeps me going and going.
You are thoroughly within me, in every cell and molecule.
I breathe you in with every breath and sometimes I hold my breath for a
moment or two, keeping you inside me for just a little longer before I
let you go.
I’m selfish; I don’t want you further away than that last breath.
But, I am comforted knowing that the very next breath will have you in
it and so,
I breathe deeply again and you are here again and again and again…