Art Spirit Village

Imagination – Inspiration – Transformation

  • What is Art Spirit Village?

    Art Spirit Village is a sanctuary, a state of mind that exists within all who are compelled to express themselves through art. Michael Scott’s Art Spirit Village is my own safe haven. Here, I am the Butcher, the Baker, The Candlestick Maker and I suppose I am the Mayor as well. This is where I will share my Artistic Transformation, my imagination and my art work, hoping to somehow inspire others to do the same. I invite YOU to drop in for a visit, stay for a while and come back as often as you wish (PLEASE SUBSCRIBE-It is easy and FREE). Art Spirit Village has an open door policy. It is my hope and intent that the creative world will beat a path to the doorway of Art Spirit Village. Comments, Correspondence and Guest Posts are highly encouraged as long as they support the themes of Imagination, Inspiration and Transformation.
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Posts Tagged ‘art’

Summer Interrupted

Posted by Michael Scott on December 15, 2014

Denver's Washington Park on 12/14/14

Yesterday’s Snow at Denver’s Washington Park

Life is full of disruptions and at times its difficult to find the peace that I need to focus on the work at hand. I’m not referring to minor distractions like the phone ringing or having to walk the dog. I’m referring to the major detours that must be negotiated before we find our way back to our intended path. At the risk of sounding cliche, Shit Happens. It seems that we are constantly dealing with our own issues or those of others who are close to us. Illness, Injury, Death…Relationships, Heartbreak, Worry, Grief…these are all just part of life. When faced with the debilitation of his final year or so of life, my Dad coined the phrase “this is no place for wimps”, how right he was. So just as the Winter interrupts Summer, our path to fulfillment will undoubtedly wind through fields of thorns. It’s our job to over overcome.

Lately I’ve established a pattern of painting each subject in series of three. Hey, if its worth painting once its worth painting again, and again and again. I have been using my own video clips to transport my consciousness from the cold Colorado winter to the endless summer of Hawaii. This is how I’m finding the inspiration for new compositions. Virtual Plein-Air Painting if you will, pardon the oxymoron. In this series I’m trying to portray the constant motion of the sea and the personality of this stilt legged shore bird as he pursues his next meal in the tide pools.

I’ll leave this post with two quick questions. Are there any bird lovers out there who might help me identify the species of this agile little guy? How do you shake off life’s interruptions to re-gain your focus on your work?

Shore Dance II (9"x12") acrylic on canvas

Shore Dance II (9″x12″) acrylic on canvas

Shore Dance (9"x12") acrylic on canvas

Shore Dance (9″x12″) acrylic on canvas


Shore Dance III – Coming Soon

Posted in art, colorado, hawaii, Inspiration | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Little Fish – Big Pond

Posted by Michael Scott on December 11, 2014

"Winter Waves At Shark's Cove" (12x24) acrylic on canvas

“Winter Waves At Shark’s Cove” (12×24) acrylic on canvas

How big is the Pacific Ocean you ask? A quick google search will remind you of some of the interesting facts that you likely learned in Elementary School. The Pacific Ocean is Freaking Huge! It is the largest body of water on Earth, twice as big as the distant second place Atlantic. One third of the Globe’s surface is covered by it and at its deepest point, the Mariana Trench reaches as far below the surface as commercial jets fly above it.  Mankind first explored these depths a mere nine years prior to setting foot on the Moon! Twenty-four men have been on or very close to the moon. In contrast only three humans have ever experienced the deepest valley on the Earth’s surface. In 1960, the Swiss Oceanographer Jacques Piccard and U.S. Navy Lt. Don Walsh became the first men to accomplish the feat yet there names don’t sit at the tip of our tongues as does Neil Armstrong’s. Quite interestingly, only two years ago the third man to literally bump into the sand at the bottom of the trench was filmmaker James Cameron , producer and director of The Abyss, Titanic and Avatar. News of Cameron’s endeavor was unfortunately trumped by comparatively trivial political and socioeconomic headlines in 2012.

Yes, The Pacific Ocean is big and so is the contrast between painting my expressions of Hawaii as opposed to the small mountain lakes and streams of Colorado. One thing I know for sure is that I am compelled to paint how water looks and feels to me. Thanks to those who gave suggestions and comments on my last blog post. My painting “Winter Waves at Shark’s Cove” is as complete as it will be. There are things that I like about it and things that I don’t but it is what it is and it is time to move on.   The painting below was my second attempt to capture the scene. Which one do you like better and why? What are you compelled to create or express?  I’d love to hear from you.

"Winter Waves At Shark's Cove II" (10"x20") acrylic on canvas

“Winter Waves At Shark’s Cove II” (10″x20″) acrylic on canvas

Posted in art, Inspiration | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Trials And Errors In My Quest For Light and Life

Posted by Michael Scott on December 7, 2014

sharkswavebuild 10x20

Waves crash into the reef at Sharks Cove on the North Shore of Oahu. Captured on video in 2011.

In all of my contemplations thus far as a painter, I have come to understand that the introduction of light is the most important element. Light is the top coat, the finisher, and ever so integrated in the story being told. Composition of the large shapes, the establishment of tonality and a focus on the essence of the subject matter are all important, but without light a painting will never be complete.

So how do I go about transforming my results to add light and life to my work? Fortunately, I am enrolled as a student at HKU (hard knock university). At 54, I don’t have time to waste with a more formal education so I scour the world of art through observation and I soak up inspiration like a sponge. I owe so much to the internet and as long as Kim Jong Un doesn’t “take it out” (and I don’t mean to dinner), I will continue to do so.   Currently, I’m learning about under paintings and glazings and I’m doing a lot of experimentation in hopes of achieving more vibrant results.

Have a gander at this unfinished work and give my your honest feedback if you will. The foam in the foreground in particular is what I’m struggling with. Do you like the hint of cotton candy? should I transform the hue one way or another?

Work In Progress - Winter Waves at Sharks Cove

Work In Progress – Winter Waves at Sharks Cove

Posted in art, hawaii, Inspiration | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Reflections on Refractions and Other Pesky Details

Posted by Michael Scott on December 4, 2014

"Blue Over Green" (16x20) acrylic on canvas

“Blue Over Green” (16×20) acrylic on canvas

“What we need is more sense of the wonder of life and less of this business of making a picture” – Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

I admire the painter who can capture the essence of a given subject with one pass of the brush, or maybe two. When I paint something new, I often find that I capture the way that it feels with relative ease and speed. Then, as I add elements to make it more accurate or more finished, it begins to lose its emotional impact. I get caught up trying to make it look like think it should rather than how I want it to, which results in a great deal of time spent in frustration and everything I liked about the early painting gets lost in the shuffle. Ultimately, my efforts usually go full circle and I end up with what I intend, but not without going through this left brain – right brain tug of war.

In this painting I tried to represent tide pools along the north shore of Oahu as I remember them from video and photos that I’ve taken. The important thing here was to capture the warmth of the sunny afternoon and the adventurous feeling that being there gave me. The challenge of course was to find a way to represent the motion, texture, reflection and refraction of the scene without becoming overwhelmed with how those details should look. I’m pretty happy with it as a first attempt and be re-visiting this spot again to try to make it better.

Posted in art, beach, hawaii, Inspiration, ocean, Oil Painting, robert henri | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Random Notions of Art and Life

Posted by Michael Scott on November 29, 2014

Makeup's Beach Oahu (12 x 24) acrylic on canvas

Makapu’u Beach Oahu (12 x 24) acrylic on canvas

We live in a world that is constantly changing. At times, we take comfort in the knowledge that everything is temporary. It helps us look around and beyond the unpleasant obstacles in life and gives us hope that we will find something better. On the flip side however, the evolving nature of the universe makes us feel small, insecure and fearful of losing that which now gives us a feeling of joy, comfort and safety. The longer we live, the more we come to understand how quickly and dramatically the tide can shift. We must learn to ebb and flow with the rhythms of fortune, lest we live in fear of the nature of life.

How unpredictable is life? Did you ever think that Bill Cosby had…questionable morals? How could Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams leave this world so soon? When we were children, did we dream that skyscrapers would reach so high?  Did we anticipate that one day we would watch them fall to the ground on a beautiful September morning?  We have to take the bad with the good, no matter who we are, no exceptions.

I think a lot people in my age group have given themselves permission to become students once again.  At 54 years old, I am immersed in the process of learning about art and thus about the ways that I might express myself through it. I am compelled to create something less temporary than myself. I am compelled to create something that will help the viewer hope more and fear less. If my work outlives me by even a day it will have been worth all the effort.

Makapu'u Cloudburst (12x24) acrylic on canvas

Makapu’u Cloudburst (12×24) acrylic on canvas

Posted in art, hawaii, Inspiration, ocean, Oil Painting | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

I Survived The Autumnal Shift

Posted by Michael Scott on November 21, 2014


Saying goodbye to Summer has always been hard for me and this year was no exception. Actually, I start slipping toward the inevitable melancholia of the Autumnal Shift as early as July 4th some years, Why? Perhaps that is when I am reminded that the exhilaration of Spring will soon give way to the mortality of another seasonal cycle. Hey, it’s not as though I’m in a continual state of depression, so please read on and don’t write me off prematurely as a downer! Fortunately, …Oddly, the Autumnal shift always ends around the first of November. As though a loud snapping of the fingers or perhaps or a proverbial slapping of the face awakens me into a more positive consciousness. I let go of what was and I embrace what is, and what will be. I welcome what is for me, the time of year that my creative spirit is most alive.

Lately, I have become immersed in the warmth and beauty of Hawaii, even though I’m in Colorado. Rather than painting mountain streams and waterfalls, rather than bringing to life snowy scenes I find myself compelled to capture the essence of the beach, the ocean and the waves. Transporting myself to this alternate reality is made somewhat easier with the aid of the extensive photo and video library that I have accumulated in recent years. The walls of my new spacious studio are beginning to fill up with compositional studies of the Mid-Pacific. As an artist, it feels good to be growing once again.

Posted in art, beach, colorado, creativity, hawaii, Inspiration, ocean, painting, Photography, video production | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

In My Mind’s Eye

Posted by Michael Scott on August 24, 2014

"From Here To Eternity"  18" X 24" Acrylic on Canvas

“From Here To Eternity” 18″ X 24″ Acrylic on Canvas

In my mind’s eye, I can see the eastern horizon off Oahu. Molokai, Lanai and the upper reaches of Haleakala on Maui somewhere below the rising sun. In my mind’s eye, I can see a Humpback’s breach or the glistening skin of a Dolphin as it stitches it’s way across the fabric of the Sea. In my mind’s eye, I can feel the refreshing breeze, I can smell the salt laced air and I can hear the crashing waves as they meet the rocky shores.

Hundred’s of times, I have driven past the very beach that was used for the passionate love scene in the 1953 movie “From Here to Eternity”. It is located along the Kalanianaole (Kal) Highway on Oahu’s eastern shore. Halona Beach Cove sits just on the other side of the guard rail of this winding stretch of pavement. The image that is etched in my mind is the one seen only in the fleeting glances from the drivers seat of a vehicle. For me, the sensory euphoria that dwells here is best captured in a photograph of the mind then painted on canvas, no reference material is necessary or desired.

Posted in art, colorado, hawaii, Inspiration | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The World Was My Father’s Backyard

Posted by Michael Scott on August 18, 2014

My Dad Loved Colorado. He taught me that taking the time to experience all that is has to offer is well worth the effort. He of all people, knew that the greatest adventures are waiting in your own backyard but as he grew older he realized that his backyard was the entire world. For 20 years, my folks called Hawaii home and I was so fortunate to be able to appreciate all of the little things that make it special. I produced and dedicated this video to my Father on his 80th Birthday so he could see and feel what he could no longer do as the grip of Parkinson’s disease progressed. I hope you take this five minute holiday..who knows, it may make your backyard bigger as well.

Posted in art, colorado, hawaii, Hospice, parkinson's, Photography | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

One Da Da, Two Da Da, Three Da Da

Posted by Michael Scott on August 17, 2014

My Son Luke with his new "Van Gogh" :)

My Son Lucas with his new “Van Gogh” :)

A couple of weeks ago, my son Lucas stopped by for a visit.  I was showing him some of my new work when he spotted an intuitive palette knife painting that I had completed as the first in a series several months back.  A sketch if you will of three big rocks in a mountain lake.  “I love that one”, he said while diverting his attention from my new work.  I asked him why he liked it and he said “because it looks like a Van Gogh”.  Hmmm, how could this unnamed, unsigned practice sketch be appreciated by him when I didn’t recognize the value in it?  Perhaps it was the three rocks, or the three peaks, or perhaps it was that I completed in in only three hours.

With the exception of today, each Sunday for the past year and a half I have been my Father’s Caregiver.  His passing Last Tuesday leaves me feeling so empty this morning.  There are so many things I will miss.  His favorite tv show was CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, he never missed it.  Last week, there was a story on the “Happy Song Guy” Pharrell Williams that made Dad smile and triggered memories of like minded singers from his day.  

Of all of the rituals and Routines with my Father, the thing that I will miss most is the way that he counted to three.  Before every transfer to and from his bed, the wheel chair, the Lazy Boy, etc…he would count down saying “one da da, two da da, three da da”.  As you can imagine it was a little embarrassing at first when he did this in public but it always put a smile in my heart to hear it.  My Dad needed a lot of magic to cope with the difficulties of having Parkinson’s, the “dada’s” I believe, helped him find it.

The Power Of Three

The Power Of Three

Posted in art, Inspiration, Oil Painting | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“Lauren and Robin, Meet My Father”

Posted by Michael Scott on August 15, 2014

Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall

Robin Williams

Robin Williams



Monday Evening, I sat at the bedside of my Dad making small talk of life, both of us trying to ignore the gravity of his condition.  He had several strokes in the previous 48 hours, ultimately the collateral damage of Parkinson’s Disease.  I said “hey Dad, Robin Williams Passed away today, he was only 63″.  Dad said it seemed that everyone was dying lately then he said “I’m 83″, wanting to make sure I knew that.  As it turned out, Dad followed Robin across the threshold to the next life by just one day.  Tuesday evening while processing the shock of my loss, I learned that Lauren Bacall may have walked shoulder to shoulder into the next world with my own Father.

Lauren Bacall was 89 and died shortly after having a stroke.  Her Screen Persona was likely not all that different from her true character, a classy, independent and caring spirit, Just like my Dad.

My Dad loved Robin Williams and would have been so interested to know that Robin also suffered from PD, but that news didn’t come out until yesterday.  Dad always gained inspiration from those who also had PD.  Michael J. Fox, Mohamad Ali, Linda Ronstadt among the famous.

This morning I am touched to read these words from Robin’s Daughter Zelda.  “Dad was, is and always will be one of the kindest, most generous, gentlest souls Ive ever known, and while there are few things I know for certain right now, one of them is that not just my world, but the entire world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter in his absence. Well just have to work twice as hard to fill it back up again”.

To Zelda I would say that I understand that my Father Knew how difficult those early stages of PD were, how difficult it was to accept the diagnosis.  I would tell her that I can see a lot of my Father in Robin’s eyes.  I would tell her that she should be proud of him for coping with his diagnosis and symptoms so courageously and in his own way and in his own time, just as my own Father did.  I would thank her for her for giving me words to express what I feel at this moment.

Mom and Dad in 2011.  Even the Early Stages of PD took a toll

Mom and Dad in 2011. Even the Early Stages of PD took a toll

Posted in art, colorado, Hospice, Inspiration, parkinson's | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »


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