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 ‘inspiration’

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 »

“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 »

The Enduring Glow Of A Beautiful Life

Posted by Michael Scott on August 14, 2014

The Enduring Glow Of A Beautiful Life 10" x 20"  Acrylic on canvas

“The Enduring Glow Of A Beautiful Life”
10″ x 20″ Acrylic on canvas

Monday evening, as I drove home I witnessed the most incredible sunset.  A glowing orange and yellow sky over the latent silhouette of the front range.  Too much traffic and visual obstruction to pull over and take a photo, I captured the image in my mind instead.  I had just left my folks at the Denver Hospice Care Center at Lowry where my Dad would undergo a procedure the next morning that would make him more comfortable as he suffered from the later stages of Parkinson’s Disease.  Before I said goodnight to my Father for the last time, we talked about how beautiful the facility was and I told him that Robin Williams had passed away (he loved Robin Williams).  One of the night nurses graciously brought them a tuna fish sandwich to share even though they had “checked in” too late for dinner and after I left I understand that Dad ate most of it.

Oh how much it hurts to loose someone you Love so much.  The grief might even cause a person to jump out of bed, start and finish a painting as the sun rises, which is exactly what I did this morning.  I am compelled to paint my Father’s setting sun and this small sketch will be used for a piece that is 20 times larger.   I want this memory to be larger than life.


Me with my mind’s image


Mom, Dad, Tammy(took pic) and Me at the Denver Art Museum three weeks ago



Posted in art, blogging, colorado, Hospice, Inspiration, parkinson's, Photography | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

My Wonderful Father

Posted by Michael Scott on August 13, 2014


A Sunday at Denver’s Museum of History and Science (8/3/14)

My lengthy hiatus from this effort (my blogs) is attributed significantly to the long, long path that I was able to walk alongside my Father and Mother while in the Autumn of Dad’s life. For seven years, they had to endure difficult circumstances, one after another, all somehow related to the harm that Parkinson’s Disease can inflict. Yesterday Afternoon, Dad crossed over from this life to the next. It was the first completely cloudless day in Denver in as long as I can remember and he left this world so peacefully, so quickly that I am profoundly moved. For so long, I have wanted to write and be read; I have wanted to share the experiences that I have had in my own personal walk as an Artist and as a Son. Yet for so long, these experiences belonged in my heart and not on published pages.

My Father’s passing comes like the opening of a flood gate. I am ready to share once again and I hope to somehow kindle a flame of inspiration if even in just one person.

Even on his death bed, it would not have shocked me if my Father had awakened from his final sleep to recite word for word the following quote by William Shakespeare. “Cowards die many deaths, The Valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.” Seriously, the man had a knack for reciting poetry and singing funny songs at the most inappropriate times. This time, he did not awaken from his slumber but his words are still with me.

Before I close this post, I want to share a few thoughts about Denver Hospice. Yesterday morning, before I understood that it would be Dad’s final sunrise, I wrote the following words. Mom and Dad finally found their way back to the “Hilton”. The Denver Hospice Inpatient Care Center at Lowry Field is a living masterpiece. Oddly, the kind of place that makes you want to live. As my Dad would say, it is a “castle on the hillside”. In some ways you might think that such a place would be cruel and unusual punishment for those who find themselves at the exit door of life. Not So, I say! The architectural marvel is more than matched by the compassion, dignity and understanding that permeates from its walls. The halls echo in celebration of all that is good in Mankind. For me personally, this place is an inspiration. The Exhibition of artwork on display is incredible. Much care was given to select original works that might trigger a warm memory; that might remind one how precious life is. And then the admirable culture that dwells in the care center goes completely over the top. So different than what you will find in a hospital, where the goal is physical healing and profit. Denver Hospice defines success much differently, to create comfort for the body and the spirit. Perhaps the ultimate goal of Hospice is to mirror what we hope for on the other side of death. These are the things that have touched me profoundly, that have nudged the trajectory of my life in the most beautiful way.


One of the beautiful paintings that hangs in the Denver Hospice Care Center at Lowry

Posted in art, blogging, Father, Hospice, parkinson's | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

The Ramblings of an April Fool

Posted by Michael Scott on April 1, 2013


April Fools!  Another winter has passed, another opportunity to prepare the batch of seed that will yield a harvest of completeness and yet we find ourselves sowing for the most part, more of the same strain.  Habits are not unlike the roots of a tree, they keep us grounded yet tethered in the same old space, good or bad, right or wrong, healthy or unhealthy.  Too often, despite our best efforts to find true and lasting transformation, we find ourselves grappling with the same old demons that we did yesterday, last month and last year.

While there is a humble, if not cynical humor associated with the first day of April, there is also a wake up call, a reminder that transformation doesn’t happen without effort.  We all have the ability to engage our minds in original thought and to realize meaningful and lasting shifts of our own consciousness.  It is the  uncovering of the truths from within that render the past irrelevant and the opinions of others unimportant.  The hard part is maintaining a vigilant watch over that truth to keep it from withering away.

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


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