Chick Chickadee, Chick Chickadee, Chick Chick Cheree (The Family Tree series)

Sharing is caring.

At least that’s what the old adage says.

It’s an indication that you are choosing to share something, whether physical or otherwise. But recognizing that you care about the person enough to volunteer something to them, to willingly give without hoping of receiving anything back in return, but knowing that when that feeling is reciprocated, it is all the sweeter of a bond.

That’s probably why my mom pushes us so hard to participate in the family Secret Santa gift exchange we hold each Christmas eve. The intention of the exchange is to draw a name and then make something for another family member on a limited budget. I think the reason she enjoys it so much is that it’s important to her that we do something special for each other, its how she shows love and also the way she feels the most love from others.

It took me a lot of years to realize that fact about her.

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Which is why today I’m going to share one of my most dearly held theories with you.

The theory that there are only really two kinds of art to be made out in the wilderness.

Art that is primarily focused on it’s message or which comes direct from the author, and sometimes  is known as fine art.

The alternative, and this is not a bad thing… is art that is primarily focused on realizing another’s vision and which is paid for by another party upfront, also known as a commission or commercial art.

You see dear readers, you can either make art with the intention of getting paid first or about making a statement first, but you cannot do both. And it is possible for both components to be satisfied, but whatever path you choose will determine the pace of which each component is nurtured first and most. In other words, you can be a successful artist which path you choose, but it takes time to grow that tree.

Kickstart My He(art)

Which is why I made the choice long, long ago, that all of my art would have intention first and be about making a sale second. That was my decision to make, and mine alone, but every creative thing I have made since that decision has been far more rewarding for me and has led to some fantastic opportunities in other areas of my life.

It’s where I came up with the phrase “start with heart, then you’ll make art”

And now the tie-in.

I started this post writing about our family Secret Santa tradition because in 2016 I finally got an opportunity to fulfill a wish for my mom. To build a tree which would support her chickadee drawings that I made for her over six years ago. My mom loves chickadees and the last time I drew her name for Secret Santa, I made a group of them to represent our family.

So over the course of a few weeks this past December, and with a little luck, I was able to sneak into my parents house, borrow her chickadee drawings and determine how best to construct a tree for them.20161213_194924

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After I measured everything, I quickly determined that this project wasn’t going to be done in time no matter what I did. You see dear readers, by deciding what to do with the tree, I had effectively created a theme and an artist statement to go along with it, which made the project incomplete no matter how I resolved it.

The Family Tree

As I later wrote down in a handwritten card to my mother, this tree now represents her and the chickadees on it are her immediate family.

My dad, my two brothers, my sister, myself, and now my brother’s fiancee. So the project may be complete, and yet, it isn’t. As each of the children grow and potentially come into relationships, we’ll add more chickadees to the tree for her to support and love. And as grandchildren show up, there will be even more chickadees to fill that tree. A testament to her strong roots and protective branches, nurturing us with the leaves and berries that grow up and outward.

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So as you can clearly see, and as I have already mentioned, this is a project that while now completed, really has no end in sight, but the intention makes it all the more meaningful. And on top of that, as you are beginning to see, all of my artwork is related to conceptions of identity self-imposed, self-reflective, self-directed, etc.

I hope that this post has inspired you for yet another week out there in the wilderness, creative cuties. I’m out of theories for now. I’ll see you on Sunday with an interview preview, featuring a friend of mine named Byron.

Tim!

To Be That Which Never Was (Sehnsucht Fernweh For Pseudokinds series)

It’s that time again friends!

I want to share something with you. Something special – Specifically to remind you that you don’t really need to shape the aesthetics of your art for anyone other than yourself. You know this already, but it’s always a good reminder when someone who is also making art gives you a hug and let’s you know that everything is going to be okay. That you can make it.

Besides, who doesn’t love a hug?

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This theory is something you should always hold onto and know in your heart of hearts. Not the theory of hugs, though that’s super valid, but the theory that you should make art for yourself.

Having written that out, and now that I’ve given you a moment to reflect upon your own awesome skillfulness, I’m going to tell you a not so secret secret dear readers – Sometimes you can find a way to have your cake and eat it too. Sometimes you can make art for the people and art for yourself.

You see, whether you make music for a living, perform in a theatre or make visual art it is completely legitimate to prepare separate bodies of work to keep yourself motivated and allow your mind to wonder from time to time. And let’s be honest, you know I’m willing to list a multitude of creative professions to make the point that art is not only for musicians, actors, and visual artists. But I won’t do that in the essence of time.

Art For The People

A couple of years after I finished university, I had this brilliant idea with my girlfriend at the time. No, not that idea. The idea was that I actually could make artwork that referenced where I came from and what I grew up with, and that fit inside a commercial ideal, without boring myself to tears.

You see creative cuties, there is this silly notion out there that you should paint (insert other appropriate art form) what you know. But as a white, CIS, sapiosexual, heterosexual male who grew up in a big city, but didn’t really follow the typical tropes of hockey, farming, construction or oil fields that are attached to that city, I didn’t really have much ground to work with. Well, at least that’s what I thought.

The thing is, it’s pretty easy to use your ethnic background, childhood, ideologies or any number of personal artefacts to inspire your art. And then it hit me. I know nothing about either of my parents small town upbringings, but much like looking through old family photos and having a sense of nostalgia for that which we never experienced, I could capture that through a series of photos about rural Alberta.

Sehnsucht Fernweh For Pseudokinds

Thus I began to produce a series of work that predominantly features trains – because bitches love trains. And while I do plan to expand the series outward to feature other farming implements and anchors like fields, grain elevators and the like, I’m a man of simple means sometimes, so patience is a virtue with me. You see friends, I have a pretty heavy German background, according to my most recent ancestors, though I suspect it’s a lot more diverse than that.

And yet, somehow that’s an easy identifier.

My goal with this series, as I mentioned, is to put work out there that offers some insight into my own feelings about my imagined sense of identity (a potentially heavy task for those who didn’t go through an academic ringer like I did). You see, though I have no real ties to this story I’m developing, I make work about it, because my chosen art form is a visual language and provides commentary on the subject. I can easily share and sell the work and feel no sense of less, and yet, as I continue to make it, it becomes more of a piece of my identity, much like participating in a family heritage assigns it a part of who you are.

The series is called Sehnsucht Fernweh For Pseudokinds, which loosely translates to “nostalgic longing” of “far off places you haven’t visited” of pseudo “kids.” All taken from the German language, a good reminder of where I’ve never been.

As mentioned already, I’ll continue to expand upon this series over time and share more works with you, but as always my creative cuties, I encourage you to make your own work, find ways to make that which makes you happy. Whether it has a conceptual framework or not.

Of course, one last bit of consideration, if you are interested in commissions, prices of the work I’ve included in today’s post, or if you want more information about the series, please leave some comments below or email me at timotheories@outlook.com.

And lastly, please follow the blog to get even more awesome content in the future. I’m out of theories for the week, please have an excellent weekend friends, and I’ll see you on Sunday with a preview of this months interview! It’ll be a fun one.

Tim!

A Priori And A Posteriori (Critique of Pure Art series)

Quite a few months ago (way, way back in March), I decided to share some examples of my art with you.

I wrote that post with the intention that I would reveal my personal artist identity and foster a greater sense of the purpose for this blog and why you should never give up, and never surrender if you have a creative drive. Something I strive for with many of many of the posts here. After all, there are a lot of different things I write about on a weekly basis, and there are common themes I touch upon monthly, while other themes crop up in other ways, but what really drives all of those different posts is that I am a professional artist who wanted to find a way to build a better statement for himself and simultaneously provide a safe haven for those who are on similar journeys.

So today, I expand upon that idea some more.  As I’ve mentioned previously, I have made art to disrupt, I’ve made art to talk about concepts of philosophy, and I’ve worked produce ideas that promote human growth.

But I’ve since expanded on those ideas, and focused more on how I can contribute towards the local community, and to the much broader community of creative professionals in general – I want open up collaboration across art forms, create a digital gallery of art and artists, build a studio for art enthusiasts, and discuss all sorts of theories on the arts.

Which is why I ‘m going to also be building upon this particular series of work The Critique of Pure Art.

The Critique of Pure Art

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Effectively a series of work that reflects on the role of artist, subject, object, and the viewer to analyze the limitations of the form. Taken from Immanuel Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” my series challenges the ideal that not all art is taken from the senses AND conversely art cannot simply be shaped from experiences/ideas either in order to produce something beautiful.

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I literally and metaphorically draw with my materials to demonstrate that one cannot operate without the other, and it is all a related. Especially when we take into consideration limited perspectives. Perception is reality, after all, as attributed by Lee Atwater an American political consultant. So we paint with drawing materials, and draw with paint, and as the picture comes together, both parts are forced to exist as we understand them, though both the elements of line and form blur within the frame.

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It is a literal construction of pure art, and a metaphorical critique of reason. That the titles of these works are taken rather romantically from song lyrics all the more proves that experience comes before the art, but does that information inform the work afterwards?

As mentioned, I’ll continue to expand upon this series over time and share more works with you, but if I can do all of these things, surely there is a way for you to contribute to the arts too – and if you are interested in commissions, prices of the work I’ve included in today’s post, or if you want more information about the series, please leave some comments below or email me at timotheories@outlook.com.

And of course, please follow the blog to get even more awesome content in the future. I’m out of theories for the week, please have an excellent weekend friends, and I’ll see you on Sunday with a new Cross Talk episode!

Tim!

timotheories presents Tim Kuefler (Allegory of the Collage series)

Well, I have finally done it. My real “identity” is out there.

I had to do this because I promised you a peek into my art practice going forward, and today I deliver, dear readers.

Now is the time of great reckoning for I’m putting up personal elements of myself for display and inspection, and potentially for sale as well. It wasn’t an easy decision, but if I am going to further refine and evolve this project of curating, creating, and collaborating, I need to inject myself into the mix.

Let’s go over my back story a bit more so before I open up the floor to some of my art.

I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art & Design from the University of Alberta in the spring of 2007. My major focuses during that time were painting, drawing, and sculpture. Pretty classic examples of fine art education. I didn’t always believe this, but I am very fortunate to have a university education and to have studied with professors that had invested their own art practices in both the modernist and post-modernist eras of art making. I believe this because it informed my own decisions about art.

You see dear readers, by dealing with two specific schools of thought constantly it either fueled or resulted in a great split in my mind and own practice about the very nature of art making. I began to produce work that was either conceptual or technical, and sometimes both. It felt rather like a struggle with divorcing parents, and as a child (student), I couldn’t possibly know which parent was the right one to pick (school of thought), so I did what I’ve always done in my life, I chose to do something different.

I made art for myself and specifically to both impress and disrupt my professors. This was almost ten years ago. And so I share with you an ongoing series of work I’ve been creating since my senior year of university, which has inspired paintings and drawings, some of which I will share later on in coming months.

At one point I called the series below, the Allegory of The Cave, because I was self-prescribing philosophy when I first started to deal with my issues of doubt and frustration at institution and with routine. Something which comes naturally for a lot of artists. #realtalk

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Almost ten years later, I have a blog that is gaining real traction thanks to readers like you, and I am working on community with artists of all walks of life. This blog serves as a platform for my vision of more accessible community across the arts, a soapbox for my theories and other artist theories on the arts, a theatre for collaboration, now a gallery for my own art, and eventually a lounge and studio for both art enthusiasts and artists. More on that last bit in future posts. Please hold me to it.

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So, I recently decided to change the title of the series to the Allegory of the Collage, because This series represents the complex narrative I am weaving for myself and my local community, by using material from local publications, with local characters and events that don’t have a distinct meaning in the image just yet, but an abstract and big-picture feeling. And frankly, because it is succinct in it’s purpose and as a metaphor for timotheories itself – to create art by combining different materials together with a solid backing.

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More importantly, creating art for the purpose of joining people and ideas together has always been important to me, and because I want art that looks good in my own home, I have an obligation to produce that which is interesting and entertaining. The discipline of writing 5 days a week, and producing a minimum of 2 videos a month is all related to the passion of creating to be at peace and to fulfil what often feels like a compulsion to share.

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It is very important to me that the work a produce be authentic and related to myself and what I experience in this life, so I always make work which ties back to that creed. I learned that lesson from a professor in my second year of university, and whether he truly believes it or was just lecturing, it’s solid advice.

This series is made up of text and pictures that are taken from local events, people, and ideas, and is naturally authentic for those reasons.

In sharing my work on my blog, I want to challenge others to make their own work better, to become full-fledged entrepreneurs in a time when we are entering back into cottage industry practices because of the access the internet provides to us on a global scale; an era of modern craft. And so I developed this post, to begin the process of adding my gallery of artwork into the blog in some capacity, eventually with piece titles, prices and everything, but I felt a visual introduction and artist statement was a good start for now.

If you are interested in commissions, prices of the work I’ve included in today’s post, or if you want more information about the series, please leave some comments below or email me at timotheories@outlook.com.

And of course, please follow me to get even more awesome content in the future. I interview visual artists, designers, musicians, actors, and other creative types every month. I also write reviews on film and music as they relate to my theory of film as the great narrative of our culture, and I always have some wisdom, events, and theories to share. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you on Sunday with a new Cross Talk episode!

Tim!

What’s In A Name? (Defining The Term Artist)

The visual arts are probably the most complicated of the creative fields to pin down. I mention this because it can take many forms from two-dimensional examples of drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography, to three-dimensional with ceramics, sculpture, video, and filmmaking, with fashion, crafts, design, and architecture existing in both realms.

Then you have your visual arts which also exist as theatre – performing arts and conceptual art.

You see dear readers, there was a time when the term artist represented fine art only (painting, sculpture, and printmaking) and anyone interested in handicraft or applied art was considered a craftsperson but not an artist.

This distinction existed until the 20th century, and it has taken over a century for it shift so that artist and art applies to multiple disciplines. Which can lead to some strange conversations among artists, with elitism still on the minds of fine artists and prejudice existing in all camps.

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As a graduate of a fine arts program myself, I’ve witnessed the distinction that professors, graduate students, and art historians make between fine art and other arts. What is even more difficult to swallow is that all the while that the older forms have a history and perception of “artist as genius” to them, the modern world laughs at the usefulness of such a profession.

There is a social stigma that if you are an artist you are naive, irresponsible and very likely financially poor. Morally too in some cases.

This conveniently happened around the same time that the “artist as genius” phase fizzled out, and the definition of artist began to broaden. As fine art became a commodity which had to be traded and in demand to gain recognition, it fit in very nicely with the already established forms of craft and applied arts (design, fashion, architecture) which business owners would pay for and have direct input in the results.

So where does timotheories fit into this landscape you may ask? I say why not both? Why can’t we elevate all art into a realm of marketable worth as well as recognizing the unique qualities required to create any sort of work, whether it be fine art, craft, theatre, or applied art.

I have this theory you see, that we’ve moved out of a post-modern mindset (one of deconstructing everything around us to see how it works and showcase intellectual superiority) to an age of modern craft. All artists need to become experts in their chosen form(s), and learn the proper marketing skills, finance skills, and communication skils in order to share their work with the world around them.

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timotheories supports the rights of artists to be successful at the profession of creating social value and entertainment for all people, and getting paid to do it.

I personally have always been driven by a myriad of artistic vehicles, so I can’t even favour one over the other because I don’t want to. I love drawing, painting, sculpture, filmmaking, writing, and performance art all the same. And I know that dabbling in photography, printmaking, design, and craft are ways that I express my ideas and creative ability just as well.

So for the sake of furthering the ambitious nature of this blog, I’m going to start sharing my own artwork with you, my friends, so showcase what I’m creating, receive critique, sell my work, and especially provide some insight into the entire art-making process.

Expect some cool collages in the coming weeks and if you’re lucky a powerful painting or two!

And in case you’ve been following the March schedule and noticed a couple of things out of order, I haven’t released the Paige Knickle interview yet, and that’s my bad. Due to some communication issues, the interview isn’t quite ready yet, so I’m going to publish Cross Talk Ep.3 next Sunday as planned, and then the interview will be ready for the 27th. We’ll have to bump the routines of famous creatives to April.

But I bet the wait’ll be worth it.

And that’s all he wrote. Please leave comments, follow/subscribe, and check in tomorrow evening for a Melodic Monday post.

Tim!