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The Artist as Storyteller

By Michael Divine on January 31st, 2018

To be an artist is to be a storyteller. Artists are, in one form or another, telling a story with their creations. Even the artist who vehemently denies any story at all – I’m just making art for art’s sake! – is still a story teller since that, too, is just another story. The purpose of the storyteller in our world has always been, I think, to reflect back to us some aspect of our humanity so that we can better understand ourselves. We tell each other stories of grief, joy, pain, heartache, and connection. Perhaps the sharing of these…  READ MORE

You’ve Got to Carry That Weight (or that flame) a Long Time

By Michael Divine on January 16th, 2018

“Sometimes when I don’t post enough progress shots, people begin to say I’ve lost it– Maura is washed up. This is never the case. I work diligently, every day, motherf***ers.”

– Maura Holden

Some time back, I came to a pivot point in my work and my understanding of the well from which I draw my inspiration.

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The Beauty of Original Art

By Michael Divine on January 11th, 2018
Work in progress in my studio

To own an original painting is to have the original playing – the live perfect performance – of a song. I’ve met many a musician who has, in a painting I’ve made, seen a visual representation of a song, much as I’ve heard many a song and, in that song, heard an auditory journey of a particular image. Imagine if you could own Jimi Hendrix’s “Axis”. Or Beethoven’s 5th. Or Miles Davis’ “Agartha”. And so on. Each canvas print of a painting is like the perfect and pristine vinyl recording. The paper prints and posters are good quality CDs and,…  READ MORE

A Transitive Nightfall: Notes on a Title

By Michael Divine on December 5th, 2017
A Transitive Nightfall of Diamonds

“I was very impressed with T.S. Eliot around the time I was writing [the lyrics for] Dark Star. Beyond that, that’s just my kind of imagery…. I don’t have any idea what the ‘transitive nightfall of diamonds’ means. It sounded good at the time. It brings up something that you can see.” – Robert Hunter on the lyrics for “Dark Star” from which the title of the painting is taken as quoted in “The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics” “So I have a long continuum of ‘Dark Stars’ which range in character from each other to real different extremes. ‘Dark…  READ MORE

A Transitive Nightfall of Diamonds

By Michael Divine on December 5th, 2017
A Transitive Nightfall of Diamonds - The Guitar Painting

See the full painting here: A Transitive Nightfall of Diamonds “Each note is like a whole universe. And each silence…. And the quality of sound and the degree of emotional… It’s like the most important thing in the world. It’s truly cosmic.” – Jerry Garcia in “The Rolling Stone Interviews” Loud fuzzy distorted sustained amplified strummed plucked looped shredded wah wah wah wailing upon and fed back through layer upon layer of chord progression melody line guiding me and dividing me and finding that perfect note, that golden chord, that crying out tone of my soul. This is my homage…  READ MORE

The Apotheosis of Hope

By Michael Divine on November 3rd, 2017

Hope. It is a silly thing – a frivolous thing. Hope is the breath of a bubble waiting to burst. In the midst of our more confidently brazen facades, we scoff it off as naive – a thing for children’s stories and religious tales when the fairy godmother might come and sweep us away and the brethren hope for the return of their savior. When all is well, what need have we for hope? When tomorrow and the next look as bright and full of possibility as today what need have we to break our stride? I’m ok. You’re ok….  READ MORE

The Value of F***ing Around

By Michael Divine on November 1st, 2017

As an artist, they say, you should always be producing. And it should be better. And more. And also more better. And, the older you get, the more this adage echoes through your mind. Does what I’m doing have value? Is this worth the time I’m spending on it? How long until it’s done and how will it compare to previous works?

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When the Smoke Cleared

By Michael Divine on October 24th, 2017

So the past couple of weeks at our little Divine Comedy have been challenging. We moved north of Napa back in December and, after the wettest winter on record, we had the hottest summer on record which led to the worst fires, you guessed it, on record. Our air was thick with smoke and we woke every morning examining the current fire maps. We were rather surrounded – to the north, south, and west at times less than ten miles from the brunt of them. When everything is like a tinderbox and winds may shift at any moment, that ten miles doesn’t seem…  READ MORE

It Is a Good Time To Make Art

By Michael Divine on September 28th, 2017
"Flowers for Atlas" by Michael Divine

“I recalled the artists who had done their work in gulags, prison cells, hospital beds; who did their work while hounded, exiled, reviled, pilloried. And those who were executed… This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal. I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos…  READ MORE

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