Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Blank Page

On our morning visits to Cafe El 90, we had often noticed a man having coffee at a nearby table — sometimes alone and sometimes with one friend or another. After a few times, he and I began to bid each other a quick "buenos días." It took me months to introduce myself; my less-than-perfect Spanish sometimes holding me back. Finally last week, we (Javier and I) were able to meet for a cup of coffee and some conversation. Javier, it turns out, has been an art gallery manager and curator for much of his professional life.

In the 1980s Javier began to carry around a little red book that he'd share with his artist friends and acquaintances, telling them to  create a work of art on the next available page. The results are astounding. Watercolor, mixed media, collage, pen and ink, pencil, oils, acrylics.

THE BOTTOM BOOK AWAITS...

Javier is now well into Book #2. He only invites "artists" to participate, so I was honored when he showed me my page and told me to create. OK, I was also nervous. But I've unpacked my art supplies and I'm already finding inspiration. I look forward to sharing my creation with Javier and, of course, with you. In the meantime, below is a small sampling of the talented company I'll be keeping. (Click any image for a closer look.)

JAVIER OUT FOR A SPIN WITH "THE KIDS."
















So now all I have to do is — according to Georges Seurat — "bring order to the whole. Through design, composition, tension, balance, light, and harmony."

28 comments:

  1. What a great book! I love that idea and cannot wait to see your page!

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    Replies
    1. Bob:
      The books are really amazing. I'm honored and hope I don't disappoint... myself.

      Delete
  2. That is a tough act to follow but I hear you are very talented so have full confidence in you!

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  3. What a wonderful idea! He'll have a book to publish when it's full... such a variety of creativity. You'll have to show us your page. Does he give you a time frame for completion? Again... what a great idea Javier has come up with.

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    1. Sharon:
      He told me to take all the time that I want, but I'm working on something now.

      Delete
  4. What a treasure! It should be published.

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    1. Frank:
      I agree. There's so much more I didn't share.

      Delete
  5. I don't envy you; some of the work in that book is exceptional. I see the influence of Picasso and Miro, among others.

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    1. Stephen:
      The fact that you, with your talent, don't envy me... makes me nervous!

      Delete
  6. Mitchell. Definitely a great talented man. It is a masterpiece in my opinion .

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    1. Gosia:
      Each page was created by a different individual. Javier is the curator who had a brilliant idea.

      Delete
  7. Wonderful! The whole thing, the story, the project, the creativity. The world is full of amazing people.

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    1. Michael:
      I completely agree. And something has finally inspired me to start creating again.

      Delete
  8. I'm sure you will do an outstanding job and leave your mark in his little book. This is a reminder of what we might miss if we don't get acquainted with those around us!

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    Replies
    1. Linda:
      You're so right. I'm glad we finally talked.

      Delete
  9. What an inspired idea. It seems you will be appearing with some greats.

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    1. Andrew:
      I hope I don't stick out like a sore thumb!

      Delete
  10. Remarkable! I'm glad you introduced yourself to Javier!

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  11. What an incredible honour this must be, Mitchell. I see that these 'pages' go back a few decades.
    This is one beautiful 'art journal' (for lack of a better word).
    Have fun and so happy you finally 'met' this fellow.

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    1. Jim:
      I think the oldest piece in the first book was done in 1980. Just incredible. I am truly honored.

      Delete
  12. Replies
    1. Spo:
      And Javier is such a pleasant and interesting person, too. What a gift this is!

      Delete
  13. Excellent! Looking forward to seeing your creation...

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  14. Replies
    1. Knatolee:
      Truly inspired. I wish I could have shared it all with you.

      Delete

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