Title: The Journey of the Red Umbrella
Muse: Ray Smith
Gift Giveaways: Fine art giclee print of pastel painting with double matt. Image size is: 7 x 9 3/4 • Matt size is: 11 x 14
Muse-Creations for Our Forgive it Forward Giveaway – Because forgiveness and creativity go hand-in-hand for us, Ray and I thought it would be fun to spice up our 35-day Forgive It Forward project launch with a focus on the arts. So, we sent a call out to the muses among us for a little assist and some inspiration.
Between June 14th and July 19th, we introduced artists, sculptors, potters, musicians – and more – who forgave it forward with us by donating a gift for a random drawing giveaway. Each muse answered two questions and shared a little bit about their creative process and passion. We hope they inspire you.
Obviously this muse post is going to be treated just a little differently … Ray says he has to do his part to represent the guys being that all the muses who stepped forward for our forgiveness project were women. Well, except for Andy Irwin who is a singer-songwriter-storyteller-performer. He offered a CD in the first ‘call for all muses’ but we haven’t been able to catch up with him since!!! (As for all the other guys, don’t worry. Ray forgives you forward!)
Let’s start with a few words from Ray about his gift:
Architecture that reveals a history, that tells a story through distinctive texture and character inspires me. I found inspiration for this painting in Savannah, GA, a city rich with these qualities and in my memories of Savannah as the place Bernadette and I chose for our first artist escape after the experience described in her book.
The young character ‘journeyed’ from a previous pastel I had done for her. The human form always introduces a distinct energy to any painting. The raincoat and red umbrella are rich in spiritual metaphors and I love the anonymous innocence and questions this character brings to this piece.
Then let’s go to a few words from Ray about his creative process: Okay, I copped this copy from his gallery page. I knew you’d forgive me forward for not writing something new.
In 1965, after completing my Christmas shopping, I came upon an art store and found myself just standing and gazing in the window. I followed the impulse inside and walked out with $50.00 worth of basic art supplies. That New Years Eve I sat alone and drew my first pictures. I will never forget the experience of following my creative instinct. That new way of seeing the world around me led down many creative paths but did not honor my true nature as a fine artist. I was always at the party but never took the floor. Now, to dance with the lady I came in with is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life!
My personal creative experience weaves through 38 (plus) years of overlapping involvement with commercial art, fine art, advertising and acting in Detroit, New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles. My professional experience initiated in 1968 as vice president of an art studio that serviced advertising agencies in Detroit. The ‘actor’ emerged in 1969 and after three years of balancing studio responsibilities with acting I moved to New York and never looked back – except to return to Detroit to find Bernadette in 1975! (Insert Bernadette’s ‘WOOHOO!’ here.) As a member of the Screen Actors Guild, my experience is predominately in film and TV.
How does Ray feel art enriches his life and helps to heal our world?
It is time to look beyond the stereotypes to glimpse what creativity makes possible for all of us. – Gene D. Cohen from The Creative Age: Awakening Human Potential in the Second Half of Life
RS: My work today, in my studio or out, is to inspire and support the creative instinct in all people and to encourage them to see the beauty in the things that are so easy to overlook.
Integrating my love for acting and art with life experience, I help others use these crafts to identify, develop and enjoy their own unique strengths and abilities, no matter what their path. I conduct classes on drawing, acting and the creative process through a local senior services program encouraging activities that allow seniors to express their vitality and the treasure they are as keepers of our culture. I also advocate the importance of creativity, not just as part of a program for seniors, but also as an essential aspect of a healthy community.
What does forgive it forward mean to Ray?
He says, “forgiveness is a state of being – not a state of doing.” So, with that idea in mind, you can see it doesn’t matter so much whether he forgives it forward or backward or upward or downward or inside-outward. In BEING, he’s got it covered coming and going.
If you would like to see more of Ray’s work visit or visit Art in the Making. A Confession. on this blog.
If you missed our previous Muse, Anandi Devi: Click here to see her work.
Did you miss the Forgive it Forward video? Click here for the 3-minute video that started it all!