Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Power of Imagery and Art

Being an artist's wife, I have to admit, that along with being Michael Irvine's greatest supporter and toughest critic, I sometimes kind of take his unbelievable talent and skill for granted. After all, in our home, he's also the guy that takes out the garbage and the recycling!

It's when I get to talk to people in person, on the phone, or read their comments on our Facebook page, that I am once again reminded of what his work means to them.

"Wow." • "Incredible.""Amazing.""Breathtaking." 
"Surreal.""Oh my God."" Niiiiice!" 
It's what I like to call the "wow factor". It's that initial reaction that people have to the powerful images and stories that Michael is able to portray in his paintings. They are amazed by his creativity, the reflections, the details and the fact that he hand draws and paints each and every one. They ask how he does it. Where he gets his ideas from? How does he get such brilliant, vibrant, intense colors using watercolor? How many hours does each painting take? And then finally, they just let themselves be immersed in the art. Let me tell you, it's pretty cool to witness and, in a small way, be a part of.

I found this quote, by visual artist Louie Schwartzberg, that I want to share with you. He uses time lapse photography to give us a unique look into the real world. And Michael, through his creative imagination and breathtaking images, gives us a peek into a world we'll never see in real life.
"Oh my God. ... The 'O' means it caught your attention, makes you present, makes you mindful. The 'my' means it connects to something deep inside your soul. It's a gateway for your inner voice to rise up and be heard. And 'God'? God is that personal journey we all want to be on, to be inspired, to feel like we are connected to a universe that celebrates life." Louie Schwartzberg at TEDxSF

According to Louie, approximately 80% of the information we receive comes through our eyes.  Isn't it necessary then, for our well being, to have something beautiful to look at each and every day? Images, like those in Michael's car art, can create feelings of joy, bring back the memories and glory of days past, spark our imagination, launch dreams of a possible future, and bring us an overall feeling of well being. Through art in our home or work space, we are able to experience all that creative imagery has to offer on a day to day basis.

So, no matter what life and the world throw at you, don't forget to smell the flowers, take the time to enjoy your surroundings, and share a smile. Enjoy the day.  — Linda

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Love Story

Non car people just don't get it. They think a car is just transportation ... that it's a means to an end from point 'A' to point 'B'. When they look at a car (or truck, for that matter), they see 4 wheels, some metal, fiberglass, lights, a windshield and some other stuff that makes it go. But for many, though, it's much, much more than that.

We are often asked, kind of warily, if Michael is in fact a car guy at all. Or just one of those artists that has set their sights on a subject they feel will be profitable to them. With 4 classic cars, mountains of car magazines, shelves of books and boxes full of parts (many duplicates and triplicates, just in case), I can assure you, he's a car guy, nut, enthusiast (whatever word fits) through and through. And, he's definitely not alone.

In searching through the Netflix selections for car chase movies the other day (see what I mean about his passion?), Michael came across a documentary that, as car enthusiasts, you're sure to appreciate. "Love The Beast" is about one man's love of his car, what it's meant to him and his friends, and their journey together. 

Eric Bana and his Ford GT Falcon Coupe
"What if you were a Hollywood movie star with an obsession for cars and racing? You would probably read every script with even the tiniest link to the subject matter, in the hope that you could tell a great car story of the likes of "Grand Prix", "Le Mans" or "Mad Max". —

You'll follow Eric Bana and his Ford GT Falcon Coupe — "THE BEAST", through his early childhood, acquisition of his first car (which is incidentally, the Falcon Coupe), restoration, rebuild, racing and more. Through Eric's eyes, we get a glimpse at his own 25 year long love story — reflecting on a lifetime of ownership and of friendship. Jay Leno, Jeremy Clarkson and Dr. Phil pitch in to help give us insight into the car obsessed psyche. You'll be glad to hear, they all agree it's quite healthy (yes, even Dr. Phil says so!).

A young Eric Bana.
Actor/Race Car Driver Eric Bana with Jay Leno.
From "Love the Beast", Eric Bana with Dr. Phil.
English motorsport broadcaster, Jeremy Clarkson.

When you have a spare couple of hours, check it out. I don't think you'll be disappointed. — Linda