Impetus – Conor Broderick

January 2016
Marianna, FCI, Florida

I believe that anyone has the ability to become an artist.  Intelligence, creativity, curiosity –  these are qualities endowed by our generations that have passed.  To me these capacities define every person because they define humanity.

This simple outlook might not be shared by others, especially those who claim that they do not possess artistic ability.  This could be blamed on the lack of value placed on creative expression in a society that lives by a standard demanding instant results.  Maybe there are not enough passionate mentors who are willing to communicate the importance of creativity.  Art, science, and philosophy shape our world as we move forward together, yet all three require a special level of imagination.

Mr. McCabe was my junior high school art instructor.  I consider myself lucky.  My teacher was very good at inspiring young minds.  He taught me to think outside the “box of reality,” while teaching his unorthodox approach to fundamental artistic expression.  Simply, Mr. McCabe made learning fun.

Fast forward many years.  I almost lost touch with that artistic inspiration but, ever so quietly, McCabe’s lessons continued to echo through my life.  I would find myself recalling the K.I.S.S. rule (keep it simple, stupid! Mr. McCabe would mock) when working on a navitronics (navigational electronics?) project for work or recalling color theory while drawing a cartoon giraffe for a girl I wished to impress.  His visual art instruction would even find its way into influencing how emotion was conveyed through my prose.

Mr. McCabe also helped me appreciate other artists’ work that transcended disciplines – and architect’s designs, a choreographer’s mix of dance and music, or my Granddad’s paintings.  Eventually I started to understand how an art piece came to be.  I came to know the final product is only a component of the creator’s saga.

When I was placed in a time out by the United States government, I was given an opportunity to tell my own story.  I found that when I did not possess art supplies, I could just manufacture my own.  

An example – while in solitary confinement, I combined juice, toothpaste, and ground pepper to create the painting of a flower.  There was a whole journey that resolved in the form of a painting.

Learning to become resourceful led me to mixing medias and styles; ballpoint pen crosshatching combined with fruit punch juice, or watercolor blended on graphite.

I really enjoy developing a piece that is inspired by my imagination.  To just create a work of art out of completely nothing, that no other has ever seen at all, is the pure idea behind my personal interpretation. When an artist chooses a subject to render, filtered by creative interpretation, the creator will obtain a deeper understanding of that place, that object, or person, by pensive studying of the real live impetus. 

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