Tag Archives: Art

Taking Flack


You’re studying art? But how are you going to make a living?”

SStahhhp this!

Why do we keep asking artists this question?

If I counted how many times I have been asked this question and gotten the “look” that comes along with it I could….I don’t know…But main point, is that artists are bombarded with this question. And BELIEVE ME we are already thinking and worrying about it. Why reinforce that self-doubt? Artists know that their profession includes daily risk taking.

I recently attended an art lecture given by the artist Sharon Louden and she said point blank that “It takes a community to be an artist.” Hell yeah. And not just a community of artists, it takes all types; left-brainers and right-brainers alike.

And so with that being said I speak to everyone, lets become a community of challengers, motivators, appreciators, lovers, and thinkers.

-paris / art by patrick bremer

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My Love


My grandmother’s death was exactly how she would have wanted it to happen. She didn’t decline over a long period. It was just a couple days. A few minutes before her death we were all surrounding her, holding her hand, touching her arm, brushing her hair out of her face and all of a sudden her eyes opened wide. She seemed to be looking right through all of us. She was seeing something and whatever it was, it was magnificent. Twice this occurred. At the very end she raised her arms as if she was reaching for something beyond our knowing.

Of the many wonderful memories of Cheers, that’s what we called her, Cheers, my best were the ones I spent at her house as a child. Often she would take me down the stairs to her basement that served as her studio. It was always scattered with pages ripped out of magazines, tubes of paint, a multitude of brushes and supplies, and canvases of all shapes and sizes, some displaying finished paintings and some with doodles and ideas. As soon as I stepped over the threshold entering this space I was hit with the smell of acrylic paint. It was home.

She never told me not to touch things like grownups frequently do to small handsie children. I was free to admire, caress and use anything in that sacred space. She ignited my love for art.

Cheers was a strong woman. A real fighter. Meaning she was real, her own self, not a copycat.  It makes sense because art is the most challenging lover. Art cannot be created without vulnerability and vulnerability creates real human beings. It is this process of imperfection that creates vividness and life.  That is what I learned from her.  I don’t want to be perfect, I want to be real.

Cheers was a true artist, with her painting and the life she lead.

I think a life is well lived when it doesn’t stop.  Her spirit carries on in many of us, it’s too beautiful and precious not to.  And in that way, she lives.  There is simply no need too say goodbye.


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I Believe in Good


I believe in good. I grew up in a good Christian home…as perhaps the majority of American families have, at least the ones that I was around. If I’ve been taught something over and over again by my parents it would be to question everything. Question even things you know to be true. Questioning opens the doors for your beliefs to become stronger.  Questions lead to good.

I am not Christian. I feel learning your beliefs should be somewhat like science: keep looking, keep testing. To me practicing Christianity has always felt like playing house, a part in a play. It only feels real for a while.

About a year ago I finally stepped back and thought…Why do I believe God exists? Have I ever experienced God? I haven’t. Though I can hear my father’s responses rolling around in my head…”God is in the way your paint brush hits the canvas, he’s that feeling you get when you create the perfect outfit, he’s the intense wave of inspiration you feel after being on Pinterest for an hour, he’s more here than we are, that’s the problem…” Yes Daddy. I hear you. But who’s to say that’s not something else?

I’m not an atheist though because as best I can tell atheists believe only in things that they can prove, verify with sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing. I have to admit I’ve experienced moments where I feel something intangible, something ineffable but who’s to say it was god? I’m not ready to name it.  It could very well be some other higher up being or maybe it’s just my soul singing.

Believing in God for me is like believing in Santa Claus; it’s true right up till the moment you realize it’s not…nice in theory but at the end of the day it’s merely a tradition to get us through the day, something to get excited about. It’s a holiday from reality. Maybe one day I will decide I do believe. But, until I experience a feeling of knowing I don’t believe.

I don’t want to lose myself to something that is not true and doesn’t allow me to be me. Christianity has turned into an enterprise just like most things in our world. It stamps out people that all look the same inside and out. One thing I will never compromise on and will always protect is my originality, my me-ness, what I mean as good. In my way of thinking, being good is being real, being me.

The world is growing boring with everyone wanting to be the same. The more people who resist this trend and choose to be different, to be themselves, who choose the good, the better and stronger our world will become.

For that reason I believe in good.


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Home is Where You Get Your Paint Brushes

Opening the door I’m immediately immersed in an air conditioned calm that is my home away from home. As I walked along an aisle, I ran my fingers across the surface of of pads of paper stacked haphazardly in the middle of the concrete aisle. Wherever my eyes rest, I see potential. I see beautiful pieces of art waiting to be seen and created. This store has always been my candy store. While other little girls were whining to their mothers trying to urge them to buy the newest Bratz doll for them, I was whining for art supplies. Though I never had to whine for long. My mother smothered me in supplies, not in a spoiled way, but in a way that showed she supported my creative endeavors. Heaps of sketchbooks lie beneath my bed with just the first page used. There is something magical about the first page in a sketchbook. That sketchbook could be created into the next piece of art that could be held up next to Gustav Klimt or Henri Matisse. But, in my case, I would be so excited that I would start to draw anything and then once I used the first page, the magic vanished so I lost interest and tore the plastic off of a fresh sketchbook and began again.  Jerry’s Artarama still promotes my creativity and the quality of my art. The very smell of this haven of materials makes my fingertips itch to begin creating.
Ever since I was tiny, I have always been that child that yearns to touch and hold not just to see. I remember quite clearly that when I was seven I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and I was so taken by a painting that I lightly brushed it with my chubby finger. Well one would have thought I would just murdered the Pope. After the guard warned my grandmother quite sternly to make sure I kept my hands to myself, I walked out feeling flushed and embarrassed. I hadn’t meant to do anything bad, I just wanted to feel what that artist was feeling when their brush hit the canvas. This policy was never so at Jerry’s Artarama. I was always told, actually encouraged, to feel the quality of the papers and feel the different textures of the bristles on the brushes. Literally smelling, seeing, touching, and even hearing can determine the quality of art materials. I’ve always loved the entire process of making art and this first step of picking out materials is close to my heart because I can still feel the textures that I first felt when I was just a child.
According to the Paris Woodhull dictionary, “Art” is a verb: It means “to feel;” not only to feel emotionally, but tactually. For that reason, Jerry’s Artarama is my temple. I can feel the potential and the textures around me. As I continue down the concrete aisle which leads into carpeted rows I can smell the pungent odor of acrylic paint and acidic paper. I can hear the soft shuffle of feet and the tapping fingers of impatient customers waiting to check out their ambitiously large canvases. Wide rows of brushes poise upwards like little choirs so customers can feel the harshness or softness of their bristles. These hallowed walls have housed the beginning to almost every art project I’ve created; everything from my project for governors school to window installations. Every corner is free of dust and dirt  because each corner is inevitably interesting and draws artists to come over and keep the dust circulating in the air.
As I continue down the aisle that houses all sorts of odds and ends for potters, I begin to think about what purchasing art supplies could be compared to. “Purchasing art supplies is like…Going over to grandmas…it’s like when you buy your first car…” After much deliberation, I decide that,”Buying art supplies is like deciding your religious affiliation.” My pace slows down as I jot these quick thoughts down in a wonky sixth grade boy handwriting. Purchasing art materials is, in fact, somewhat of a religious experience. I have to first decide what materials my hands require and then I have to decide which brand is most suitable. Do I like rough surfaces of smooth ones? Do I need a pen or a paintbrush? Do I like the wateriness of gouache or the thickness of acrylic? These thoughts enter my brain as I continue down the pottery aisle making a sharp turn into the portfolio section. Giant portfolios with a shiny outer shell pleading to be filled with art. No matter what material, like religion, art strives for the same goal: to find hope. Some people take drugs to calm their nerves, but I go to Jerry’s.
paris woodhull
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