Faith in the Humanities Lecture: Artistic Creativity

What Causes the 

Spark of  Creativity for you? 

Where do Artists get their ideas? 

How do they generate creative works? 

"Modern life is a sea of images. Our eyes are flooded by bright pictures and clusters of text flashing at us from every direction. The brain, overstimulated, must rapidly adapt to process this swirling barrage of disconnected data. ... 

How to survive in this age of vertigo? We must relearn how to see. Amid so much jittery visual clutter, it is crucial to find focus, the basis of stability, identity and life direction. ... 

The only way to teach focus is to present the eye with opportunities for steady perception -- best supplied by the contemplation of art. Looking at art requires stillness and receptivity, which realign our senses and produce a magical tranquility."  

-- Camille Pagila, Glittering Images: 
A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars. 


Standing on the shoulders of Giants.

A traditional art student exercise is to copy paintings of admired artists. 

Picasso copied the masterpieces, 
giving his own take on famous paintings. 
"The Louvre is the teacher of us all." 
 Las Meninas1656 Velazquez

Picasso's Las Meninas

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African Mask

Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon 1907

Wild Woman by GJ Gillespie

Emily Carr Totem Figure
Emily Carr

Forest Scene After Carr by GJ Gillespie

Arshile Gorky

"Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes... Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an explosion into unknown areas."

Gorky spent decades making art in the style of artists he admired. 

Paul Cézanne

Roberto Matta

Invasion of the Night (1942)

Arshile Gorky
Landscape-Table, 1945

Untitled (Cubist Figure)
Arshile Gorky

Gorky Dreaming by GJ Gillespie

"Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian".
By Giovanni Bassi, 1525
Inspired by stories of the saints

Blame Sebastian by GJ Gillespie

Jacob Jordean 
Prometheus Bound, 1640
Inspired by Greek Myth

Punishment of Prometheus 
by GJ Gillespie 

Saturn Devouring his Children
by Goya, 1822
Kurt Cobain 
I Wanna Be a Rock Star 
After Goya by GJ Gillespie

Sacrament of the Last Supper by Salvador Dalí, 1955

Last Supper after Dali by GJ Gillespie, 2014

Double Elvis
by Andy Warhol 1964

Double Elvis after Warhol
by GJ Gillespie

Untitled by Lee Krasner
Windmills of Your Mind #1 by GJ Gillespie

Kouros Statue of Warrior
Height 6 feet c. 530 BCE marble

Sketch of Kouros Statue,
Sana Monica Art Museum
by GJ Gillespie

Kingdom Within by GJ Gillespie

Man Disguised as Spirit
by GJ Gillespie


"If I have seen further it is by standing on the sholders of Giants."
-- Sir Isaac Newton

GJ Gillespie speaks about artists who inspire him at the
Faith in the Humanities Conference, Northwest University, March 22 2016. 

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