The Fear Factor

“When I hear people talk about a fear of failing, I get so tired. You think you’re afraid of failing, but in fact you’re doing it now. Let’s talk about your fear of succeeding.”
-Gordon Hays 2016

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Reaching Toward Pluto

“Nothing will be impossible for you.” -Matthew 17:20 NIV

Dear Reader, have you been following the journey of the New Horizons space probe to Pluto? This may seem like an unlikely subject for my blog, but I am fascinated by the beautiful metaphor on faith and trust that has unfolded in this particular NASA mission.

Before launching in 2006 under the guiding principle of “shedding light on frontier worlds,” New Horizons faced considerable setbacks and opposition. When viewing the images being sent to us here on Earth from the remarkable nine and a half year, thirty billion mile journey to Pluto, it is important to note that the New Horizons project was once cancelled. After being launched, aimed towards a goal, Pluto, New Horizons’ main focus was discounted and demoted to a dwarf planet. Every new object discovered along New Horizons’ path needed to be overcome as a threat to the probe. And, according to an article in the July 15, 2015 USA Today, “it would take only a speck of dust the size of a grain of rice to mortally wound the spacecraft.”

Hidden among the New Horizons project is a beautiful metaphor for our own lives. Despite all the setbacks, obstacles and perceived failures New Horizons reached its’ goal. The team behind the project spent years engineering and calculating, and yet ultimately had to let go, and send out this valuable space probe into the unknown, trusting for nine and a half years and thirty billion miles that a speck of dust would not be the end of the mission. That is the essence of faith. That is the definition of surrendering to the unknown. New Horizons is pioneering into once uncharted territory, revealing a mystery in the far reaches of the unknown.

I look at my life now, as I venture into my own unknown. It is perhaps the most difficult and beautiful time in my life thus far. But, I can have faith too that even in the vastness of the unknown, something wonderful will be discovered. I hope the same for you.

Just Published in The Salmon Creek Journal 2015!

I am very excited to announce that my artwork and poetic narrative were just published in The Salmon Creek Journal 2015. Below, is the poetic narrative “Rainbow Cup” written in 2014 that I saved for this moment to share with you all. I am so honored to see these words reflected back to me in print!

SCJ

“Rainbow Cup”

Gordon Hays, 2014

Nothing can grow from falsehood. It must begin with the seed of Truth.

Story shapers and deceivers know this alike.

The beginning. It starts with me.

People say I have an attitude, among other things.

I say, I speak my mind.

I say, I claim my voice.

I alone have walked through the fires of my life.

I alone exist with the charred remains of my personal triumphs, and the wasteland of my failures, flaws and missed opportunities.

I draw from the deep well of a varied past. Covert and cruel, beautiful and heartbreaking. The enduring spectrum of the modern queer.

I drink from a rainbow cup. Thick with the spoiled slick of hate and rejection; dredged with tears and brutality.

I drink from a rainbow cup. Spilling over with jubilant celebration; the flood of creative liberation.

I drink from a rainbow cup. Longing for a mulled sweetness, warmed by desire. A never sated want of un-ending thirst.

I drink from a rainbow cup. Poured from a history of silence and enduring strength. Poured from shadows of the past into an illuminated future.

Gordon Hays

Artist, Writer, Wayshower

Gordon Hays Artwork

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gordon-Hays-Artwork/380616048717195

The Good Life with Gordon

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Good-Life-with-Gordon/1463801707210100

 

 

 

Word Art

G Word Art

WordPress inspires Word Art. This is how I describe myself in words and color. How would you describe yourself? Imagine and create!

by Gordon Hays

Artist, Writer, Wayshower

Gordon Hays Artwork

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gordon-Hays-Artwork/380616048717195

The Good Life with Gordon

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Good-Life-with-Gordon/1463801707210100

 

How to be a Creative Pioneer.

Why do I rage? Yesterday, there was nothing safe from my scathing eye. In the words of Adele, I could have set fire to the rain. I smoldered with an inward inferno. In the days’ wake, I left behind the ashes of customers who challenged me, classmates who crossed my path, and assignments nearly due. Probably best that when the days’ must do’s were done, I withdrew from the world.

I’ve heard it’s a guy thing, but withdrawing provides perspective. Being far removed, I can take a deep breath and begin to investigate.

So, why do I rage? It’s the aftermath of unexpected vulnerability. Yesterday, an impromptu presentation in my Fine Arts class left me feeling embarrassed and personally exposed. The I should have said this, and should have done that’s began to pile up in my mind. Frustrated, I realized, because I had no armor. This is vulnerability. To put yourself out there, even in circumstances outside of your control and surrender to the outcome.

As creatives, how do we embrace vulnerability when it seems the world is full of critics, ready and willing to tear us down? I’ve been listening to interviews with Brene’ Brown, author of Daring Greatly who relates powerful insights about the importance of vulnerability in our society. It is important despite any potential criticism to share our creative voice with the world. Today, after sitting with my reflections I am choosing to look at my experience as a valuable one. I made a note during class about why it is important to go through uncomfortable experiences like the one I had yesterday. The willingness to go through a vulnerable moment means that you become a leader, not a follower. You forge into the unknown, like a creative pioneer. And although not always easy, I realize now that it is a part of the process.

Gordon Hays

Artist, Writer, Wayshower

Gordon Hays Artwork

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gordon-Hays-Artwork/380616048717195

The Good Life with Gordon

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Good-Life-with-Gordon/1463801707210100

Spring Breaking into Mini-Masterpieces

Drew 1

Spring Break was just the right time to complete a creative project for my art gallery rep. He created a massive Lego town that depicts scenes from his life, including an art gallery. As one of the artists he represents, I was invited to create a mini-masterpiece to hang in the art gallery. This was a big challenge to work small! (2″x2″). After a couple failed attempts, I found myself immersing in the creative challenge, and offered these up for an online vote. It was a great way to engage my audience, while simultaneously truly delighting in the creative process!

If you would like to see more artwork, please visit my Facebook page:

Gordon Hays Artwork

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gordon-Hays-Artwork/380616048717195

Discover Marina Abramovic

“The artist has to be a warrior. Has to have this determination, and has to have the stamina to conquer not just new territory but also to conquer himself and his weaknesses.”
–Marina Abramovic, The Artist is Present

I remember the first time I was introduced to Marina Abramovic’s work. A reenactment of her piece, The House with the Ocean View was featured on the popular television series Sex and the City. In that particular episode, Carrie and Charlotte visit a gallery to see the performance. Challenging the message of the performance, Carrie states, “If you put a phone up on that platform, it’s just a typical Friday night, waiting for some guy to call” (Season Six: Episode 12). While presented as a joke, there is a measure of truth in Carrie’s analysis. And, perhaps that was Abramovic’s intent all along. When Abramovic’s work is deconstructed, the message becomes very simple. Abramovic emphasizes the everyday struggle to be present in our lives. Slowing down, taking time to reflect, and looking inward are often themes in the narrative of Abramovic’s work.

Marina Abramovic
This WordPress post today is part of an assignment for my Fine Arts class. Abramovic is featured in our text book, and it was during this class I discovered Abramovic’s documentary film The Artist is Present, which documents her retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art in 2010. For this installation, Abramovic created a performance piece that allowed museum visitors to come and sit in front of her individually. Abramovic remained in the gallery from the time it opened until it closed every day of the exhibition, seated, as audience members came to sit before her. Performance art is defined by an aspect of audience participation. And in this piece, Abramovic acted as a mirror to those people who sat opposite her. For some, the experience was deeply emotional, for others a brief exchange. But, through it all Abramovic made herself present and available. This was Abramovic’s purpose. To connect the audience with themselves, acting as a symbolic bridge, Abramovic incorporated audience participation in an effort to encourage viewers to slow down, and engage in connection. While not every attendee sat with Abramovic, approximately 850,000 people visited the gallery during Abramovic’s installation. The impact of Abramovic’s work is evident in her mass following that includes pop culture icons like Lady Gaga and Jay Z. I encourage you to discover Marina Abramovic’s work, and experience this powerful artist.

Work Cited

Akers, Matthew. The Artist is Present. Perf. Marina Abramovic. HBO Documentary Films, 2012. DVD.
King, Michael Patrick. Sex and the City Season Six: Episode 12. Perf. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Dixon. HBO Video, 2004. DVD.