Book Review by Cheryl Renee Long
As I read Patrick Howe’s book The Awakening Artist: Madness and Spiritual Awakening in Art, I asked myself, where did these ideas come from? True, no one would mistake Patrick for a regular guy. He is artistic, intensely individualistic, funny and a bit eccentric. I would expect unusual ideas from him, but whew! The Awakening Artist is in a league by itself. His ideas are so unique I wonder if they have somehow leaked over to us from the future.
“What is left when the ego, the madness, finally dissolves here and now? What is left is only you, the infinite creative source – the Awakened Artist.”
Howe presents artists and their creative process or flow in an entirely new light. The One Art Movement is one of many concepts in the book. The One Art Movement is the idea that 35,000 years ago beginning with the Paleolithic cave painters, all artists were and are part of The One Art Movement. Artists are the carrier wave, the impetus that has affected human consciousness and the spiritual (not religious) evolution of humans. This idea states that all artists living today are quite literally connected to the same impulse and mission as all great artists, both living and dead. Artists are responsible for the spiritual evolution of humanity.
The implications of this idea and many others in the book make Howe’s book required reading for my art students. As an artist and art educator, I aim to be active in changing the world. The Awakening Artist tells me that I can do just that. I was fascinated and encouraged by The Awakening Artist and I now see my role in the world in a new way.
“…the brain is not the ultimate source of creativity, it makes the brain a creative instrument for the artist’s use. From the awakening point of view, the human brain is participating within a larger creative whole, a larger inspiration.”
(Image above) Original artwork by Seattle artist and author, Patrick Howe. He also offers oil painting classes and drawing classes, and sponsors regular art openings, and art events.