romare bearden

Uptown Sunday Night Session

I first learned of Romare Bearden back in 2004 when the Dallas Museum of Art featured his work in conjunction with an album by Branford Marsalis entitled ‘Romare Bearden Revealed‘.  To be honest I was more into the work of Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts at the time however most great art leads you to more great art.  So Tain -> Brandford -> Romare…not a bad journey.  

At the time I had just started dating my wife of now 14 years, Jennifer.  She is an avid art lover and has a deep appreciation for the creative process and pursuit.  We bought two prints and she insisted we have them professionally framed.  Thankfully we still have both of those today as they are hanging in my studio.  

A few years back Jen and I found From Process to Print: Graphic Works by Romare Bearden at our local Half Price Bookstore.  

“Improvisation, contrary to a lot of popular thinking, must be very exact. It is a reverberation, or an extension in another direction, from the basic thematic material.”

- Romare Bearden

“The themes to which Bearden confined himself allowed him a certain freedom to improvise within the limitations.“

- Robert Blackburn

I’ve found as a musician and designer that the more limitations, the greater I am creative.  It’s often an abyss of options that leave me paralyzed and unable to finish a project.  Most of the time limitations are natural and we generally don’t think about how they might help us.  Lack of resources, culture, time, etc.  However, as a technique we can limit our options with intention and often find we are able find solutions almost immediately.  

Take for example, an airplane ride.  Ever find yourself more creative or focused due to the lack of digital connectivity?  

After looking at the two works of art on our walls for the past 15+ years I see something new each time.  I still have a lot to learn and be inspired by.  Thanks Romare.