Communing with art


A man who never reads will never be read. A man who never quotes will never be quoted. A man who never uses the thoughts of other men’s brain proves that he has no brain of his own.

~ Charles Spurgeon

The quote above is about reading, writing, and thinking. About how our pens stand on the shoulders of others.

This is true of our art, as well. We should be in communication with others who created – both before and alongside us. Studying the art of others allows us to “dialect” of making that each artist employs (the details behind the techniques and processes.) We can then borrow from those to blend in our own way – to make our own art.

  • This week’s artist is – Kasia Polkowska – whose work I saw at last year’s Autumn Arts Festival. For even more, check out her website and instagram!
  • Georges Rouault would have been 153 on Monday!
  • Here’s a great look into a 19th century portrait by Cecilia Beaux.
  • If you’ve ever wondered why white paint makes a home feel cooler or why white clothing is best for hot climates, here’s an interesting science experiment that demonstrates the difference between absorption and reflection.
  • Fear of colors – everything you need to know about chromophobia.
  • 6 tips on balancing creating and parenting.
  • This 4-minute speech by author Fredrik Backman on “creative anxiety and procrastination” made me laugh.
  • The above made me think of a joke I heard somewhere recently – I used to be an amateur crastinator, but with a lot of practice, I’ve become a pro-crastinator.
  • Jerry Seinfeld gave a commencement address to Duke’s 2024 class. There is some really powerful stuff hidden between the jokes. (I liked fascination over passion.)
  • I always say there are two only hard and fast rules in framing, and number two is “don’t bleed on the artwork.” This is a great look into life in a frame shop.
  • A typeface is rediscovered in the River Thames.
  • My favorite color is purple. I like it better than blue and red combined.
  • 😎 Fun Fact: There’s a hidden skull in Hans Holbein’s “The Ambassadors”. This anamorphic skull can be seen from a specific angle, showcasing the artist’s skill and the Renaissance fascination with perspective and symbolism.
  • Tomorrow is Crafternoons (for Adults!) at the Durango Public Library from 4-5. After all, crafting isn’t just for kids! Crafting isn’t just fun, it’s fundamental for mental health, relaxation, and happiness! Come and explore their awesome craft supplies each month. Follow a suggested project or free play and create your own masterpiece! The space is reserved for adults (17+) May’s theme is Postcard Party!
  • Durango Fiesta Days carnival is this weekend Thurs-Monday (23-27th) at the county fairground and event center.
  • The San Juan Mountains Association’s Durango Nature Center is once again open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 until 2. has more information.
  • The Iron Horse Bicycle Classic is this weekend – with all of the events that go along with the ride.
  • Opening Reception: Duality – a Solo Exhibition by artist Tad smith. At the DAC, Friday, from 5-7. Exhibit goes until June 29. Gallery event free to the public.
  • The ELHI Community Center (115 Ute Street, Ignacio) has a free Movie Night & Costume Contest (Friday from 7-9). Dress as your favorite Ninja Turtle to be entered to win a prize, and come enjoy the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mutant Mayhem” movie in the ELHI Commons and follow the event page on facebook for more opportunities to win. Concessions will be available as a fundraiser for future ELHI Community Center events.
  • Blue Rain Gallery has an artist demo by Raymond Gibby this weekend. Reception for the show is Friday from 5-7. Demo runs Fri-Sat from 5-7. Witness Gibby’s artistic process firsthand as he breathes life into his creations before your eyes.
  • Sunday (9-12:30) is the Narrow Gauge 10-Mile/5K Run. Be a part of history — this is the longest continuously run road race in Colorado! Since 1978, the Durango Running Club Narrow Gauge 10 Mile Run has been one of Durango’s oldest Memorial Day traditions. This year, they’re back at beautiful Santa Rita Park. Proceeds benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado and the Fort Lewis College Track/Cross-Country team.
  • Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) exhibit: Crossroads: “Change in Rural America” a Colorado Humanities tour, is coming to Ignacio! It’s a FREE and interactive exhibit for all ages! Come reflect on Ignacio’s history while finding out how you connect to your community with events and programs designed to complement the Smithsonian exhibition. At the Ignacio Community Library.
  • It’s the time of year when there are lots of live music events, open mics, live jam sessions, etc, scattered about the area throughout the week. There are too many to list here, so if you’re looking for such things, head over to
  • There are classes/workshops/projects available at the 4 Corners Gem and Mineral Club, the Bayfield Library, Create Art and Tea, the Dancing Spirit Center for the ArtsDurango Sustainable GoodsLet’s Letter Together, the MakerLab, the Scrapbook NookSeed Studio, and the Durango Arts Center. There are a lot more things happening that I don’t include – so if you’re ever looking for something to do, start at
  • We have a variety of color sets. Whether you’re looking for oils, oil sticks, oil pastels… wait a minute. I’m noticing a pattern here. We also have sets in acrylic (like the high flows in the bottom left), watercolor, and other materials. Sometimes it’s nice to just grab a set of colors that someone else picked out to work well together. Whatever medium or color range you’re looking for, swing by to see what set might work for you!

I’ve thought of art making like cooking. We’re all working with the same basic ingredients and tools, but we blend them in our own unique ways.

We can see where someone else added a dash of seasoning and a pinch of a herb and it completely changed the outcome. That inspires us to add a pinch of seasoning to our own work.

Like food connoisseurs who can identify ingredients with a skilled specificity, some readers can taste the inspiration of others in their favorite authors or poets work.

Sometimes I can look at an artist’s work and see shadows of those who inspired it’s making.

So, in short, here’s a reminder to go and look at the art that others make. Look at how the art was made, what it was made of, where that one splash of highlight color was added. Search for that spice or seasoning that you might be able to use in your work.

Whether you’re trying to make something new or follow in a grand tradition – the world needs your art!

Matthew & the Art Supply House crew

P.S. – Thank you so much for the donations to the Spring Clean Art Supply Drive. We’re sorting through and categorizing so that we can get the right materials to the right places. As soon as we get through that process, we’ll give you an update on where everything went.