Jim Funk

Jim Funk is a retired nurse/nurse practitioner, a Gainesville native, and an enthusiastic member of Anartists. He discovered the wonderful pleasures of ‘right-brained thinking’ when he was 30 and did collage art for the first time. He wishes everyone could experience the calm, creative, intuitive, happy, and trusting holistic feelings that doing art can grant us. Most of us simply don’t experience it in this digital written-word world.

“We are all artists!, but our intuitive and holistic artistic thinking is hidden behind electronic screens, bowled over by spoken and written words, and buried under the phrase, ” I am not an artist!” Happily the joys of ‘right brained’ artistic thinking* can be easily experienced and nurtured when we play with art and value the process more than the end product. Doodling on paper and/or expressing ourselves with collage-(tearing up magazines and putting the pieces together in a new way) can be fun, easily accessible, and a successful way to start with art. With these media you’re free-no one expects masterpiece! Let the materials you use be a guide. ” Jim Funk
‘Our Flower in the Garden of the Universe’ Lucious colors evoke how precious and beautiful our planet is.  It helps me express my joys and fears about our wonderful home.

It is fun to take doodles and turn them into a collage. (This is currently my main artistic activity- turning doodles into a collage) This collage  uses the doodles of a home care patient who suffered from severe lung disease.  I was fascinated by her intricate doodles. It wasn’t till later I recognized that most of her drawing symbolized the inside of a lung. Maybe it subconsciously helped her cope and possibly had a physical effect on her disease. Art can give us a wonderful outlet for feelings, and even helps us realize new things about ourselves.

‘Life of Christ, Compassion to Crucifixion’  is a unique circular montage of classic pictures of Christ, from a loving mother to a cruel crucifixion. Art can help us bring together a whole life into one picture- including our own.

This nature collage was particularly relaxing and actually relatively easy to do. Once the lines were put on the board and I cut out all my triangles, I could leisurely move them around- even photograph them and thus make several different montages. This reminds me of  They have a fun and effective method of developing artistic talent- I highly recommend it.

Say No to Drugs is colorful and bold with bright cigarette packs making it appear to be an ad for cigarettes. You then note a skull composed of beautiful smokers and which reads ‘say no to drugs’. Here we use the cigarette industries own materials against them while reminding ourselves of the world’s most addictive and deadly drug.  (I worked in addictions treatment for many years.)

A collage does not have to be complicated.  Here is one composed of only two pieces of paper- yet it sends a very powerful message.

‘Down River’ : A dramatic & colorful montage which offers sci-fi, fantasy and humor to deliver a slightly morbid and amusing conjecture of what might meet us in the end!   Collage is a great way to take separate  items and turn them into something wild!

‘Columbus revisited- 500 years’- Very intricate and integrated. This piece would be impossible for me to make using rational left brained thinking alone. Right brained thinking is better able to unite items and intuitively find their place in relation to each other. We could use more of this ability to unite disparate people and ideas in our ordinary lives.

This collage is great for those who appreciate contemporary and distant history and are willing to accept that perspectives change. That which we thought was horrible can turn into something wonderful and vice versa. Two years in the making, (doing art can teach patience!) it shows a less positive view of Columbus and as well as major and minor people and happenings in the year 1992. See how many you can find!

This one is entitled: A Goddess and Her Pets. It is a simple collage that includes a bit of humility (Man and God are simply pets in the picture!) It helps me realize how little I know about our place in the universe.

It is fun to put humor to what we don’t understand!  This is entitled Creation explained

The artist/author Shel Silverstien wrote many funny and insightful poems with art for us. In this collage we turn fantasy into a reality- a young girl in bed seeing many of his creatures come to life.

Here is one of my doodles. I never know what I will draw – or actually what will appear. I simply focus just on whatever feels right and comfortable as I put pen to paper and begin to draw one individual line. I keep going connecting line after line. At some point I pull back and look at the total of what has appeared.  This usually points me to a theme and/or where to go next- even to just continue what I am doing.  I feel relaxed, focused, excited, and trusting. Trusting – because something always appears- I don’t know what it will be- and whatever it is, I am surprised and pleased. These are some of the delightful characteristics of  right brained thinking and probably are ways we wouldn’t mind experiencing life. Without much conscious effort over time our styles of doodling  can evolve and change. As we go we can pick up and be taught different technics, perspectives, and skills. Please note that I always use only pen. Because I cannot erase I have to accept whatever happens and what is and deal with it.  I do not have to struggle to make things turn out the way I think they should be.

*The book DRAWING ON THE  RIGHT SIDE OF THE BRAIN describes right brained thinking as intuitive and nonverbal in which time and words are less noticed. It sees the world more as a whole, concretely as it is with the ability to take pieces and put them together into a new whole.

We can use more of that type of thinking in our lives. Here’s a game that can help develop it.  Simply when walking and not on your cell phone choose two different objects at random, and then think up the many characteristics they have in common.  It is fun, challenging. and can help get you into the holistic right brained thinking.  Best wishes to you all, and thank you for visiting AnArtisits web site.  You are welcome to come to our monthly meeting.