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  • Writer's pictureJOHN OSLER'S UPBEAT Admin



All artists have a unique process that they are comfortable with. When they write their kid a letter or create their life defining masterpiece they begin by realizing that they have something to say. How they get to the finished letter or final version of their masterpiece is what we can call the creative process.


I have observed that poets, writers, musicians, actors, painters and all other artists are seldom conscious of a deliberate creative process. I do think there are stages that most artists follow.

CREATIVE STAGES (my version)

I feel the creative process can be broken down into the following four stages. We are constantly exploring, observing, editing our observations and putting our observations into our own words. All of these actions are equally important and affect each other.


This is where the subject is found. We have to make an effort to get out and experience the things around us.


It is important to clearly see those things that we have found. Soak them in.


This is the process when we eliminate and include pieces of information.


This is where we put our personal stamp on our creation.


This is an optional step in the creative process. Sharing the product of the creative process isn’t necessary but can be rewarding in many ways.

For the last several weeks we have looked at the first four steps of the creative process. Now it’s time to figure out what we do with this thing we have created.


SHARING ( optional )

I have a deep felt belief that everyone would benefit from keeping art in their lives. The real world can be boring, sometimes oppressive and always limiting. Creating your own version can be therapeutic. It is not necessary for anyone but yourself to see/ hear the results. The only assurance an artist needs comes from them. Sometimes it is nice to share your efforts.

Once an artist has put his final touches on a piece of art he is faced with a choice, to add it to the pile in the basement or offer it up as an important piece of art. Neither of these come naturally for a creative artist.

Certainly there are those who can go deep into the creative process completely immersed in their art and emerge transformed into a marketing giant. For these lucky folks the high from their success carries over to the final step of the creative process, that of sharing their work..

For the rest of us who create art, music, poetry, etc. we find our comfort zone is limited to the first stages of the creative process. For us this is where the excitement lies. The process can be tortuous, but the final result can elevate one to satisfying heights. Stepping back and reveling in this grand  moment of success is often short lived. The reality of what you do with your creation is upon an artist much too fast. Fortunately there is often someone to partner with artists to help get them through this potentially ego busting exposure of their newborn creation.

Marketing, promoting, and encouraging art is an art in itself. I have found that those who  bring good art forward have a passion for art and an understanding of the difficult.process. The challenge for the artist is to find that person or organization.

All artists eventually  run out of room for all the canvases that they have accumulated and found that they could use some refunding.  They will need some assistance.

An artist can get lucky and find a partner to share the task of sharing.

Here are a few that have made a difference:


In 1537 the young Cosimo de’ Medici (1519–1574) was plucked from relative obscurity in the Tuscan countryside to lead Florence. He elevated himself to absolute ruler of Florence. By 1569, when Cosimo convinced Pope Pius V (1504–1572) to bestow on him the title of Grand Duke of Tuscany, he had expanded his totalitarian rule throughout the Tuscan territories, sometimes violently seizing control of neighboring cities.

Cosima had a lot of power to get things done, but fortunately Cosimo also had a  wide-ranging intellect, including a deeply rooted interest in art and literature and a keen fascination with botany, chemistry, and zoology. He became the prototype of the arts patron. His family’s patronage of the arts rather than their overbearing power has left a glorious legacy.


Lorenzo was the grandson of Cosima de’ Medici who became the most powerful and enthusiastic patron of the Renaissance.

He was a magnate, diplomat, politician and patron of scholars, artists and poets. He is well known for his contribution to the art world by sponsoring artists such as Botticelli and Michelangelo

Michelangelo was one of many artists whom the world can thank the de’ Medici family for.  Because of their support Florence became known for its art, just as Detroit continues to be known for its music thanks to the contributions of Gretchen Valade.

Without Lorenzo’s help Michelangelo probably would have ended up selling  miniature frescoes in a square in Florence. The large hunk of marble that is David would be a large piece of marble in the quarry.

Michelangelo’s works from this period continued to influence sculptors and painters throughout the late Renaissance and Baroque eras, all thanks to the passion that the de’Medici family had for art.

Closer to home are some friends that have given so many artists the help that they needed when they needed it. They are also a lot nicer than the folks the Renaissance artists had to deal with.



Much gentler than the sometimes ruthless de’ Medicis, Gretchen has become Detroit’s angel for jazz and has shared Detroit’s jazz artistry with the world.

Out of her passion for jazz she has successfully promoted our local artists and also offered them her friendship. She has always had an unconditional love for the music and a deep empathy for the artist. She has helped Detroit jazz to maintain its role in the growth of jazz. She has been the ultimate partner for jazz musicians especially when they needed a lift.

Detroit is a city that prides itself on being resilient. We are the comeback city. We get knocked down, and we get back up.  We need some help sometimes. We look for a champion to appear. Sometimes we get lucky and one of our own steps up. They tell us we count and that we are special. They get strong when the weak walk away.

Gretchen with Tom Robinson at the Detroit Jazz Festival

CHUCK DUQUAT and The Collected Detroit Art Gallery

Last year Detroit was treated to a new gallery opening. The first showing featured a remarkable array of mostly Detroit art from the personal collection of Detroiter Chuck Duquat, pieces  that he has acquired over his very interesting lifetime. Chuck had collected the work of some of America’s finest artists, including many Detroiters . He just needed a place to share and sell his collection.

The grand opening was held at his new art space located at 2439 Fourth St in Detroit. Chuck is a true patron of the arts who has opened his arms to Detroit artists. Chuck Duquet has become a hero to those close to the arts in Detroit. The space Chuck has created is full of energy and opportunity. Our finest artists have responded by placing their work in his hands.

Every once in a while someone like Chuck comes along, someone who will take a risk on those of us who hesitate to be judged and who will help artists to share their work.

The gallery that Chuck has created is aptly called The Collected Detroit Gallery. It aims to exhibit the best work by area artists alongside celebrated works from around the globe. Chuck is helping to put the spotlight on Detroit as a destination for serious art collectors.

The gallery is currently featuring nine Detroit artists in a show he calls  Deeply Detroit. I am pleased to be part of this show, which includes the work of many friends. The art can be seen at the gallery until August 31, 2019 The gallery hours are Wed. through Fri. 11AM – 6PM,  Sat. 11AM – 4PM.

Thanks Chuck.


Before I left for vacation I went to the final concert of the 2019 Women of Jazz Symposium which was directed by Marion Hayden. Marion is dedicated to bringing attention to our great women in jazz.

The event was inside on a hot summer day, yet it was well attended. The young musicians were unknown to me before the concert. They were were well schooled, innovative and played great jazz. I have kept the program as I want to remember the names of these accomplished women 

Marion Hayden is a generally quiet but self assured  woman. Marion can handle heavy lifting. She carries her own bass and more importantly she elevates her craft and those she gets close to. It is the grace with which she does it that makes her so special.

Marion is one of those people that while creating great art also brings others forward to share the applause.

 Artists are usually risk takers and and sharing your art can be scary. It can also be rewarding.

I had planned to make the final stage of the creative process, Counting the Money . This final stage has been cancelled for lack of funds.

Well. That’s art.

John Osler


August 21 – 24


This week at the Dirty Dog will be one of the many  Detroit musicians who have received a gentle hand up from their friend Gretchen Valade. He will share his unique gifts with his band stand mates and those lucky enough to be present at the Dirty dog.

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