...or not

Resonant: Having a lasting presence or effect; enduring. Strongly reminiscent; evocative.
Enigma: A person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand.

Some things you might find here: Paintings; drawings; abstract and representational; sketches; doodles; photos; thoughts on art and its processes, my influences; thoughts on meditation and so-called "spiritual" teachings, non duality, Taoism, Zen, etc., and teahers/sages like Chuang Tzu, Lao Tzu, Krishnamurti (both), Wei Wu Wei (Terence Gray), Galen Sharp, Steven Norquist, Eckhart Tolle, Ramana Maharshi, etc.... and doG knows what else, really...

No sidebar because I like to post big pictures. Lists and whatnot are at the bottom.

Monday, November 6, 2017

1974...

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Actually Christmas 1973, pencil on drawing paper, about 9"x12" without the calendar part, 17"x12" altogether. Last minute gift for Mamaw.
The old homeplace I grew up in, currently holed up in again. If you look close you can see ice sickles on the small tree to the right, and that's why the limbs on the big ivy covered oak are white--ice storm that winter.
That barrel on a frame used to hold kerosene ("coal oil" Papaw called it) and that fed the heat stoves in the kitchen and front room.

Here's the whole thing still in the frame. It's been hanging on the wall in the living room ever since...well, 1974.

These are a couple of attempts to edit the photo in the frame, under glass, to get a clearer image of just the drawing...


Not satisfactory so I switched to the scanner...

...on which it wouldn't fit...

...so I went to cropping and editing...

Finally came up with this, same as the one at the top. (This version makes it more like 7"x12") The top one is sized to fit this page, but the others are larger and can be clicked for more detail.

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Rarity from '83

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Not too many of these ever existed, self-portraits by me. I been going through some old sketchbooks lately. Drawing pencils on 11x8.5" sketchpad, two days before I turned 31.
In Goobertown. If you're not from around here, you read it right. If you are from here, I lived in that little white house just before you hit the curve going toward J'boro, catty-cornered across the hiway from the namesake store and gas. And sign. The damn sign's not even left now.



Anyhow, here's a few more sketches I did while living there.
Left, a conte crayon drawing of the boots I was wearing to work at Riceland in J'boro. The last shift they served me, it was with duct tape holding the sole on one of 'em.
Right, out the kitchen window.


And lastly, yes we had dragons out there. It ain't called Goobertown because of peanuts, y'know.



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Friday, November 3, 2017

Dec. 10, 1976

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I was in Belleville, Michigan. I think that was the time I took a bus up there to help Aunt Dinker (Reba, actually, and the reason we called her Dinker was a family secret older than I) drive back down here in her car.
The sketch is of the view from--across, I guess, really--her second story deck, overlooking frozen Lake Belleville.
Pencil in 11x8.5" sketchbook, cropped to 11x5.25"


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Sunday, October 29, 2017

After Moebius

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An oil on canvas I did back in the 80s. It's on a 14x18" canvas but the image is only about 9.5"x15.75", the rest of the canvas covered in burnt umber. I don't recall why I did it that way.

It's taken from a panel in a comic strip drawn by Jean Giraud aka Moebius, in Heavy Metal Magazine. A sample of his work, I believe from the same story I used, is below.

If anybody recognizes the image I used above, and has access to sharing, I'd love to have a copy of the comic book image to compare. Google images didn't have it, just this one. The guys in the top pic are hunting these flying humanoids. For some "reason," probably sport. I remember how their luck went but I won't say. No spoilers here.




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Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Big Electron

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Is this real?
Or is this just a ride?

The world is like a ride
You think it's real - it's just a ride 
And we can change it any time we want
It's only a choice - between fear and love

The ride goes up and down and round and round
It has thrills and chills and it's very brightly colored
Up and down and round and round
And it's very loud

Don't worry, don't be afraid
It's just a ride
And we can change it any time we want
It's only a choice between fear and love

Why are we here?
I think we're part of a bigger wisdom
That we won't ever understand
A higher order - call it what you want -
Know what I call it?  ~ *

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* "The Big Electron" by John Boswell 
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Monday, October 9, 2017

Is Consciousness Primary?



This list consists of videos that address the title question from both spiritual and scientific perspectives. "Spiritual" in this sense refers to the fundamental essence of awareness, whatever that may be--or not be, depending on how you look at it. ;) I'm no scientist but I can follow most of what these people say--they're trying to break it down for us--and I'm impressed, kind of amazed even, at times. The list will no doubt be added to as I find more.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

5 floors up

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Cropped and (more) edited version of a painting that I originally posted (on this blog) way back HERE.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The difference...

~ I think I just needed to clarify this, for myself...



The difference between absorption in activity, such as sketching, etc., and nondual disappearance of the "doer" or self image...

This has puzzled me for some time. It's often the case that I lose "myself" so thoroughly during artistic endeavor that it seems, when I'm finished, that "I" didn't even do it. The activity happened on its own, as it were, and I was...dissolved so to speak into the whole thing; awareness of the experience is there but, no "me" that I'm aware of.

According to what I've learned, I don't think this is the same thing as the paradigm shifting transcendence of "self-no self" pointed to in nondual teachings.

But why? I've often wondered. Well, for one thing nondual teachings, and many who have seen it for themselves, say that in finally thoroughly seeing through the illusory nature of self image, one no longer finds one's identity in said image. If any identity at all is left, it shifts from self image to pure awareness. The foundational awareness that brings this whole show into appearance is seen to be one's true nature.

Whereas, after absorption in art, my self image is 'gloriously' back in the forefront, stronger and healthier than before! Like something I read once about why people enjoy sex so much--or jumping in freezing cold water in the dead of winter; same effect, take your pick-- "Nothing renews the ego like temporarily losing it."

Maybe it's the combination of the two, in my mind, that's making me think there might nevertheless be some valuable insight possible in the artistic absorption that can sort of help direct the attention towards the nondual realization. After all, it clearly demonstrates to the mind that function is fuller without active interference from the false persona...

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Art by me, also: Top is pencil in sketchbook, I think 8.5x5.5". From photos of mine. It always reminds me, 'cause I used them before in conjunction, of this quote from Goethe: "We talk far too much. We should talk less and draw more. I personally should like to renounce speech altogether and, like organic Nature, communicate everything I have to say in sketches. That fig tree, this little snake, the cocoon on my window sill quietly awaiting its future – all these are momentous signatures. A person able to decipher their meaning properly would soon be able to dispense with the written or the spoken word altogether. The more I think of it, there is something futile, mediocre, even (I am tempted to say) foppish about speech. By contrast, how the gravity of Nature and her silence startle you, when you stand face to face with her, undistracted, before a barren ridge or in the desolation of ancient hills."  

The second piece is ink and watercolor on 6x4" wc paper. This one epitomizes what I was talking about above: absorption so thorough I even signed it "NotMe", 'cause "I" wasn't there.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Therapy Bridge

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Pigma Micron in 5x3.5" sketchbook. So titled in reference to an exchange Nicola and I had last time acknowledging the therapeutic effect of artwork. The conversation sorta stuck with me so I thought I might oughta get me some this morning. It worked.
That's actually not a "bridge," per se, but the walk over the ditch in front of Mom's house. And no, I didn't squat down in the ditch to do this; it's from a photo I took about this time last year, and it's a lot easier on my old joints to hunker down for a snap than it would have been for the 40 minutes or so I worked on this. 😉

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

...departed

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Pigma Micron in 3.5x5.0 sketch book. "Departed" just came to me as something to call it in the files, I guess since the building depicted is all that's left of the old mall. That's the remains of the old Sears store, and where I'm sitting is probably about where the food court was. I was drawn to the science-fictiony post apocalyptic look, which may be just in my imagination due to the absence of what I know used to be there, 'cause I don't see it in the sketch.
I also don't see proper perspective on the building; I let my hand drift up toward the right when it should have been angling slightly down; a beginner's mistake that creeps back in when you haven't drawn at all in almost a year...due to 'difficult' situations...that I'm looking into...
A bitter irony is that drawing and painting shore me up, help me cope in the face of 'difficult situations', better than anything else(almost?) yet that's often the first thing, the first activity I tend to drop when these kind of situations arise. Perhaps I need to strategize...

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PS: Just in case there might still be someone out there who doesn't know, you can see a larger version of the sketch by clicking on it. I just like it better smaller.
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(Hey Google, you need to update your spellcheck. It thinks "strategize" is not a word.)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

"Hidey Hole" step by step, sort of...

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I think I'm not going to put much more of my older paintings up on this blog, since most of what that would consist is already up on Facebook, HERE.
Meanwhile here's a 'step-bystep' of one I like from 2008, the most thoroughly documented "procedural" I've got.

First off the finished product, "Hidey Hole," 10x8" oil on canvas, 2008. From an old photo.

Step 1, sketch in with charcoal.

Then a monotone value study, with mostly just a wash of burnt sienna.

Next, block in the darks. Sorry, it's been too long, I don't remember the exact colors used.

The sky must be next, to help set the tone, you might say, of all that's to come.

I work...

...and work...

...and work on the sky. 'Til I get that "just right" feeling of it. Thin, semi-transparent layers makes it look more...airy, or something. Deep like a sky is what I'm after.

Starting on the background...

Establishing color in the background.

A little more detail...

...but the color's wrong. Start over

That's more like it. More muted, more like I actually see it.

Then a lot of fun drawing leaves and limbs in the deep shadow color.

A little bit of detail in the tree leaves, and the brush below.

A kind of neutral base color on the left tree, where the light hits...

...and the 'bark-y' textures pop out.

Hidey Hole is the first in a three-part series, the other two on which I've made a start, yet to finish. I call it, in my mind at least, the "Unconscious Perinatal Projection Series." A triptych, I guess. Sort of. More on that later...


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