Monday, February 28, 2011

Back to Basics

Yes, here I am.

When I don't know what to do art-wise, I usually go back to something really fundamental, and take a step-by-step approach, simplifying everything as much as I can and paying attention as I work.  

I find it slow, satisfying, and mysterious work. 

And eventually I get somewhere else without noticing it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bliss Phases and the Full Moon

Here's more Bliss,

arranged as phases

made on (coincidentally?) the night of the full moon...


See?  Here's my lovely new watch to corroborate the fact...

Isn't she of mine...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Achieving Notan

Asymmetrical Balance with Notan, Otto
1) You could view this image as 5 black shapes or weights that were placed within the given format with the objective of creating assymmentrical balance.

2) Try viewing it instead as black holes (or no-things) in a white wall or like Swiss cheese for example...ok you say, the typical shift from positive shape to negative space...

3) But here's where the transformative part starts...look at your composition again, only this time look at those black holes as black rocks in white water.  Or look at it as if it was a Zen Garden with rocks that had raked sand going around each of them to indicate the flow of water.  If and when you can perceive, realize and represent this, then both positive and negative spaces exist and interact simultaneously.  They no longer alternate in their existence, with one dominating over the other - they are equally important and equally real forming an interchangeable balance.  This is the creation of Notan.  

*you can find this creative exercise in the Notan book noted in the post below.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Notan: the Dark-Light Principle

We put thirty spokes together and call it a wheel;
But it is on the space where there is nothing that the utility of the wheel depends.
We turn clay to make a vessel;
But it is on the space where there is nothing that the utility of the vessel depends.
We pierce doors and windows to make a house; 
and it is on these spaces where there is nothing that the utility of the house depends.
Therefore, just as we take advantage of what is,
we should recognize the utility of what is not.

- Lao Tse, c. 2000 years ago (translated by Arthur Waley in The Way and its Power, Houghton Mufflin Co., Boston, 1935)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Some Bliss

from Stage 2: Bliss or floating into the light - mandala workshop.

This is Bliss on Glass...

...and Bliss laying next to its Reflection,


and Bliss with its Shadow. 

(that's enough bliss process for now)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Another First Quarter

...on my Moon Phase Watch!

Yep, and it's right on time too.

Can you see how cool this one is...the moon travels all around the watch so you see every phase...even when there's no moon of course...

and it's a Timex of all things!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chicago Blizzard on LSD

Watercolor of Abandoned Cars on Lake Shore Drive by Susan Silvano
The first time I was able to leave home by car since The Blizzard was Saturday when I teach painting & drawing classes at Truman college.

Here's a watercolor painting done in class by Susan Silvano depicting the cars (hundreds)  that were stopped by the snow on Lake Shore Drive.  After being stranded for up to 10 hours, people were rescued, but the cars were abandoned there for two days.

No one from class was among them.

Google Art Project

Ceramic Bowl, 819-1005, Afghanistan, Freer Museum of Art, Smithsonion

Found this on the new Art Project site which is really awesome, albeit, somewhat small, but still...check it out! 

This particular ceramic bowl not only has great decorative style, but is also calligraphic.  The inscription proclaims:   "It is said, those who are content with their own opinion, run into danger. Blessing to the owner."

Apparently these moralizing vessels were the rage at the time - and perhaps just as relevant now.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Our Paradise in the Void

Earth and the Moon from the Voyager 1 spacecraft, 1977 image from NASA 

Speaking of staying with Stage 1: the Void or Resting in the Darkness...

I stumbled upon Our Paradise in the Void from Robert Burke's How We Win.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chicago Blizzard 2011

 ...the day after doesn't look so intense...

but I did have to cancel both my groups...

out my window

so apparently we're to have an extended stay here in Stage 1: the Void or Resting in the darkness snow.