My new inspirational direction I told you about in my last post now has an added dimension, an old inspiration. When I was a kid, I was supremely and completely inspired by the work of M.C. Escher and Roger Dean. Most of you have heard of Escher, not so many have heard of Mr. Dean, but you may have seen his work. Roger Dean is the artist that created the artwork and logo for all of the original Yes albums in the early 70's. His artwork is AMAZING, so is his graphic design work. I always felt that my work could be a combination of Escher and Dean, and for many years I worked in that direction, eventually drifting away. Well, I recently looked up Roger Dean on the internet, he is still producing amazing work, and I have new found "old" inspiration for my new work. Check out rogerdean.com when you can, his stuff blows my mind.
I've been reading Dr. David Frawley's book "Vedanta Meditation" and the concepts and techniques are really resonating with me. The primary philosophy is that through meditation we can transcend the personal self (the ego) and reach beyond to the Universal Self - the all encompassing, all pervading consciousness of the Universe, of all reality. I've been inspired to focus my meditation practice on journeying to the root of "Who Am I", the place before the ego, or as the Zen koan says "my face before my mother and father were born". Clearly I am not this body (it constantly changes, in fact all of the cells in the human body completely replaced approximately in 7 years), and I'm not my emotions with their never ending fluctuations. By realizing the root consciousness one reaches the Universal Self, the Universal reality of Oneness with all that ever was, all that is, and all that will ever be. My journey has inspired me to create a series of paintings representing my personal understanding and experience of meditation and the Universal Self, stay tuned for more...
Spring has finally started to show itself here in the Northeast. Daffodils are coming up and blooming, fuzzy little buds are waiting for just the right moment to open on the magnolia tree, and the little plant we call "spikey bush" due to its abundance of thorns has little green leaves appearing all over. The chipmunk appeared yesterday for the first time, eating the bird feeder leftovers, and the frogs in our spring pond have been singing heartily in the evening. Its as if all of creation is waking up, eager for life, eager to express itself.
I feel the same way, I'm eager to begin a new cycle of creativity, a new cycle of painting. We'll see which direction I'm drawn to, what expressions manifest. It's an amazing feeling to realize that I too am part of that cycle of life, cycle of art. We all are. :)
You must not let your life run in the ordinary way; do something that nobody else has done, something that will dazzle the world. Show that God's creative principle works in you.
-- Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952), founder of Self Realization Fellowship
What interests me most about the act of painting is that it is a solitary act... Of course, when one is faced with a canvas, one is no longer alone, and the sense of solitude diminishes. This can be an agreeable passage of time. In fact, solitude then becomes a kind of companion. --Pierre Alechinsky 1927-
Actually you see things differently all the time depending on the light, the nature of the day, the way your eyes are focused, the mood you are in. Your focus keeps changing. Your head is always moving. All these things are happening and it is all changing your perception. -- Janet Fish 1938--
Nature contains the elements, in color and form, of all pictures, as the keyboard contains the notes of all music. But the artist is born to pick and choose...as the musician gathers his notes, and forms his chords, until he brings forth from chaos, glorious harmony. --James Abbott McNeill Whistler 1834-1903
Something sacred, that's it. It's a word that we should be able to use, but people would take it in the wrong way. You ought to be able to say a painting is as it is, with its capacity to move us, because it is as though it were touched by God. --Pablo Picasso 1881-1973
Every moment in life is absolute in itself. That's all there is. There is nothing other than this present moment; there is no past, there is no future; there is nothing but this. So when we don't pay attention to each little this, we miss the whole thing.
- Charlotte Joko Beck, "Attention Means Attention"
There was once a time when all human beings were Gods, but they so abused their divinity that Brahma decided to take it away from them and hide it where it could never be found. Where to hide their divinity was the question. So Brahma called a council of the Gods to help him decide. "Let's bury it deep in the Earth, " offered the Gods. But Brahma answered, "No, that will not do, because humans will dig into the Earth and find it." Then the Gods said, "Let's sink it in the deepest ocean." But Brahma responded, "No, not there, for they will learn to dive into the ocean and will find it." Then the Gods said, "Let's take it to the top of the highest mountain and hide it there." But once again Brahma replied, "No, that will not do either, because they will eventually climb every mountain and once again take up their divinity." Then the Gods gave up and lamented, "We do not know where to hide it, because it seems that there is no place on Earth or in the sea that human beings will not eventually reach." Brahma thought for a long time and then proffered, "Here is what we will do. We will hide their divinity deep in the center of their own being, for humans will never think to look for it there." All the Gods agreed that this was the perfect hiding place, and the deed was done. And since that time humans have been going up and down the Earth, digging, diving, climbing and exploring--searching for something already within themselves.