Thursday, April 29, 2010

Weaving Roots of Time / Completed Painting & New One Started

"Weaving Roots of Time" is completed. I will let it "simmer" for a while in the studio but it feels resolved and complete. I feel like I live in those roots and rocks, my body is so incredibly connected to this particular piece. A new painting has emerged directlyfrom it. Side by side in the studio, I begin again, time unfolding moment to moment, integrating the future into the present moment and folding time into the past, creating eternity.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Deep, Ancient Strength of Rocks and Roots

Today's progress: Weaving the earth and the roots, feels like braiding hair somehow. My heartbeat is the earth's heartbeat. I can feel the earth is my body and I am hers. I am so humbled and awed by the deep, ancient strength of these roots and rocks.
Have been thinking about the post by @Thomasart on The Nature of Order: The secret lies in knowing, as nature does, what must happen in what order: what sequence of events allows a living form to unfold successfully. How slowly and beautifully nature unfolds herself as she integrates previous life forms into her constant, deliberate transformation while forever strengthening the whole.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Going ever deeper beneath the roots and the rocks

So the painting that began so effortlessly and with much joy turned into a great struggle on Thursday...what happened? I don't know but suddenly everything becomes
difficult and unruly, I feel like I can't even hold the brushes properly, I curse, I flail, I am drowning in my own angst! In a fit of despair I marched home and went to
bed, overcome by a sudden exhaustion, in the middle of the afternoon!! I awake and am feeling completely listless, don't want to paint, don't want to do much of
anything. My energy is low, lower than it's been in a while. I decide to stay away from the studio for a few days, spend time outside w/ the earth. Listen to what she might have to say. She replenishes and restores. I dream I am climbing back up a very slippery, muddy slope that I had descended for the sole reason of climbing back up. I think this is rather pointless in the dream but because there is a woman ahead of me who seems to be my guide, I have no choice but to follow her instructions and she is telling me to stick my hands deep into the mud and search out the roots as they will help me to pull myself back up. I do this but it is hard work, messy and difficult to find the roots, often they break off in my hand and I slide backwards. I have no idea what this is about but the dream kept resurfacing as an echo of my painting process today. At the same time a delightful little sketch for a second piece just spit itself out and awaits me in the studio tomorrow. Perhaps w/ a new piece to work on beside this difficult one, a new rhythm will be established.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Deepening and Darkening

Lately there is a huge explosion of energy from within and without for me, life is full to overbrimming, everything seems so ALIVE! I am intensely aware of this as it translates into my work. I feel I am no longer observing the natural world around me but rather, in a reversal of roles or perception, the natural world seems to be observing me. Beautiful article posted by @lindahollier last night on twitter, called Subject-Object Reversal: Linda commented on the blog post by saying, “I have a definite sense of being held intimately 'within' a sentient field -- like I'm re-entering an animistic worldspace, surrounded by many different intelligences or knowing presences.”
I know that feeling well as it is filling my whole body with it's presence and knowing. This body experience is what I am so desperately trying to recreate on the canvas.
My head continually intervenes w/ thoughts and concepts but I am able to relax into a more intuitive space through listening and moving to music.

I consider every moment of the day to be part of the painting process. Walking and breathing w/ the trees in the park, inhaling the fragrance of the earth, noticing the trembling of the tender new baby green all stirs me deeply. On the way to the studio yesterday, seduced by the spring light and warmth, I sat in the park reading for a good while before going inside to paint. Reading "Ecological Intelligence" by Ian McCallum and want to share some of what I was reading and found so beautiful and integral to this particular painting:

"Our humanity is not defined by human fellowship alone but includes a subtle yet essential dependency on animals and landscape as well. The web or the field of life is inclusive not only of our immediate surroundings, our geology, and our biology, but of deep space and time continually mindful of the patterns of connections between all things, vigilant to one's participation in a field of life. It is what Rumi meant when he said: "If you are not with us faithfully, then you are causing terrible damage, but if you are, then you are helping people you don't know and have never seen." The poet is asking us to hold the patterns of connection, to hold the chemistry, To pray unceasingly is to think molecular. It is to see the small things, including oneself, in the bigger picture.  It means being able to look at a green leaf differently, to see the science and the poetry in it, to be aware that you and the leaf are linked. It is an invitation to experience the transformation process of carbon dioxide and water to provide not only the energy necessary for the growth and survival of the plant, but producing the life-giving molecules of oxygen that we breath in. It is to have a sense of privilege at being privy to the powerful yet delicate connection and the interdependence between chlorophyll molecules that produce oxygen and hold one's breath and then to give it back again in the realization that the chlorophyll and hemoglobin molecules are almost identical.  What makes them different is the presence of a single trace element in each molecule-magnesium in the former, giving plants their green coloring, and iron in the latter, the reason why blood is red.

This is EXACTLY what I was painting! And I knew today was the day to darken and deepen the painting, beginning to add the greens of the forest breath atop the 
blood red pulse of Life, all of life, ours, the animals, the plants, the earth herself. The process continues...

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Weaving Roots with Fire





Today's underpainting is all about cadmium red, my favorite paint pigment lately! The fire, blood and heartbeat pulsing underneath it all.
Exhilarating to paint it in but it also feels risky as the painting moves into an entirely new direction with the addition of hot cadmium red!

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Today's Underpainting from Yesterday's Sketch ~ Weaving Roots of Time

Today's underpainting from yesterday's 6" x 8" sketch. Three panels, each 24" x 48". This piece is just painting itself. I have been thinking a lot about synchronicity and how time and space seem to melt and disappear when I am painting. There is a relaxing of cerebral processing and a surge of energy that seems to come through my body. I can honestly feel these roots winding and weaving within my own muscle tissues. I am holding the brush in my hand and making the marks but it is not by "thinking" about them, it seems more intuitive, almost like I am "breathing" them into existence. Whatever it is, I LOVE doing it and feel so energized and ecstatic after an afternoon like today! It feels as though I have just gone on a journey w/ the rocks and roots and they have filled me w/ marvelous tales of "elsewhere". Part of a Neruda's poem kept rising to consciousness today, 

"When I lived amongst the roots
they pleased me more than flowers did,
and when I spoke to a stone
it rang like a bell."



Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Rain-Maker Story

The Rain-Maker story (told by Richard Wilhelm in a lecture at the Psychological Club of Zurich in the 1920’s) 

Wilhelm told Jung that while he was living in Qingdao, China, there was a long dry spell in the region. The land in the countryside was utterly parched, and the crops were failing. As a consequence, many people were facing the prospect of starvation. Desperate, they tried to produce rainfall by performing all the religious rites they knew: the “Catholics made processions, the Protestants made prayers, and the Chinese burned joss-sticks and shot off guns to frighten away the demons of the drought, but with no result. Finally the Chinese said, ‘We will fetch the rain-maker.’” So they sent a message to another part of the country asking for the assistance of a well known rain-maker. Eventually a “dried up old man appeared. The only thing he asked for was a quiet little house somewhere, and there he locked himself in for three days. On the fourth day the clouds gathered and there was a great snow-storm at the time of the year when no snow was expected, an unusual amount, and the town was so full of rumours about the wonderful rain-maker that Wilhelm went to ask the man how he did it.” When asked, the old man replied: “I come from another country where things are in order. Here they are out of order, they are not as they should be in the ordinance of heaven. Therefore the whole country is not in Tao, and I also am not in the natural order of things because I am in a disordered country. So I had to wait three days until I was back in Tao and then naturally the rain came” (Visions, 1, p. 333). It was quite simple. He put himself in order, and this put the surrounding natural world in order. In turn, this brought into play what the community needed in order to survive, i.e., precipitation. Jung uses this story to illustrate the phenomenon of synchronicity.

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