Friday, May 22, 2015

Meditating on Art

My painting technique is very slow.

It takes months to translate a photograph back into a living image that gives me the same sensations as the original location in nature where the photograph was taken.  In a way you can say I want to put back the spirit of place that the process of photography took away.

And of course I am the one taking the photograph so this situation creates a checkmate. Neither the photograph nor the painting is correct and whole by itself.  This checkmate becomes a meditation on art for me.  My titles are like echos of the meditation focus.

Sacred Meat is a meditation on impermanence.  Everything arises and falls away.  Nothing stays in its endless moment but continuously flows through every form of growth and decay.

Tinfoil is a meditation on aversion. I like my natural places to be "natural" instead of marred by rusting metal, yet rust and metal are completely natural.  So it must be my judgement that is the problem; that makes some objects worthy and others junk.

Usual Magic is a meditation on how extraordinarily ordinary is a state of wonder.  Every glance has the opportunity to lift me from my vision that controls and labels, to my vision that sees the spacious perfection of each smallest thing.

Next Steps is a meditation on rebirth.  The self is not the stones but the water flowing within the stones, that continually shape the water's path but are not of it. As Ahjan Sona, the Abbot of Birken Forest Monestary said, "there is no self, but there is selfing."

All art is a meditation.  From the images on my shamanic drums to the shifting views of my Journey Oracle cards,  all art is an opportunity to go deep into contemplation, from which wisdom might arise.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Learning to be patient

I like to think of myself as calm, but I am always learning to be patient.  Here are some of my favorite teachers of patience.

The twigs of springtime do not push against the weather, trying to get into the front of the line.  There is no line, there is only the slowly increasing angle of the sun and its energy for growing as the season transforms toward that moment when the air is soft and warm.

The cats do not push against anything, even the cat door, unless all is as it should be.   I often have to relearn from them how to slow down, give full measure, wait until the coast is clear.

Always I am learning patience from my painting.  I cannot easily comprehend the months and months it takes to bring a photograph back alive, so I only see a few inches at a time.  My whole task is to slow the eye down and give good weight.

Distribution of the Journey Oracle Divination Deck is my most recent teacher for learning to be patient.  And this is about the biggest lesson of all.  Trust.  Because I suspect patience is built on trust. Trust that all will unfold in its best time, and in the best version of its highest intention. Trust that we each are in the right moment and the right place. Trust in knowing that sharing my journey with the oracle is for the highest good.