Seeing the Soul

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In life, we should all inevitably (and hopefully) come to the point where our focus is turned away from ourselves and out into the world. This can come at any age, where we wake up and shift our concern from ourselves onto others. Where we see not what we can gain, but what we can give. Correspondingly then, our affect on on the outside world becomes more important than what the world can give to us.

We then become free. We become part of life.

When we learn to become selfless, we truly begin to live.

This, for me, is that time. And it has been happening for a few years now, only recently have I begun to truly understand it.

I believe we are all bound by a higher force, one that is not only part of everything but contains everything. It is the source from which all creativity emanates, flows and returns. This is God. This is the Universe. This is the soul; the small pieces of God that inhabit us all.

This is a simple thought to me, though it may seem complex and illogical to some, but then, we’re all allowed to think, believe and have faith in any way that we choose.

For me, this truth is part of who I am and part of my awareness, my own discovery, my own experience; one that nobody else can have. This is part of the dynamic in which I live, and the closer I get to embracing and loving, the clearer the face of my soul will appear.

The above painting was rendered over a period of two weeks. First green-gold and yellow, followed by the magenta and portrait pink underlay, then came the patching of bone white. You notice the face immediately, and then probably understand the title.

Seeing the Soul

To me, this painting represents what is hidden within us all. It partially illuminates our inner light, our inner connection to the divine, to the universe and to God.

It shines behind the perforated veil of the ego, and glows under the confusion that we create in our lives with our carnal and selfish ways. It is always there, we, our soul, waiting to become bright and allow our hearts to guide us.

These are the truths that will guide us all home. But, it is up to each of us to find our own truth, release our Earthly binding and become part this life, this connected life that is shared by all.

Only when we glimpse the soul of the world will we understand how truly beautiful we all are.

Only then will we truly know life.

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Map of The Wanderer

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“I am much inclined to live from my rucksack, and let my trousers fray as they like.”
Hermann Hesse

Artists, art scholars and critics all have argued over many years about the artistic quality of abstract art, non-objective art and non-representational art as a whole. These are typically all grouped together as what abstraction represents. Some even say that it’s just random splashing of color for no particular purpose or goal. Others argue that it’s the most raw of artistic expression.

I’ll agree with the latter.

Abstraction is, for me, the most cathartic medium for expressing emotion, ideas and intentions. Some pieces might look haphazard, chaotic, and even completely incomprehensible, but the true artist in his most raw and vulnerable state is able to express his emotion, thoughts or feelings through the use of line, pattern and color.

The example..

The above piece I painted last night I’ve titled, Map of The Wanderer. This, as with all art is certainly open to anyone’s interpretation. However, there is a specific focus and intent here.

In this piece it’s clear the confusion that I, the wanderer face. The hectic line and pattern work represents the map, while the sporadic splashing of darker colors infers my emotional confusion on which direction to pursue.

In life, I am a wanderer. I’ve been lucky enough to travel and see most of the world and to gain valuable experience about life and people while doing so. But, in the most basic and pure part of my being, all the experience of the world leads me quite often to knowing no direction, following a map of blurred lines.

The intent of this piece is to bring the viewer into understanding the wayfaring soul, the desire to blow with the wind and to grace the surface of all places, even if only to touch them or lay eyes upon them once.

The abstraction allows the viewer to feel the wanderer’s confusion, his feeling of misdirection and indecision. His map is confounding and worn, like his heart and his patience. The color pronounces the hefty burden of choosing his way, and his feeling of despair in not knowing which direction to travel.

The wanderer stands to the right of the map, looking on it with a wide eye of anguish, in a solemn expression of blankness. This is the look I know all too well.

I often find lessons and wisdom in art, an urgent feeling or a sense of the artist purging himself onto his canvas. I can even find this in the work that I produce and many times to my own surprise.

We should all purge ourselves and bare the soul. In doing this we find a peace that we may have forgotten.

To me, art is simply a unique, uninhibited expression of life, and pure abstraction can initiate the release of these thoughts almost subconsciously. In this respect, art and life are inseparable, as are the lessons they teach us.

Staring back at our own reflection, at our own work, we find a lesson that we unknowingly taught to ourselves.

My lesson?

Pursue only the map of the heart.

 

 

 

The Race

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“Why should we be in such a desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. It is not important that he should mature as soon as an apple tree or an oak. Shall his spring turn into summer? If the condition of things which we were made for is not yet, what were any reality which we can substitute?”~ Henry David Thoreau

It would be less than, or even non-human, to have a perfect life of peace and balance at all times. Though this is what we strive for, most of us, to balance our lives with the busyness of the world in any way possible, we cannot avoid the speeding. These are the moments of frenzy and the ever quickening pace of life that leave you behind in a heartbeat if you slip for just one moment.

I was reminded of this several years ago when I was introduced to the work of Julie Mehretu, an Ethiopian born artist, in her work “Black City.”

The overall composition denotes and feels like the modern, busy world we attempt to thrive in. And just beyond the initial view of the work one can easily feel crowded, left behind or easily confused. As you focus your eyes on the piece itself you start to notice your eyes darting about its space, trying to stay focused is nearly impossible and after a while you begin to feel overwhelmed by the subjective chaos that the piece exudes.

This is art of the world. It is a perfect example of reflecting the culture of speed; a culture that is ever evolving to an even faster pulse of time.

What our eyes can see in this moment is forever an impact on our minds and this, if anything, reminds me of why all people should take a moment to simply breathe.

Should we simply let the world pass us by for a moment and recognize our inward muse, we will quicken to the pace of the world in a unison that time cannot fathom. It is in this moment, that the world will have to keep up with our pace.

Though we may be living in an ever busier world, we must recognize that this perception of time is but an illusion that has a higher purpose.

We should all be the keepers of our own time, and see beyond the race of life.

It’s not a race. It’s simply a journey.

The Art of Line

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The line that describes the beautiful is elliptical. It has simplicity and constant change. It cannot be described by a compass, and it changes direction at every one of its points. ~ Rudolf Arnheim

We are all welcome here, within the art of line.

The line is full of motion. What seems plainly straight is more full of movement than one can see. Line carries with it inertia, the line is artful inertia. It moves and leads the eye, the heart and the rhythm of life around it.

One line can form two, and two can form several. Three lines can intersect, forming sacred geometry. All lines have this form, though they are not simply linear. The move both forward and backward, through time and across the mind. The line becomes what one sees and lives in memory.

This line is infinite; never starting and never stopping. It moves beyond the footprint of origin, beneath the tide of moon driven waves. It pervades all things and coalesces with dark and light.

What is the line? What is this art of line that has lived before time began?

This is the finger, the brush, the words, the thoughts and the dreams of all creation. It begins without beginning and ends without end.

The line is the spiritual vein of art. In life, it redeems the wicked, saving the souls of the wretched with each pulse, with each ripple of time in each glimmer of the eye. It calls to the to the painter and to the watcher. It drives us mad with each stroke and lifts our hearts without pause. The line is life.

Where is your line? Where is your art of line?

The line is born as we are born, though it has existed before we first ever spoke to the world. This unbroken, unfettered, unfiltered divine laser lives as we live, stepping where we step, extending outward along our path. We find it behind us and in front of us. It lives where we walk.

We cannot escape the line.

We must all walk this art of line. We should all dare to follow its way. Our intrepid souls follow the line in hopes that we too follow with full hearts, with bright dreams and desires of truth. The line marks our way, and draws out our deepest desire.

The art of line must be learned and lived. It must be caught and released. It must be embraced and kissed. It must always be, only to become.

What will the line become?

It already is. It always has been.

Life in Contrast

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“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” ― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

Contrast is part of life, and we truly live in a life of contrast. However, what appears to us as strikingly different, what appears to us as a simple juxtaposition of black and white are really two of the same. It is within the one shade that we can find two.

We should all explore the contrast as it applies to our lives. We artists use contrast to evoke distinction and clarity within a piece. We writers use contrast to shade the personality of a character against his peers, his struggles or in completion of his goal. Within one form, we can always find two, contrasted throughout time.

Contrast dances in unison with one purpose. This simplicity differentiates the part from the whole, though it is the whole that all parts emanate from. It is this specific part of the form that we emphasize in our own lives. Sometimes we emphasize the black, while other times, it is the white.

In life, we must recognize our own contrasts. We must become aware of both the subtle and the striking differences within our own consciousness and what we perceive around us.

It is through recognizing these true contrasts that live within us all that we can become whole. With this simple understanding we can come back to the center. The contrast will coalesce within and around us, becoming one.

It is dutiful of all artists, of all creative spirits to explore contrast, just as it is for all lives to accept and understand it. This is the divergence of self and of sight, of mind and of body.

We become our own contrast. We live through our variance of self and of mind only to one day return to the true form. To become one with this clashing of color, of shade and of emotion is to become one with the heart and the mind.

Color your work and your life with the awareness of contrast. Unfocus and watch as two forms become one.