We will never run out of weather.
Some people think of me, as a lazy slob.
I think of me, as effortless.
Life is like a picture, of travelers on a track, standing in a sunny spot within their present travail. With crevasse and spans so vast, the weather forms, and far beyond the storms, as far as one can see, a mountain shines. Lit by one same sun. The That which they are moving towards.
And so my friends, it’s plain to see, if you keep to the sunny spot within your every travail, and always remember, the That which you are moving towards, your life will always be, as pretty as a picture.
I have found to truly know a place, one must spend enough time there, to take a nap, or make a painting.
Time enough for the creatures there to call you Brother. Time enough that distance dissappears.
I have often pondered the purpose of producing art. The paint, the process, or the picture? I thought perhaps if I could perceive, which of these was most important to the perfection of a painting, it might help in my pursuit of improvement.
I found the question to be persistently perplexing and had given up asking when it occurred to me that there must be something more.
The paint, the process and the picture, are all important parts, but there is something more that makes it art. And that is play and presence.
Thank you for your patience and if you please I offer this, Art can not be made at all. Art is the result of something else altogether.
I now proclaim and present myself to be, artist en plien presence.
Artist in full presence.
Yours in Play,
Some things, some of the very best things, can not be manifested at all. These things, these special moments, will be a surprise, a very pleasant surprise. and we will be so filled by it, that we will not think to name it. These nows to come, will not exist to even be remembered. We will tumble out laughing, and not remember why. How do we honor such things, that we can not even wish for? For these, I offer this –
And so it is soon.
I was watching, the other day, a documentary about a group of primative native people living in isolation in a very remote jungle. And of course everyone was running around naked.
Did you know, that there are native tribes that all have blurry wieners?
My generation. The hippies. We put flowers in our hair and danced in sun. We imagined a world better than this one. But when the cold winds of Winter began to blow, we realized the world does not readily change. So we rode it out, and then we retired.
Perhaps making a world for ourselves wasn’t enough. Perhaps the world heard our wishes and has been making herself ready.
My friends. My generation. This is our time. Our time to make the world we imagined. Not for ourselves, but for forever.
For those of you still wondering how, I offer ths; Listen to the music of our generation. Get your friends to sing along. Remember when we were We.
Peace and Love
When it gets to be this time of year, the holidays are through, with many cheerless months ahead, yet to be endured.
Many folks start in remembering. Melancholy for a Summer lost. Longing for the Spring to come.
Me, I like to hunker down and set myself to dreaming. By building a ship that requires such care. With many parts and many steps, and all the paint and rigging.
Finally finished and put on the shelf, I turn to find that Spring has sprung. Now filled with dreams, my ship sets sail, for the rolling shores of Summer.
I spend most of my time thinking about drawing and learning to draw. Your message was received with great enthusiasm but somewhat daunting as I am now tasked with providing helpful advice within the limits of correspondence.
Speaking of drawing is like speaking of Rachmainoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. I can even let you listen to it. But only by playing it on your own piano will you truly understand. I can only provide concepts to ponder, any insights you gain will come from within you. The good news is, learning to draw well is much, much easier than learning to play the piano even poorly.
Drawing, at its best, is like taking a Sunday drive. For the draughtsman though there is no road. So before setting off on this pleasant journey the way needs to be surveyed and surveyed again. Flags are planted and adjusted. The way is leveled here and widened there, the rises and falls are calculated and curves straightened. Stone and gravel packed over that, finally the pavement, stripes and signs. This is important work and requires your full attention. Each step is made easier by the care put into the steps before.
In keeping with the surveyor analogy, the tools are the same for the draughtsman. Plumb and Square. These are the keel and compass by which you will find your way. Plumb and Square are constant and steadfast truths, truths that we share with all things of this Earth. If you let a thousand people, one at a time, into a room to straighten a picture hanging on the wall, each and every one of us will come to the same conclusion. Comforting somehow, that in these polar times, there is something upon which, we all agree.
The sense we draw upon most when drawing, is our sense of Balance. Our sense of Balance is the first of our senses to come online. Well before we learn to See, learn to Listen, Touch or Smell, before we know anything at all, we know which way is up. It is real, it is constant and it is within you. It is within all others. It is within all things.
Before you begin, you must prepare to begin. Using our surveyor as example, before the target is sighted and measurements made, the transom is set, so that it is plumb and square. So that it is true. You are the transom. Before you begin, true yourself. True yourself by squaring yourself to center, square your paper to center, and then align the center of the subject to these. When all are in alignment, all is one, and you may begin.
A view can only have a single point. A different point will have a different view. The view is different even between one eye and the other. Hunkering down, cocking your head or turning your paper are natural things to do, but not at all helpful. If you find yourself slouching or twisting your page, re-center. It is only from this place of centered repose that the truth can be revealed.
No line has meaning but by its relationship with other lines. A line is never drawn for its own sake, but is drawn to clarify or complete another line. In music, a wrong note is jarringly obvious. There is nothing particular wrong with the note. It remains as sweet as it ever was. It is wrong only because it does not relate right to the note before. Unlike music where the song goes on and we soon forget the clinker. In drawing a wrong note, an untrue line, if left unnoticed, can de-tune the rest of the song.
Whether you are drawing the figure, a humble still life or a grand vista, you draw the same. Do not draw the thing. Draw where the thing is. Where it is in relation to where something else is. If you do this with diligence and presence, you will suddenly find that the thing has appeared on your page.
The draughtsman, when drawing a line, sees these two lines at once, the line in question and the line that it relates to. This brings us to something you will soon develop, the draughtsman’s gaze. When drawing, the draughtsman sees differently than one normally sees. Our normal way of seeing is to flit from one detail to another, and our mind puts it together to tell us what it is based on our experience and expectations. The draughtsman has no memory, has no expectations. He sees, not the fragments, but the whole, and all at once. I have heard of this also referred to as an “open gaze”. It is not what you see; it is what you look for.
As you begin, as you center yourself, your work, and your world. When all these are in alignment you have entered that place of love. If you maintain this center, all your efforts are an expression of this love. Drawing indeed is love in communication.
Thank you Damion for reaching out to me.