The magic flows strong through this one.
The lifeforce that channels through me can be powerful, and when aligned well, produces humbling magnificent art happenings. My art reflects the human spirit, and the perhaps even the universal. The universal voice, a reflection of humanity, a vision, of past, present, future, the pulse, the defining moment. The subject matter is what I consider the fun part of painting. There is endless possibility. I am able now, at this point in my life, to see that the subject matter is a direct result of my experience, which is why I explore, because it is the best teacher. I could not of painted Buddhabear without actually encountering a grizzly bear, there is no alternative to bear medicine except by encountering a bear, in the wild, and to do it in style took some serious magic, the flow of that experience is unlike any other I have experienced…okay, well there has been a few others, and only because I have chosen to explore creativity and art to great lengths, and there has been cases where I have pushed the edge of my comfort zones wide open, and this has been a blessing and a even a nightmare, at times. All for the sake of art, and for what it’s worth, priceless. My work demonstrates my devotion to paint, and many years of working away at it. Writing about it, as I have said before is somewhat counter intuitive, and thats why there is the fotoMahaloness segment to portray what I can’t say simply with words.
Keep it real moment.
Painting as I see it. A ramble or discourse on unconventional wisdom and acting irresponsibly, or turning into a child, for the sake of the document. Case in point Buddhabear.
Link if interested
I do not necessarily advocate my working method, make your method your own, though I will say it helps to practice, and practice and work at it, or not…and whatever else you require for your own modus operandi, what ever that may be….
From purely a technical perspective, I look at painting as sculpture, adding layer after layer of paint, using colours that come forward and those that retreat, shine and matte, textures and splatter, and glazing. This makes up 10% of painting. The remaining 90% is the magic; the inexplicable. I like using various strokes, or marks, which I discovered by using a lot of brushes, and various paint moving devices, and it seems there is no shortage of paint application techniques, I have explored many. Most recently I made my first brush, the hala brush, similar to those used by the ancient Hawaiians, although I tricked mine out with a rather lengthy bamboo shaft, something like the way Brice Marden wiki linkpaints his abstracts, and as a bonus my bamboo shaft works as a fishing rod, or spear if sharpened. Mahaloness to Jake on Maui for the insight and little gem, passing on ancient techniques that easily get lost in a techno driven world. From lots of practice I have learnt to trust my tools, my paint and my technique, it is automatic, and what I know. The remaining 90% of painting of painting is still somewhat of a mystery. I look at it as tapping the flow, and no doubt when I paint in social context, the painting always seems to reflect the energy of the experience, case in point my Paia live street sessions, Shambhala live paint 2011, amongst other geolocational painting I have facilitated. Energy is communicated using wavelengths, each colour I work with has its own frequency and when experienced can evoke different things from one individual to another. The colour travels as wavelength into the eye where it is interpreted and this wherein mystery lies, because colours do different things to different people. For instance it can act as a trigger for a memory, where you associate a memory from the past with a colour. It also evokes emotions, and colours can speak to the heart, where you see a colour, you have a fond memory and your heart warms. This is a very basic example but should give you an idea of what I am writing about here. When I work live, colour is very important, I get a sense for the environment, and as an do I see the colours. It is at this stage that I make marks, and the brush speaks, while I stay calm, and focus on breathing so that I am centered. If I am not centered the work will reflect this, so this is where concentration is key. I also like to paint oscillating ribbons of paint, it is the thread that ties my work together, in style, craftsmanship and story. It also represents frequency and the movement of energy. Without life force and experience, the art falls short, and I am forced to implement logic, and this is ridiculous considering that what I am trying to explain is something that is inexplicable. Lastly, some would love to say that psychedelics played a role in my work, but I don’t really feel that way, I have been working in this style of art for nearly my entire lifetime, in this lifetime.
Early abstract, humble beginnings
Some background info on my artistic explorations….
There is so much we as humans know, or think we know, and it is easy to get lost in that knowledge, and this can create its own confusion, frustration and anxiety. This can enter the physical body, and even more serious our inner temple. The temple is inner temple is scared to me and if my skin is not quite thick enough the implications can be dire. The art I produce requires that I work with a clear mind, and open heart. The information I gather through research can be the catalyst to flow, and is essential to my process. When the information jives with the spirit, I experiencea turbo like sensation, and subsequently the magic, which is the creative process. I spent my twenties and early thirties pursuing knowledge, and travelled far and wide I was on the great search, yet what was I searching for? I was searching for the experience, I wanted to know what artists before me went through, and what they felt, and to look at the world with artists eyes. I was also interested in theory, technique, and any gems that might make my life easier as an artist. What I discovered was not always pleasant, or anything close to glamorous. Many of the artists I admired lived difficult lives, take Mark Rothko for example, or any of the New York abstract artists of the early 50’s. These artists faced some hard times. I can only imagine what post WW2 must of felt like, and how it shaped the human psyche, all I know is that it was an exciting time for creative exploration and human expression. It was not always pretty, it was a thought provoking, the colours were often muted, though high contrast was there, black and white like Franz Kafka, Pollack, Rothko, Gorske, they all did it. Almost all of the artists that interested me when I really got inti painting were new immigrants to the States, easy street was not in their vocabulary. To add salt to the wounds, a large percentage of the artists I researched experienced tragic endings, even though some reached a bit of fame and fortune, it was depressing. I took this to heart and early on I felt it was necessary to struggle and put myself into disheveled states to produce work that actually meant something, that was moving and therefore art! I was mainly an abstract artist when I began, abstract expressionism, though a naive one at that, I had no idea what I was creating they just came out of me. War, seen in FotoMahaloness is the red, black and white abstract, it is a good example of that period of work. After several years of working this way, I soon became depressed, even though I had achieved some success, a gallery show here, and a painting sold there, it was a method doomed to fail, or at least destroy my well being. Looking back I was simply trying to understand, which proved to be an exercise in futility. So, I did what anyone would do when faced with such a dismal outlook, I seeked counsel, in the form of a therapist…..and also decided it was time to rediscover the child inside, and what I realized was the child never went away. Instead of making myself feel lousy, I went back to the feeling of being a kid. I had to, the galleries didn’t want me, my family were very concerned for me, and no doubt, I was in a miserable state of being, and my friends were a little concerned, I lost some good friendships in those years, I was the quintessential bummed out, depressed, suffering artist. I also began to learn about meditation, I sat with my feelings and emotions, and I observed them. I practiced as many meditations as I could, some came form you tube, some from books, while some came from teachers I met, here and there. Meditation takes the pressure off, it is a nice lift to the day, and to the process. It centers me, and it grounds me, and I often experience visions while sitting in meditation, that I like to later translate through paint, doodles or through digital media. As we grow old fear seems to take a hold and what once amazed, can evoke panic. If there is one thing art is good for, it is connecting with the child within, calming the panic, if you let it, and if you think you can’t make art, than looking at a painting is the next best thing, and perhaps thats why I am here, and all the amazing painters that are out there, in the known universe, you all know who you are. The adult part of art is refining technique, and perhaps subject matter. Keeping it fresh and new takes gumption, and trusting in your vision. I really think rediscovering your inner child is quite possibly the secret to great art, real art, actualized. I think this is a good start, and an I do hope these ramblings are at all interesting, and that the reader can find something of interest. I will share as much as I can when I can, for now, be well, and may the creative flow be with you.
Paintings, drawings,and the last foto the hala brush in action! And one of my early works, a brown and black abstract with drippy enamel and some blues and reds and early hints of cobalt teal.
You can find my original art on Saatchi online where you can also order prints, I will be adding more art to that site soon, and as always I have a couple other things brewing…
Link to the Shaman