Thursday, 20 February 2014

Connections of Intent: A view from the studio: Part 4

Connections of Intent: A view from the studio Part 4

In the previous post I laid out the thoughts written in my studio journal along with a page as reference to how I sort through thoughts and ideas in regards to the direction of the painting and the objects within.

I am in the process of glazing on the painting now. This is the technical aspect of using a medium, a mixture of turps and varnish, in which to float color laying down a nearly transparent glaze on top of the painted surface. There is no regret in this process for once it is laid down it cannot be taken back up or altered. Intense and highly emotional; it exhausts and at the same time exhilarates.

Perhaps it is a metaphor for life: this idea of abject risk and the courage to leap; to find safety within the knowledge that one has done the preparation to be able to, at the very least, trust in having a firm foundation to leap from; to then embrace and let go.

There is a drying time involved before being able to lay down another glaze, and it is this aspect of glazing that can give a painting it’s rich sense of light and shadow.

I had promised a further look into the studio journal, using a section of one area within this painting, so here is a more detailed look at the painting along with some poetry and the symbolic references:

This page is from the 6th of February and is a detailed description of the book on the lower left side of the painting. It is, in essence a map of the imagery painted upon the pages, the symbolic nature of each object laid down.

The images:
 God’s eye and the moon
Symbol for transcendental consciousness
Ohm- breath of God
Tree of life with all knowledge upon its’ ever growing branches spring froms the symbol of infinity
Words hate and fear  overshadowed by the shadow of the white shaped winged spirit
Music staff and notes
Pieces of poetry
Elemental symbol:earth,water,fire,air
Vesica piscis:center of two circles circumference  where their outer edge transects the axis point  symbolizes the second stage of creation (seed of life that comes from God- God’s consciousness began from the 1st sphere journeyed to the furthest edge where it formed the second circle)

These ideas and thoughts compel me and are the foundation from which I find excitement and paint. But, once again, this information is only found by those who have stumbled upon the information in their own studies, so they add to the depth of the painting but they don’t carry the weight, so to speak. That has to come from the nature of being a painter and the movement of color and light, shadows and objects and their interplay that creates an emotional respones first of all.

spirit  soars
            up from fear releashed
            deepening need
shadowed upon book’s traced
            succombing, letting go
in this lifes choice
             embraced into harmony’s grace.

Here is the progression in photographs:

Beginning Image

2nd week

3rd week: 2.1.14

4th week 2.8.14

5th week 2.16.14

"The Reunion of Memory" 72"x53" oil on canvas 2014

As I finish glazing I now need to turn to the next painting. When this piece is dry enough I will frame the last three paintings and then post them here.  JDW

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Connections of Intent: A view from the studio: Part 3

Connections of Intent: A view from the studio: Part 3

From the last blog I posed this idea:

Without turning inward towards finding understanding at that soulful level do we risk being consumed by fears and desires that lay all around us?  How do we navigate this journey through our lives?  That is the question.

As an artist how do I translate these thoughts into paint? I know how to write about this concept in great detail, but in paint you are working with color, movement, marks, and an illusion of dimensionality…where are the guides towards being able to deconstruct and unfold ideas onto this flat surface?

In fact, if you have my book you will know that I write extensively and make multiple drawings of the image and deconstruct the symbolism of the objects so I understand the language that are the objects (like the words) that will tell the story. But I am still left with how will the painting carry the message?

At the end of the day, unless there is either text or a diagram showing the relationship of symbolic reference to objects, most everyone will be left to their own devices in order to understand the painting. That is where the power of paint comes in. If, and this is always a big if; if I am fully immersed in the concept of the symbolic idea and in a meditative state then the very act of painting transcribes the idea through the color, movement and usage of shadow and light to emotionally move the viewer through the language of the paint.

This is the stepping out of the intellect and into the soul using the thousands of hours of learning the how of painting to just then, be in the moment and paint. Not a bad way to live our daily lives as well, this idea of always living in the moment.

But I promised a look into the journal in regards to this painting.

January 26, 2014

The Duality:

Dark figure rearing- fear (Looming, pervasive, encroaching, encompassing, weighted) the darker figures behind the figure holding the heart and pointing
            Grief lies within
            Doubt lingers in the multitude of faces-a kind of hunger that consumes

Light figure-illuminated belief  (Coming out of the mirrored reflection: angelic, flowing, liberating, ascending) on right side of painting
              The beckoning outstretched hand-feather tumbles from the hand,
             lightweight, symbol of hope’s wing
The hand that holds illuminating light (energy)
Illuminating Truth-that energetic consciousness that liberates us into our purpose

The twin trees: through the forest we must travel-that place out of nature that loosens the mind and reconnects us back to the elemental. Shadows linger, but there is a glow of hope

Mirrors: illuminated truth and the “seeing hand” (the portal that allows the body to jump into the next existence, the spiritual consciousness)- the smaller mirror the figure is pointing to

Larger mirror: reflecting out the reality that surrounds, but also an emotional essence

Book of Truth-knowledge written as a guide

Clock: Time fragmented lost almost, discarded (lower right, discarded)

Masks discarded-the stripping back of the layers that protect us until we find our true selves

Spirits hover and Watchers watch

Behind the lighter angelic figure flow the ever-connected ancestors that await our call to help, to guide. We learn from the past in order to move into the future all the while living always in the Now…

Beyond the figure is the narcissistic figure-frozen in bending stare upon ego’s reflection-seen in the background

Orchids-balance of nature’s power to evoke beauty that transcends all mindless chaotic thought

These are some of my notes. Here is a page with the drawing and notes surrounding it:

Here is the progression in photographs:

beginning image

2nd week

3rd week

4th week

Next: progress and poetry and a detailed look at one section of the painting.  JDW

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Connections of Intent: A view from the studio: Part 2

Connections of Intent: A view from the studio Part 2

The placement of objects leads to movement, which in turn hopefully leads to an emotional connection. It is by turns that the painting begins to take form within the context of content. All the while there is the act of marking, of laying down of brush strokes, which speaks to the action of painting and the making of a two dimensional object reflecting a three dimensional or even four dimensional space; the fourth being the space within one’s concept of thought and emotion that leads one into that spiritual consciousness beyond the daily ritual of existing.

Does painting have to have this connection to emotion, to ideas, to being about something? Of course not. But as I have stated before, this to me is not as compelling and, for me, holds little interest.

Painting is an illusion and within this illusion is another painted illusion; a dreamscape that is the entry into the drama that unfolds within the symbolic placement of objects within the painted space.

So what is the intention and how is it connected with the painting “Ancient Gates”? Here is the poem that started this new painting:

 In the holding heart
                                                My suffering comes
                                                Borne of conscious need
Fully formed, collected
                                                From fiery sound.

Within ego’s gaze
Turned not inward
To suffer in agony’s stare,
Fearful thoughts released.

It is in this,
                                                The cleansing purge

January 25, 2014

And from “Ancient Gates”

The soul’s purchase
                                                From ancient need, left unquenchable,
                                    Discarded, unfulfilled.  Compelling upon
                                                Tenuous balance this continuous thread,
                                    Fibrous light forever pulsing, towards
                                                Future unknown...

(The full poem is in the previous post).

Purpose and direction. The intention of being and the soul’s purchase. How do we unravel our deepest intention and purpose? And who guides this process? These questions are directed by our histories and how we were raised to think and feel.

Without turning inward towards finding understanding at that soulful level do we risk being consumed by fears and desires that lay all around us?  How do we navigate this journey through our lives?  That is the question.

Next: the painting ideas, excerpts from my journal.   JDW

1st day: 1.16.14

2nd week: 1.30.14