Sunday, July 31, 2011

Best August Blogs

This weekend I am posting some of my best blogs from the month of August since 2007. Here they are:

Eternity In An Hour, 
August 19, 2007

August 17, 2008

THE DREAM Unfolds, 
August 24, 2008

Woven Together Into Eternity,   
August 02, 2009

August 30, 2009

August 08, 2010

A Marvel,
August 21, 2010

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Primordial Essence

“A man’s house is his castle.” ~ James Otis, Jr. (February 5, 1725 – May 23, 1783)
This famous saying seems to mean that every man is king of his own home, and therefore rich indeed. In his own home, he can live according to his taste and be satisfied knowing that he has arranged his surroundings for his comfort, safety, and pleasure.

I once owned a home. My former wife Jean and I built it on six acres of land in the rolling hills just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. We thought about the design, and then made a beautiful passive solar house. Over the years, we added on to it until it came to be almost 5000 square feet, with beautiful landscaping. The views are breathtaking, especially from the upstairs deck where the vista sweeps unobstructed to the horizon in every direction. My artwork adorned the walls and our children and pets grew up in the house.

Our daughter Sarah eventually went to college, and my first child, Naomi, from a previous marriage died. My wife and I had comfort in our home, but not in our marriage, and we divorced. Jean said she loved the house and could not imagine being without it. She bought my half, and since then, I have traveled the world and lived happily without a home.

I have come to treasure independence and liberty more than possessions and property. When I first set out upon the path of adventure, I told friends that I would disappear into the matrix of the earth. As I traveled around the globe for over a year, indeed, the matrix was my home. I use the term matrix to mean the primordial essence of creation; where life emerges into form and also disintegrates to become born again. It is always in flux and eternal, because it is creation. If we believe in a Creator that is eternal, then so too must creation be eternal for the two must be together and inseparable.

I have come to love the matrix and the Creator above all else and only long to be flowing easily, a deep swimmer in the ocean of life, open to change, flexible and free. My curiosity about the world and universe is immense and because I learn viscerally, I love to flow over creation like the wind, caressing it, being one with it.

When I enter a home, I pray for blessings to come to it, but I also relish my freedom from it. I do not want the responsibility that comes with ownership. No pets, mortgages, debts to pay, contracts, et al. I rent houses that are furnished, move in with a suitcase and move out when I please. In five years, I have not lived in one place for more than one year. I am nomadic and unconstrained. After all, I feel like I am just visiting the planet, and it is temporary anyway.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Three Hands

Voices of the Ancestors, oil on panel, 16 x 20 inches
Two hands are natural and emblematic of human beings—one hand is tragic—but what about three? I have a series of paintings using the theme of three hands. For most people, the images are perplexing, and that is okay with me, because I like mysterious pictures.

My first painting with three hands was made while I lived in Granada, Spain. My apartment was high on a hill in the Albayzín neighborhood, near the flamenco caves where dancers and musicians performed every night. I could paint, and walk around shooting photos during the day, and go to the caves at night. The house was great. I entered from a small street that had no cars, and passing through a narrow kitchen and living room, a couple stairs led to a spacious patio that overlooked housetops and the tree-lined river that flowed from Sacromonte into town. Directly opposite on a hill stood the walls and towers of Alhambra, the World Heritage Site. Another door on the patio led to a cozy bedroom.

Artist models are sometimes hard to come by, but with a mirror, a self-portrait can be made. I started a self-portrait, but wanted expression, so I included hands reaching to my face. Maybe because I was alone, and desired company, I added a hand coming from the top of the painting.

Soon, a French woman I met in Venice, Italy arrived to visit. We had become great friends in Venice, especially since she is a professor of art in a University in Nimes, France. I had visited her where she lived in Provence, and now she visited me. I did a portrait of her, and again, added an extra hand reaching down from the top of the painting, as if to touch her head. She liked the result, and also the self-portrait I had done. “You must do a series”, she suggested. I liked her idea, and in the next several months made more paintings with three hands.

Anne, oil on canvas, 20 x 20 inches
When I went to Berlin, I made a painting of my young German friend Anne, and used my own hand as the third one. Another time, I painted an abandoned house, high on a hill, in Andalusia, Spain. I put in three hands, as if gesturing. I call the piece “Voices Of The Ancestors”, as if spirits were re-visiting a place on earth they were familiar with.

Sometimes, while artists work, their unconscious is emerging in the process.   “Great art is as irrational as great music.  It is mad with its own loveliness.”  ~George Jean Nathan

I cannot entirely explain the meaning of having three hands in these paintings. It is to offer an element of mystery and surprise, and also my belief is that I have a muse, and I surmise I am including one hand of my muse in the paintings.

Self-Portrait With a Rose, (made while in Berlin), oil on linen, 18 x 24 inches
“Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.”  ~André Gide

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I love spontaneity because in essence, it is honest expression—proceeding from natural feeling or native tendency without external constraint. A person being spontaneous is not being devious at the same time, because they are not manipulating or contriving a result. Other animals always act with spontaneity, but we humans, because of our conscience cannot. In the human realm, civil society has rules of engagement, and therefore, moral consciousness over-rules spontaneous action. For instance, we might feel trapped in our car in traffic and have a spontaneous desire to leave our rightful lane and jump ahead of the jam, or maybe we see someone trip and fall in an unusual way and feel like laughing out loud, and of course bathrooms exist so that we have a private place to be relieved, although a spontaneous reaction might be to go anywhere.

In art, spontaneity can produce the finest results. It is because the artist is “letting go” to the creative muse inside. Jazz is a great example. There may be a loose theme to follow, but spontaneous improvisation can take the drama to new heights and uncharted territories. Actors must follow scripts, but occasionally we get glimpses of spontaneous moments that transcend theatrics and bring us in touch with the soul of the performer. Japanese Butoh theater is famous for spontaneous acting. For artists like Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollack and many others, spontaneity is at the essence of their work, for they are immersed in it so fully that external constraints do not figure into the result. As Picasso’s contemporary, Georges Braque said, “It is the act of painting, not the finished painting.”

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Mysterious Sea

My dear daughter Naomi, who I regard as an elevated teacher, even now that she has abandoned the physical form, said, “Everything is important and nothing is important; everything is illusion back to God.” Albert Einstein, an acknowledged genius of the highest rank, said, "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."

In my life, I believe in THE DREAM, where definitions are mysterious, because, as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus ( Greek, c. 535 – c. 475 BCE) said, “Everything flows, nothing stands still.” And he also said, “Eternity is a child playing, playing checkers; the kingdom belongs to the child”.
THE DREAM is always in motion and resists boundaries, and everything is changing. I am aware of reality/illusion, a tiny consciousness adrift in a limitless, mysterious sea.

Here are some selected July blog posts from previous years:

Circle In The Water,  Sunday, July 29, 2007

Astonishing Artwork, Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mister, What Are You Looking For?   Sunday, July 26, 2009

Live Life Fully, Sunday, July 04, 2010