42nd Entry - 2013 Past Life Series, Part Four

 In my world, things are not just things. I believe in the symbolic values of objects and images, once assigned they can inspire a wounded soul, change a stale attitude, renew a tired traveler or motivate. A candle, a bird, a cup, the number three, throughout time there has always been an allocation of spiritual assignment to so many things we encounter commonly and daily in our day to day lives. When placed together a certain way they form a kind of mathematical statement, a visual sentence.

For example: think of bread, wine, a cross and the number 12 or poker chips, a roulette wheel and a flashing neon sign, maybe a tomato, garlic and oregano - - these mean things assembled in our minds, in an order they produce a larger image a definition that as a whole is much more detailed and in depth and greater than the items themselves individually.
Art, to me, is very much the same way. These symbols when looked on in such a way, with this awareness directly and almost instantly effect our reality. How? It just does, we are designed on some level for this. Try something, if you'd like. Imagine you are thirsty, now think of a cool bowl of lemons, imagine pulling from the bowl a fat plump bright yellow lemon and placing it on a cutting board. In your mind cut the lemon in half then hold the half above your open mouth and squeeze it, feeling the sour wet touching your tongue and capturing it. 

If youve done this immediately you will notice your mouth began to salivate, producing enzymes specific to that image, your body has reacted as if it was really happening, you have with your mind set off a physical reaction that was not there before, you have changed your reality by that stimulus, mind over matter. 

This is happening to us on some level constantly, even while we sleep, and if we become aware of what is effecting our reality to some extent we can alter those stimuli and that is really quite powerful. To be aware is to be alive. Something beautiful can be so much more than it being pretty once we dive into the reasons why we are attracted to it and what it means to us. I use this in my creative process for every painting and the Past Lives Series I do each year is a great way to illustrate that.

As I mentioned in a previous post, once the tincture is applied faces and images appear within the palms and I am simply there to take note. The piece in a way paints itself and most of the time I am there much like a secretary taking dictation. I think this happens to allot of people in any creative realm, the story writes itself, the notes begin to play, the room comes together, the piece just makes sense and flows. Each of the paintings in this series hold letters from the actual person's name but they are re-assembled so that when I go public with the painting the person's identity is protected. I got this idea from Anna Madrigal in Armistead Maupin's 'Tales of the City' and thought it was a lovely idea.

While painting Esme Barde one of the first faces I saw was a male indian, I just loved him, though a small image as highlighted in the photo. One of my favorite Indian Tribes are the Pomo, they lived in the Sea Ranch California region undisturbed until the year 1812. The Pomo life was engorged with philosophy holding highest their ideal "Do not do anything you do not truly want to do". Their environment made so few demands in that area they could even enjoy saunas living on a rich diet of salmon, crab, abalone, clams and mussels along side sea otters in the fog shrouded coast line.

Along that concept the background of the piece was developed. Orchids were later added because to me, being an ancient flower, they represent a timeless beauty, an ancient formula that still works. I used the number 4 (four orchids) as a way to balance the piece, in contrast to the Pomo tribe who would simply burn their house if it was dirty and build a new one. People with a Life Path number 4 are the worker bees of society. If your Life Path is a 4 you are determined, practical and hard working.The number itself is that of cerebral order, "a place for everything and everything in its place." Home is their haven, and if their home environment appears sloppy and unkempt, it effects them.

"Past Lives of Esme Barde" part of the 2013 Past Lives Series
Those who have a '4' influence know great ideas live and die in their heads. They have a strong sense of right and wrong, are very honest, and value honesty in others. Fours' dreams are based in reality and they never question that you will have to work hard to make them come true. Loyal and very dependable, they make an excellent friend or partner, and usually have just a small circle of friends they trust completely. A spiritually connected person with a 4 in their life is capable of so much beauty and will often have a business dealing with beautiful things where they can share that insight in their loving way. There are even more details that I could get into what the color blue means, what the color rose means etc but I feel some of them are so personal I'd be embarrassed to share them. The main point is that each painting goes beyond a layer of images it involves also a layer of meaning.

This is consistent with my entire body of work. For example, with "Past Lives of Alan Eddy" before the palms went down on canvas I thought of
the person they belonged to and what a huge heart he had for those around him. I've often thought that a loving heart is like a home with many rooms. If this were the literal case surely this man's kingdom heart would be a mansion. A mansion with great windows allowing the world around him in all of its green to meet gently the world within. There is a love for life and laughter combined with a child like enthusiasm for fun and so I imagined inside of this mansion children would be playing.

"Past Lives of Alan Eddy" part of the 2013 Past Lives Series
In communicating this visually in the window where outside and inside are both visible there is a boy playing with a toy airplane smiling. I absolutely adore this image, really it came from itself and looking at it sparks a sense of mystery as well as a kind of joy. Even while painting it, I couldn't help but want to let the little guy out to play in the garden of what seems to be an ongoing landscape. Life is fun, and can be uncomplicated even though it is complex and needs maintenance, it can be enjoyed and celebrated just because.

 With "Past Lives of Bane Stott" the approach was more technical. One word kept running through my mind, 'Light'. The several variations and symbols of this concept combined with the science of light. I wasn't going to paint a light bulb or a sun, though both are great visuals for the word 'Idea'. I wanted to go beyond light for just light's sake and get into what it means within the layers. Imagination, ingenuity, the speed of light and travel. Once I widened my net of imagination these just fell into place. To every sunrise, the dawning of a new idea there is the setting of an old one. Within redefining ourselves the rising of our new level of being eventually outshines the setting of our old ways. This happens in ways sometimes so small so tiny we live on not even noticing them, and yet on their molecular level it is an event which is epic. Rayleigh scattering describes the elastic scattering of light by spheres which are much smaller than the wavelength of light. There is a mathematical statement for this:
Where in this instance, intensity is the letter 'I' where I0 is the light intensity before the interaction with the particle, R is the distance between the particle and the observer, θ is the scattering angle, n is a refractive instance of the particle, and d is the diameter of the particle. This in a way is the mathematical statement on how we are able to see a sunset. Its such an unconventional way to think, art and math have always been imaged on opposite sides of the brain but I dont agree, I think math can be beautiful and be used to explain beauty in a way unique to its own methods.

Math in its way can be seen as the method to determine solutions to a concept. A light at the end of a tunnel in the land of 'how is that possible' or 'how can we do it'. So in a matter of logistics I immediately pictured a lighthouse, funny enough before that I pictured a motley's crew of engineers lost in a sea of thought and it just made sense.

Adding to that the spiritual relevance of light I wanted to include, like I often do, some sacred geometry. What is sacred geometry? In the ancient world certain numbers had symbolic meaning, aside from their ordinary use for counting or calculating these carried even more emotional value than the numbers themselves. Traditional wisdom holds the universe to exist because of a profound harmonic order. The contemporary faces of Sacred Geometry are called: Design Science, Fractality, Invariance-scale Physics, Phi Recursiveness, Hyper-Harmonics, Self-Similarity & Quantum Geometry, you can look any or all of these up if you'd like there's plenty of research available on them. 

"Past Lives of Bane Stott" part of the 2013 Past Lives Series
Without boring the crap out of those who aren't interested in it or have a math phobia, basically Sacred Geometry is the art-science dedicated to study and applications of symbolic shapes, patterns & numbers that constitute the language of nature & consciousness as a universal code of creation. In this particular instance it's relevance is the Metatron Cube is depicted in that black and white illustration. This shape represents the grid work of our consciousness and the framework of our Universe. Alchemically represented it is the symbolic matrix in which everything is contained in our three dimensional being. It reminds the observer that there is more, still so much more out there to be discovered. Which then led me invariably to include the compass. Even a vacation where you get lost can be be fun but it isnt so much when a person loses their way from their dreams and goals. Variation and pleasant distractions welcomed of course, however, its always safer to take a light with you along the way.

 Thank you so much for reading this entry. I really hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have in writing it to you. Its not easy trying to make sense of the madness which is otherwise known as my creative process but I do hope you've had fun in witnessing my attempt. Although each end result is different every time, these are the layers that I place lovingly into each piece and maybe so that brings you just a bit closer when you look at one of my paintings or makes you look a bit longer. If it does that then I'm happy to have shared it with you. I'll have just one more update on this series next week, so feel free to stop by and take a look. Until then, more later.


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