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August 8, 2011… Finally scorching hot summer weather. The Arts Fair was lovely this weekend. I’m pretty sure this is my last day in Park City, Utah …until who knows…
I don’t think I could have made the journey of the past year and a half anywhere else… Thank you (many of you checking this blog) for having been part of it! Park City is one awesome place. And it sure would be paradise if I were to love snow during 8 months of the year (which really was too much for me). A quick look in the artsy rear view mirror…
I arrived with the intention of my so-many’th attempt to “reintegrate into conventional society”:
- a legit job that I would hold onto longer than my previous record (which was 9 months), √ 16!!! :-)
- work 9-to-5 for money and pay taxes, √
- pay rent to have my own place, √
- buy my first car (after 20 years of bus, train, bike and mostly hitch-hiking), √
- be debt-free, √
16 months later… I can say I did just that. And then I wanted to paint more. I actually DID paint more than in the year before. But it turns out that sitting in front of a computer 40+ hours per week, most of it without even having a window to view the outside world… with some tedious attention-requiring tasks… that this left me pretty much creatively blocked. Only two paintings happened, and a 3rd kept stalling (all year). I aim to have fun with again soon. The week before I arrived to live in Park City, when I was visiting Belgium, I made this small one to test out Islamic Design patterns.
It weaves patterns that create 7-pointed and 11-pointed stars, with various other patterns appearing. It turned out to actually be crazy-difficult to make it all line up in a visually pleasing way (without computer software that is). And the paper size turned out to actually be too small to show the full picture I found out. When I filled in the lines that intersect at the 2 most central 7-pointed stars, you get the double and triple “eternity loops” and they extended beyond what I had drawn. I had no idea how complex this would get.
Anyhow, I ended up adding a feline silhouette and colored it in. It was basically the testing ground for using Islamic Design in background patterns. The lesson I learned was: keep it simple. Not that it looks easy, but it looked a lot easier to me than I found it is. Size-wise… that’s my right toes in warm winter sock in the picture below:
[photo taken down in 2013]
So for my first painting (see below) in Park City in spring 2010 I chose a simpler pattern with just intersecting lines creating 8-pointed stars and crosses. As its grid lines zig-zag “in and out” it supposedly – so I read somewhere-, symbolized “giving and receiving”. And then, in this weave, somehow a 14-pointed pattern had to “shine through”. That was sort of the concept I started out with. A 14-pointed star is not that easy either, I found. It is associated with the Full Moon and the Prophet. Instead of pissing off psycho-dogmatic self-identified Muslims with distasteful cartoons (like these well-known ones), I decided to use something from Islamic culture that I actually find beautiful and inspiring. (My worldview and spiritual practices come from an experiential mixture of Christian, Buddhist and indigenous traditions). The result became the below painting ‘The Prophet, in a weave of Giving and Receiving’. I suppose this could be considered my very own “Prophet Cartoon”, if you will. One never knows with nut cases, but I sure hope this one won’t leave some Belgian embassy torched and dozens of people killed over it:
… Then the BP-Deepwater-Horizon-mega-oil-spill (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill) was gushing crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico unabated…
Wanting to energetically contribute in a positive way inspired the painting ‘SeaWindHorse’ (or WindSeaHorse?), a wish for good fortune for the deep sea world creatures affected by that mess (and in general, of course). From Wikipedia:
“The wind horse is an allegory for the human soul in the shamanistic tradition of Central Asia. In Tibetan Buddhism, it was included as the pivotal element in the center of the four animals symbolizing the cardinal directions and a symbol of the idea of well-being or good fortune. It has also given the name to a type of prayer flag that has the five animals printed on it.”
The 3 dots on its back can mean different things, such as the three precious jewels of Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. (Which perhaps could be more universally described as the timeless/sacred/divine, the teachings that lead to embodying that/this, and the community that holds that spiritual path dear.)
[photo taken down in 2013]
And then I began the one that is yet to be finished (to be posted when ready most likely).
While preoccupied with the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear (ongoing) nuclear disaster, I created these two spoofs, partly to learn what I could do with GIMP (Linux visual software):
And that’s really all. Hopefully my driveabout (like a motorized walkabout) road trip *home* (wherever that will be next) will clear my mind quickly so I can get back in the creative flow.
[snip / 2013]