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I set up a small studio space in the new house with a shelf for old and current notebooks. In the process, I found sketches that never made it past the idea phase. I’ve never really explained the inspiration behind my illustrations. This is an appropriate time for me to do so.
An old adage advises writers to write what they know. In a similar vein it would be understandable to say that artists draw what we see. Much of my work comes out of the dreaming mind and past life explorations. For me, art is very much an expression and extension of spirituality. Going through paintings, I brought some to the new house that I remember my father painting when I was a child. It was very much a similar pursuit for him as well. He painted Native American portraits and landscapes of the American west. It wasn’t until he passed that I learned about the portraits. All I ever saw of his work growing up were landscapes. My work tends towards illustrating actions and emotional connections between people. I have a deep fascination for eschatology and the role of death across cultures, so it is no surprise that they are influences in my illustrations.
The idea of how we see our world is very much a philosophical question and often flows into the realm of art. We are always shaping and changing the ways in which we perceive our world or worlds. A common interpretation of what it means to be an artist is to conceive and create new worlds. And yet, from a slightly different perspective there are so many worlds we have yet to rediscover. Exploration lies at the crossroads of art and spirituality.
For the first time I will be doing $5 spirit paintings and $1 hand paintings at The Owl’s Well booth at this year’s Saint Louis Pagan Picnic on June 3 and June 4. Other paintings and illustrations will be for sale as well. If any of my readers are going to be in the area, please stop by. It will be a very exciting weekend!
The following are examples of digital or computer art as a graduated form of automatism or automatic art.
In November I had originally alluded to the possibility of doing this. And now I’ve finally nailed down a date for the project in March 2016. I will be working with Owl’s Well, a local Saint Louis pagan/witch group with whom I have donated my time and effort in the past, to explore a hands-on experience with Spirit Drawing. Spirit Drawing or Automatic Drawing that was made popular with the rise of Spiritualism from the mid 19th to the early 20th centuries, in America and Europe, and consequently had a hand in inspiring the Surrealism, Cubism, Surrealist automatism, and the avant-garde artistic styles they inspired. We will be painting instead of drawing. It is likely to be a limited engagement, because I only have enough room to seat nine people. If this turns out to be a favorable event, I may consider doing others in the future.
I am very excited about this project, as it is something that I have noticed I have a penchant for, over my years of drawing. And as I mentioned in recent blogs it hasn’t been very long that I have been painting, though I do have a great deal of background experience with art, from traditional drawing and illustration to graphic design.
Christmas brought me a new set of pencils and paints, that I have been experimenting with, along with showing my four year old son how to use them. He doesn’t fingerpaint at home. He’s far more interested in using brushes, all of them. So just as I painted with my father when I was that age, now my son is painting with me. He does some amazing work mixing the colors together. It is insightful to see the kinds of things he is experimenting with, letters, shapes, and color. It is an excellent time to get him involved in the creative process, and I hope to continue to foster his love of art in the future as well.