“Sometimes our thoughts and feelings in the light of a new day, will take us places we long to go. Where the beautiful waking sunrise of a new day, offers our meditation a meaningful pursuit. It is here we find our thoughts renewed with the bold light of insight, peace, and rejuvenation”. ~ Walter Smith
My “Experiment” series continues with “Zen Nature | Landscapes for Well Being”, a celebration of the beauty of nature and Earth Day. A colorful collage of earth and space; bringing together the compassion of love, life, culture, and soulful melodies for meditation.
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world”. ~ John Muir
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”. ~ Native American Proverb
When dreams bloom, we find ourselves in a solitary place … forever transformed.
Beauty, in all its delicacy fades and re-emerges.
a Winter of barren white frost
beautiful Spring in bloom
endless Summer with you
a mountain summit trail in Fall
It appeared seductively
In Autumn’s sweet voice
Whispering with a vision
Beautiful am I not
Here with you
Coloring your day
in your garden
– through spring
where you sustain
like the flower
– for only
Perfection can be found over time when you follow your instincts….
Something other than remaining…
I often wonder when a work of art is finished. What defines a piece as being complete; needing no further creative intervention on the part of the artist? Perhaps nothing (completion) is ever collected in one moment. If as artists, we seek to embrace the process, then it is possible that perfection is truly the antithesis to what we hope to accomplish; the creation of great art, the connection with self, and the freedom to allow instinct to govern.
Instinct is a mystery. It has no ending. No point at which it is defined.
When I create a work of art, I first view it as a part of a whole. That whole being one that is infinite.
– A life time of creating.
That which is the part of a whole, only serves to contribute to a never-ending journey; the idea of nurturing the creative instinct that lies within the realm of the visceral. While at times abandoning conscious decision-making.
Sometimes it serves us well to know that the perfection that is born of one’s decision, is not the perfection that is found over time …
In the end trust in the mystery….
Our Mind, Body and Spirit is of one Source … All That Is….
Over the next week, I will be working on a series that will be revolving around the beautiful spiritual essence of the various chakras. And how through a meditation practice we can access their vital energy for harmony and healing. I am going to post each chakra individually, as I build towards a concluding series of all seven chakras. As I progress I will be making different visual versions of each chakra. In the end, I will choose seven that I believe have the greatest continuity as a whole for a meditation practice.
Each chakra represents a core dimension of human life.
First up is the Muladhara (Sanskirt) chakra. It’s color is Red and its sound is Lam. This chakra is associated with basic survival skills. It affects the skeleton, lymph, and elimination elements of the body. The sensory component associated with it is the sense of smell. It is in this chakra center that we are released from uncertainity.
When beginning a meditation practice, it is good to be in a relaxed position. Make sure you are comfortable and have your eyes closed. Quiet your breathing by focusing your attention on your in-breath and out-breath. Then bring your awareness to the first chakra at the base of the spine. Bring your attention to this energy center and visualize the color of deep red and begin to repeat the mantra Lam … Lam … Lam.
Sleeping by a distant sunset I touched the forming world.
Walking by a waking night I saw the dreams of things to come.
Standing by the quiet lake I thought of nothing else.
Sitting by my window I heard a purple flower bloom.
I found that exploring both the elements of design and abstraction simultaneously was quite challenging. I will in the future, continue this series in which natural design and computer design merge.
The images selected for the weekly photo challenge: flowers are a part of my Post Canvas and Paint series of 2010. I aspire to incorporate both natural imagery and symmetrical design in the series.
Flowers sometimes reveal the most beautiful forms of abstract design. I am always searching for that intricate form of movement and color variation.
June 18th 2009, a day that stands apart.
On the Nantahala river in Western North Carolina in celebration of
my 53rd birthday the following day on the 19th of June.
A contemplative day full of energy and colors….
We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the
sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features, the sea-coast with its
wrecks, the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, the
thunder-cloud, and the rain. …Henry David Thoreau
I love this quote because during our 3 hour trek rafting down the river,
it began to rain hard with severe thunderstorms. What an incredible experience battling the
elements as we faced the challenge of the rapids.
If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of
grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of
nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive. …Eleonora
Our thoughts are like the waves of a whitewater river. They rise
and fall relentlessly. Our minds, like the lower depths of the river, become
increasingly more settled as we immerse ourselves in our meditation practice. …Walter W. Smith
In a new day that stands
apart, we remove ourselves from yesterday’s trials (the painful past and
uncertain future) and find insight in the quiet of the present moment. We are in
touch with our bodies—moving the energy through the chakras.
Today, hold the past in your
hands. Hold your two hands out in front of you and allow them to fill
with the past, your past, every moment of it. All that happened and did
not happen, all that was wonderful and all that simply was. Let it all
fill your hands.
And now, as you continue to hold
your past in your hands, turn your inner vision to your heart. See how
your heart is clean and clear, free of any regret or longing. Your heart
is beating in this moment and this moment only. …author unknown
As the details of our lives become memories and the moments of
life stand apart, what brings joy, peace and happiness to you? What are some of
your experiences that you embrace with fondness and love? What are your
thoughts? Please do share a moment or two with us.
“Sometimes we turn the pages in the Book of Memories and come to remember the children who dream in future tense”…..
The Highwire Gallery production of The Fun House
workshop began in March 1991 at the Sayre Morris Community Center in West
Philadelphia and concluded with a performance in May. Funded by the PA Council
on the Arts, the goal was to bring together a group of children and introduce
them to the arts. Our focus would be on dance, performance, music and the visual
arts. Another important part of the workshop was for it to be a community
service, which merged different ethnic backgrounds and communities. For the
eleven girls who participated in the workshop, the hope was to inspire personal
challenges and the pursuit of their dreams. Everyone involved, the artists of
Highwire Gallery, the kids, Empress our musical director, Sandra Lynn our choreographer,
and “DADA” (Dancers Against Drug Abuse) met the challenge and worked hard to
make the program a huge success.
How do we encourage our children to dream, a dream that
inspires, enriches and motivates them to reach for the sky, and to touch just one of the millions of snowflakes that
can be found in the realm of possibilities? How do we lead them by the hand,
through the garden of hopes and dreams?
I think we do it one child at a time, one school at a time, one
project at a time, and as one community. Children love to discover, and be creative.
I strongly believe that the arts will provide them with the tools they will need for exploring their
imagination and giving birth to their dreams.
What do you feel is our children’s greatest need? What resources in our society would you like to see be provided for the well being and growth of our children? Do you believe that the arts, especially at a young age, is a vital tool for encouraging creative thinking and problem solving?
What do you think?
Select the link below for a dream-like journey into a contemporary child’s lullaby.
Winter Poem by Nikki Giovanni
once a snowflake fell
on my brow and i loved
it so much and i kissed
it and it was happy and called its cousins
and brothers and a web
of snow engulfed me then
i reached to love them all
and i squeezed them and they became
a spring rain and i stood perfectly
still and was a flower
— Author and poet Nikki Giovanni
From “The Selected Poems of Nikki Giovanni”
And last but not least in this journey of dreams…a short animation.
Impressionism is a theory or style
of painting, literature or music which aims to reflect subjective impressions
rather than objective reality.
Ceremony is defined as a formal
act or set of acts as prescribed by ritual, custom or etiquette. [sacredness or
There is something beautiful and magical about a ceremony. It brings people together.
During our trip to Barbados, our group participated in a very moving one. It was
an ash to sea ceremony. We found the location on the island which was noted as
being nearest to Africa. It was there that the twelve of us performed what I
will always remember as a beautiful and deep expression of love and
remembrance. Some of us said a few words in observance of the passing, and others expressed
compassion and recited poetry. And in the end there were flowers, sand, and
surf coming together to set adrift the physical presence of a loved one.
What ceremonies remain in your heart? Do you believe that ceremonies are still
important in this day and age? Tell me about a ceremony or ritual that you participated
in that changed your life, and if so why.
After working for a few hours on the digital collage for this post
entitled “Into the Blue Imagination”, I finally embraced its finality. It took some
patience, experimentation and moments of trial and error so to speak, to feel
totally satisfied. Immediately after the completion of the piece, and while meditating
on its content, I found myself asking the question, what exactly in the name of art have I produced?
Sometimes you find the meaning to a work of art that
you created only after it is completed. During the process of creating there is
a desire to control its outcome. We as artists, at times want to have it all so
neatly packaged. We like to think that our pre-determined concepts and their
fulfillment in the piece is what make it successful. However, we also realize
there can be beauty in the unknown and an exhilarating joy in discovering it.
In reference to the joy of discovering the unknown, and simultaneously feeling complete, let me make
The last element incorporated into the piece is the
portrait of me. It is a photograph taken over a decade ago when I had
dreadlocks. I am also facing the portrait as the shadowy figure in black. I am observing myself. This
prompted the question, what do we discover when we face ourselves? What do we see?
I did not attempt to instill any answers to this
question in this particular piece. How could I? The piece as I stated was
complete. The question, “what do we discover when we face ourselves” and the
possible answer or answers will have to wait until another time.
Sometimes that is all that art is; a question that begs an answer, or our imagination seeking clarity.
Like a work of art, are you sometimes complete, even though there are questions to be answered?
As an artist, I am sometimes feeling a little blue and uncertain about to which idea I need to explore. It is then that I find the process of creating which I use in my ongoing Post Canvas and Paint series liberating. That ambiguity found “in the lightness of being blue” is washed away amid the beauty of finding an intuitive way of moving from one image to another.
In this particular Post Canvas and Paint series, I start with numerous paused video images of works from my past installations and performances. They are photographed or captured digitally and remixed for this series.
The color blue dominates the vision and feeling of the series. It is the starting element that embodies each image. While the color blue sets the mood for this particular Post Canvas and Paint series, what is consistent throughout all of them is the organic and the patterned designs. As I have stated in previous writings (artist summary @ website: newdigitalscapes.com) on the methodology of the series, it is my intent to remain true to the digital process i.e. recognizing and imploring the intricate, microtonal possibilities inherent to the computer. I take this approach by allowing the computer to contribute its infinite source of geometric abstractions, digital glitches, visual drones, disintegrating loops of color and focus, underlying beats and rhythms, and tonal variations.
The most important thing I would like to achieve in this process is establishing a rhythm in my own inner intuition—feeling the next step and incorporating it into the another image. This is the objective of the series i.e. for each image to move effortlessly to the next….
It is adding while becoming, and finally, being no different from the previous as a whole.
This past week I have been seeing an image in my mind’s eye.
It is a beautiful, contemplative piece by artist and fellow blogger Leslee
Hare. The title of the work is Inner and Outer Tornadoes. I do recommend you
check out her blog and all of her posts. Needless to say, the atmospheric feeling
in the digital filtering of blue layers, along with her prose, were so
inspiring that it led me to this piece….
The Pier and the Flower in Meditation
I wanted to convey something that was similar to Leslee’s
piece. I wanted soft layering and an organic feeling, if not totally atmospheric.
But more importantly I wanted to reflect on the “cleansing” process that she
spoke of in reference to tornadoes. In my work, I see the pier as an opportunity
to step out into the unknown—above the waters of our fears and shifting emotional
What elemental forces or structural constructs give you
pause? What questions arise, what “pier” do you stand upon in meditation as you
face the reflection of your thoughts and emotions?
In continuing the theme of various artistic influences, I
need to first address the musical aspect of the reflective mirror of my
creative journey past and present. These
posts are simple playlists of music from the past and present that have had
significant influence on my art. In doing these musical playlists and
reviews (some of the reviews are by music critics and fans of the artists), I
hope to introduce my readers to new and exciting music.
- CD: Xerrox Vol. 2 – Alva Noto (Carsten Nicolai):
released Dec 01 2008, Genre Electronic
Reproduction, alteration and decay are the main focuses of
Alva Noto’s Xerrox series: the music consists of samples altered by inserting
noise through several rounds of copying. The resulting tracks seem to atomizing be
before your ears, with an occasional effort to coalesce. Where Vol. 1 offered a
sequence of alternating short raw pieces and mid-length ambient tracks, Vol. 2
presents itself as a more even and almost continuous suite of pieces. Vol. 1
was subtitled “Old World”, this one is “To the New World”, but the meaning of
those subtitles remain obscure and might very well be restricted to the
geographical origins of the samples (provided this time around by Stephen O”Malley,
Michael Nyman and Ryuichi Sakamoto). You can either study the copying/decaying
processes used by Carsten Nicolai, or simply dive into this soundworld of
gritty textures, glitch pulses, and skeletal pieces whiteout melodies.
~ Francois Couture, Rovi
I find Alva Noto solo works, and his collaborations with
Ryuichi Sakamoto to be quite beautiful. The technical production quality is
incredibly intricate and well mastered. The music transports you to a world of
micro-tonal sound that envelops and loops itself almost to noise, while
sustaining the mood of silence and space.
Each post under this musical series is accompanied by an image
from my Post Canvas and Paint series. I feel that this particular style of
Electronic music, both the earlier analog space music and the present digital
IDM lends itself quite well to the style of work in the Post Canvas and Paint series.
Several nights, in the last two weeks, I have dreamt of loved ones whom have passed on. And still their love remains. My daughter and my mother came to me and shared their life energy and love with me. They brought moments that had been forgotten and weaved them with the essence of my own thoughts, perceptions, and desires. Dreams always seem to be about people, places and life’s moments intertwined. There are waves of reality, sometimes in a surrealistic manner, merging us with the floods of memories, emotions and deep aspirations. We at times never want to wake up, as we reach across the void to touch and hold on just a moment longer.
What does a dream mean to you? How does one interpret those dreams? These are questions that we have, on many occasions, asked ourselves. The American Heritage Dictionary defines a dream as; a series of images, ideas etc., occurring in certain stages of sleep.
There is always a deeply hidden, yet revealing message in a dream. The nature of a dream is its ambiguity. When we sleep with a dream, we see and feel the unknown, and when we wake, there is the longing for connectivity, revelation and a glimpse into the meaning of our lives.
This post is an invitation for you to describe what a dream means to you, or share a dream that has given you a sense of a life celebrated and deeply loved.
In Celebration of a Life Deeply Loved 01
A long slender Rose represents my life
The Rose is sensitive, elegant, delicate…
Harsh to the touch
She makes you want to touch but
You may not touch
Sharp thorns protect her
The Rose is peace, love, beauty
Her red petals speak of love,
Passion, deep down feelings
The Rose needs care
Lots of care
Soil…Rich soil nurtures her mind
Makes her beautiful
The ground is her home
Hard, solid, tough
Nature is her world
February 10th 1992
Our daily lives at times are filled with what seems like perpetual forms of the mundane. This is when the life around us appears to slow down and things appear to stand still. The thinking mind is no longer centered, but restless—searching for something to attach itself to. It is moments like this that we long for distraction. We may at this time unknowingly appear to be succumbing to this longing, but it has been there all along. It is the ego and it is at the foundation of our cyclic existence: (samsara): uncontrollably being reborn under the influence of disturbing attitudes and karmic imprints.
Today, I am experiencing such disillusionment or distraction. I am not at all centered. I want to think of something to do or find a profound gesture to give my life greater meaning. I say to my-self “you can create some art, or write a post for the blog or rehash thoughts about what I want out of life.” Now that (rehashing thoughts) is certainly a great way to keep one-self distracted—to be out of the present moment. The quickest way to address these moments of being “lost” in our thinking is to sit quietly and just observe the thoughts through our practice of meditation. Let the thoughts, like the waves of the ocean, rise and fall. We can say to ourselves, “I am thinking.” This is the beginning of Liberation: freedom from cyclic existence and Nirvana: the cessation of unsatisfactory conditions and their causes.
So today, I see the mundane for what it really is: a distraction from what is: We may call it mundane, but it is life itself in this present moment, and we can learn to embrace it.
And when we see it for what it truly is, we are free from any misconceptions that may arise.
We are on the path to Liberation and the end of Samsara.
Today I had the Honor of being of service to an individual, who over the years, I have come to love dearly. He has some special needs, and a heart to be filled with love. It is a beautiful thing what we discover in ourselves when we help others. I felt a great sense of well-being–finding its source in the expression of love through active compassion. In Buddhism, we learn that compassion is the wish for all sentient beings to be free from suffering and its causes, and that love is the wish for all sentient beings to have happiness and its causes. Let’s find a way together to build our hearts as one instrument in the service of others.