Category Archives: communication

the artist on sex, the shadow and spirit

yes, I am choosing to write about a risky topic, in that it entails broaching the conversation of our most private and often unexplored topic, sex!  it gets our attention and regardless of our opinions, preferences and experiences will command a moment or more of attention when we see it in a topic.  it is natural, biological, and humans are captive to the impulse regardless of their personal conception and whether it involved sexuality or was a scientific experiment.  the biological sequence of becoming a life form involved an exchange of energy to initiate development.

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“untitled” collage 10″ x 10″ istara freedom

development from the infinite unknown, or spirit world into a life form took some sort of attraction and environmental arranging to occur.  thus the occurrence of matter!  any matter formed also creates a shadow.  shadows can be fun.  we can play with shadows, and become the master of our shadow.  we can turn in a certain way to the light and with our eye see the smallest shadow possible.  if we desire we may grow that shadow to immense proportions with the right angles of light, and make a large impression with our shadow.  some may call this a negative impression, and indeed it can be.  however there is another side besides the negative shadow, and it is the protective, powerful guardian side, that we can also depend on if we know how to work the light.  and now of course you know that I am speaking metaphorically as well as physically.

okay back to the sex, time to keep the attention going here, for real! –a quick review, how are all those things related–artists, sex, shadow, spirit?  oh yes, by nature of having a physical form, attention is drawn toward the impulse of exchange, and energetic exchange that creates more energy is a matter to consider, along with its shadow.  a psychological shadow also develops as a psyche forms when the matter begins to relate/exchange with other forms.  it all may seem very abstract but there is a basic exchange, a relationship.  in that sense spirit is drawn to that which is energetically embedded in our primal impulse, from that moment when energy surged into the cells that began to grow into us.  that universal occurrence of biological exchange makes us especially drawn to the idea of sex.  regardless of the opinion we have regarding sexuality, we will respond to the word or idea with some attention.  artists are the ones that visibly, consciously externalize the shadow–both physically and psychologically to the world, becoming a reflection for other lifeforms to relate to.  many artists have an ongoing representation of the shadow in their work.  it is an opportunity to have a reflection, and to share the reflection, as there are those that are conditioned to believe that the shadow is bad, or to be feared somehow, and want to minimize it to be more comfortable.

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“untitled” collage 10″ x 10″ istara freedom

we can benefit by being aware of the shadow–as a performance of personal power, or to provide a distraction, or open a conversation with the psyche as to ones fears and challenges.  I have found the dialogue can be very helpful, to assess where i am in relation to my shadow.  by looking at it, envisioning it, and playing with the shadow, we can communicate with the parts of our psyche that are pre-lingual, and deep in shadow.  it may well be an uncomfortable conversation at first, as our very powerful imaginations combined with deep elemental forces will detail any type of fear or fantasy we may have.  artists and creative types, scientists, are agents of this primal creative energy, and often explore aspects of shadow sexuality in their work.  the commercial viability of sexuality is part of our collective human shadow and is a consideration for many artists and the phenomenon we know as ‘selling out’.  because sexuality is viable, it will often dominate certain types of commercially successful art forms, especially in film and music.  as artists with integrity we can minimize the grotesque exploitation of sexuality for profit by looking at the shadow sides of ourselves and use the sexual energy to create work that honors the sexual impulse of all life as a more elemental occurrence.

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“O” collage, mixed media 2′ x 3′ istara freedom

as I am transitioning from the more quiet side of the visual arts to songwriting and singing, I am beginning to consider performance again and selling an image.  I get to play with the ideas of sexuality and how much of a sexy image I want to portray.  i consider the challenge it has been for me from time to time to present or ‘sell’ my  visual art, as it is open to interpretation and has the energy of self reflection.  it gives the viewer a mirror to go deep inside and that can be uncomfortable for those that want a pretty and conventional surface to relate to–or people will get distracted by my physical presence, and want to shift the focus to me. so now i get to play with selling my own image in the presentation of the songs if i choose.

perhaps you were expecting a more juicy expose on sex, shadow, spirit and the artist. i will admit, i have been curious to see just how much of a difference in the traffic to my site will be affected by including sex in the topic, and this is part of my research. maybe another day i will write a more ‘juicy’ piece to make up for it if my readers seem interested. let me know. thanks for the visit!

forest for the trees

i like the medium of collage because to me it is like viewing a frozen image from someones brain, the revelation as many disparate parts  composite and form into a new idea. or as i titled my last series of collages, aetheros portals a portal to another view, a sketch of possibility in quantum terms. i say quantum terms because of the fact that most of the elements of a collage are or have been pulled from another position, and thus have previous or current lives as different symbols, parts of other realities. this could happen infinite times.

i have collaged and re-collaged certain images so many times they are now existing in many possibilities at once. they may look very different, even unrecognizable, or appear as the same feature, in a different mood, a moment in time, or expression of emotion. i enjoy the discovery of bits of visuals that my eyes are drawn to being placed in a new array and becoming something different. i am reminded of the options we have to form realities, and to change them.

in my collage series i had several themes develop, where multiples of one idea or image occurred.  a few trees, the untitled ones, and the uraeus, named after the egyptian symbol of an upright cobra, often shown with wings, mostly associated with royalty. the symbol of the uraeus originally was a depiction of a state of spirit, when the kundalini, or life force, had crowned, reached its peak and achieved union with spirit,  all that is.

the first one, uraeus rising, is experiencing bliss. in pleiades dream, this visual is the imprint of an ancient memory. in earth/sky uraeus, also titled soul uraeus, it is in the balance of connection, connecting above with below, a perfect place to allow full expression of the soul.  together they represent three glimpses into the idea of ascension, the experience of spiritual freedom through having mastered form. in my process of recognizing and imaging the symbols, i feel i have imprinted the possibility for this idea.

in the tree series, i have three tree portals. there is tree one, with its flower, its metaphorical fruit. it is sheltering a small cat. various energies are formed around and under the tree. it is an enchanting place, safe and full of wonder. in tree two, it is a tree of wisdom. it appears to have a face, that may seem to speak. i wonder what it will say to me, to someone else.  in the third one, there is a magical forest. the trees are alive with consciousness and communication. it is like music, expressed in the light, shapes and climate, created by the density and reach of the trees. the title, forest for the trees, alludes to the loss of humans ability to witness and enjoy the natural magic of the forest, or of a tree.

i heart Art!

pages and pages of days go by
in this writer’s life
cut and paste world
collage of ideas
layer themselves into a vision
sculpting time into Art
i heart Art!

art is the vehicle that carries us back and forth through time. we become time travelers when we look at a piece of art or read what’s been written, as it has been completed at a fixed point in time, even if that time is ten minutes or many many centuries, back to petroglyphs and cuneiform. we create future time, with our ideas, both in imagining, describing and depicting other possible realities, as well as the more subtle shaping of the next moment by our choices and actions, our creations. that is the future, an extended idea of the now.

writing, sculpting, painting, collaging and music, also the process of understanding and  translating what other people’s needs are into skin art,  these are my teachers, friends that inform me along the way.  my capacity to understand the world grows with each expression, and the world grows with me.

the sculpture in the photo above is a great example for me of time travel and growing the world. titled ancestor, it was made during a time i was taking a class on mesoamerican art and architecture. the rough stone,  a mineral called serpentine, that left to nature’s nurture, would eventually become jade, was gifted to me concurrently by a friend, a jade carver. many of the colossal heads carved by the olmec culture in mesoamerican antiquity are carved from serpentine. i felt inspired by the rich, earthy green colors and interesting striations, and just dug in with my chisels and mallet. it is a fairly soft stone. when the piece, ancestor emerged, i felt surprised by the obvious influence of the ancient art i’d been looking at for three months! i realized that my own small percentage of hispanic heritage had found an opportunity to connect, in geologic time, to it’s roots, through the hand working of this stone. thus the name, ancestor. i had reconnected to myself and a part of the world culture. i am pleased with the original work that will always call to mind my remembrance.

in the law of time, when we are harmonious with nature, the only law that exists is time factored by energy equals art. the creative energy that exists is the same creative energy for us all, regardless of our medium, our skills or talents. that is why many artists say they have channelled their art, or gotten themselves out of the way somehow to let their creation flow. that, of course is why it has been said there is no original art. though all creative energy is from the same source, it can only come out as a unique expression when tapped by any individual. ah the beauty…