Surfacing

Here’s a digital image for you, one I’m calling, “Surfacing.” It’s not a very Christmas-like image…at first glance; however, there is “divine birth” dimension. Where? How? WTF?

click on image to enlarge

As a beginner in the practice of meditation, mindfulness, and yoga, I’ve discovered something about the content of my own attention and the breadth of its span. Most of what I pay attention to has nothing to do with the actual spatial and temporal dimensions of the situations that I inhabit; and my five senses usually just go along for the ride throughout the day. That’s another way of saying that I’m rarely “in the moment.” Most of the time my mind is automatically wandering and dragging around clusters of feelings that reside in my muscles’ memories. I’m basically flying around and around in a bird cage whose little door is wide open but somehow hidden from my view.

I ruminate, therefore I am; and my rumination is my ruination. All of that highly-evolved cognitive activity that we call thinking, so necessary for our survival as a species, keeps us alive and incarcerated by decommissioning our senses. If we can’t see the open door, we won’t fly away. We’re taught to fear freedom by our own trauma. The curriculum for this self destruction is saturated in our flesh and bones; at the collective level it’s encoded in our enculturation and socialization processes to keep the entire flock from flying away.

Sometimes when I’m on my cushion, my mat, or my iPad Pro, I lean into an arbitrary assignment automatically delivered to me by this mostly destructive curriculum. I do so because I’ve learned that avoiding or denying them nourishes them. I’ve learned that leaning in requires an effort, takes practice, and yields dividends. I wonder if it’s a sin to vacate the Present Moment?

“Surfacing” is the result of one of these leaning into’s. Yesterday I managed to notice the compulsive appearance of one of these arbitrary assignments as it surfaced. Rather than repressing it and the scary feelings accompanying it, I entertained it momentarily before it disappeared. It grabbed the tissues of the moment I inhabited and the body I inhabit. It seemed real. With its sharp claws it tugged at and stretched the membrane of the living moment encapsulating me…until…poof!

By the time I noticed exhaling, it was gone, Merry Christmas, and another assignment had arrived.

Merced Art Hop Flyer Artwork – July 15, 2017

It’s a few days after the fact, but I thought I’d post a story about how one of my digital paintings became the poster/flyer for the Merced Art Hop, July 15, 2017. It all started back in May of this year (2107), when Kevin Hammon, one of the two founders of Art Hop, click here for details, contacted me and asked if I’d put together a drawing for the flyer for the upcoming July Art Hop. Kevin and Kimberly Zamora hadn’t ever asked an Art Hop artist to do the artwork for the Art Hop flyers; they wondered if I’d be interested in the opportunity to do something to convey “…the July Art Hop theme:’Environment & Renewable Energy’….” Indeed, I was interested and excited; but, it took me a few days to get back to Kevin. In a subsequent phone conversation Kevin elaborated on the renewable-energy theme and listed a few of the energy sponsors, and right away an image came to mind. Within minutes I cranked out the following in Tayasui Sketches (the actual Art Hop Flyer flyer can be found below the original,artwork):

Click on image to enlarge.

Click on image to enlarge.

What a treat, especially since I was a Merced Art Hop artist, stationed at Cue Spot Billiards, at this quarterly event on July 15, 2017.

As Seen on TV

As I mentioned in a previous post, click here for details, I’ve been gearing up to teach digital (iPad) art as an “enrichment” component in select classrooms that may or may not be near you. It’s a public school setting, so obviously I can’t be peddling my own ideological biases in any way, shape, or form, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

I originally proposed Paper by 53 and Tayasui Sketches as the drawing/painting apps that I’d use; however, both of them scored so low in the student-privacy-protection evaluation that I had to come up with 2 substitutes. We ended up with Procreate, the full version, and the “educational” version of Autodesk SketchBook. I’m somewhat familiar with SketchBook Pro; it’s comparable to Procreate, but SketchBook for Education has fewer features. So last night I wanted to play around with those features, and this is what I managed to crank out:

Obviously, you can import and even scan in images. It has layers. You can cut, paste, move, and resize, but you can’t distort. There’s no smudge tool and only a limited number of brushes and pens. Still, there’s more than enough to work with, and I just might start with SketchBook for Education and then introduce Procreate.

hope

In two other posts I’ve pondered the same quote by Reinhold Niebuhr, wherein he has this to say: “Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope.” Do read the rest of the quote, click here if you’re so inclined, because he goes on so gracefully to talk about faith, love, and – wait for it – forgiveness.

hope

Tayasui Sketches, iColorama

If the linguist in Arrival spoke Pittsburghese

I never ever thought I’d hear anyone say “Sapir-Whorf hypothesis” in a movie, but I heard it in Arrival! Ok, it was a science fiction film. See trailer here. Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is asked to help the United States communicate with aliens, and she’s the one who talks about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.

I liked the movie, but something inside me made me wonder how it would have been different if Professor Banks had been fluent in Pittsburghese. See yinz.

What do yinz want?

Tayasui Sketches, iPad Pro, Apple Pencil