It’s about time to finish those drafts

The year is coming to a close. I found that blogging this year was an interesting experience. I enjoyed sharing my ideas and interests with you. This blog has had ups and downs, some posts are more thoughtful than others(and will probably be edited and expanded). I have tried to use it to express a part of myself that I usually don’t share with many people. It often veers off with seemingly random bits from the Internet with intermittent moments of focus and clarity. Though I did notice I have to go through and update some links and add further commentary. I also have a few blog drafts that I need to finish off. I will hopefully get to those in the next two weeks.
 I finally made some progress on a series of paintings that I feel are worth sharing with people. I was trying a few new directions and was unsatisfied with any of the new paintings. Until I decided to continue a series I started before going back to school. Only a handful of people had seen those paintings and they have stayed in London since I left. So those should be showing up in the coming weeks ahead.

Happy Festivus!

Today seems like a good day to celebrate Carleton Wilson a good friend and poet from the Junction in Toronto. He made some recordings of his poems during a recent stay in the hospital. Thankfully he was able to get out in time to be with his family for Christmas. If you would like to check them out here is the link. Happy Birthday Carleton!

I turn my head with one long sigh

A Hundred Sorrows

A hundred sorrows under a single sail:
wind and waves, poles of the line of vision,
birds sunk in the mist, and the mountains with them.
All the colour of the south, still cold next to the skin.

Getting past this place, this autumn of the heart,
one starts to know what hard traveling means.
The evening sun lingers a moment on the sandbar.
I turn my head with one long sigh.

Kuan Hsiu (832-912)

hatsuboku landscape by Sesshū

Freude, schöner Götterfunken

White Christmas

Is it spring yet? And another beard freezing day has passed. I would like my work to have something divine about it and not relate to a deity. My rational side understands that a god is not likely but my irrational side can lead to a false interpretation of experience. Divinity has played a significant role in the history of western art and has obviously made an impression on my understanding of self and the world around me. So where do I go from here. I have been questioning the role tradition should play in my work. Should it be cast aside and forgotten or embraced?

Prayer Bead: The Queen of Sheba Visiting King Solomon, and Adoration of the Magi Northern Dutch (Duchy of Brabant) around 1520 boxwood 6.5 cm (diameter) The Thomson Collection © Art Gallery of Ontario

Death Triumphant German (Bavaria?) around 1670 lindenwood 24.0 x 13.5 x 7.5 cm The Thomson Collection © Art Gallery of Ontario

Diptych: The Nativity and The Annunciation to the Shepherds; The Last Judgment around 1300 France (Paris) ivory, traces of polychrome and gilding The Thomson Collection © Art Gallery of Ontario

  To question is divine. The celebration of the divine has been beautifully expressed by many artist since it has been clearly shown that humans where expressing their understanding of the divine. These images from the Thomson collection at the AGO are good examples of beautiful work created with religious intent. I find some of the work amazing with or without God. People often speak of God given talent. I find this to be a bit insulting, It completely disregards the hard work and commitment artists and artisans throw into their craft.
 I am not sure if man had created God by the time they were painting on caves or if God came later. For most of western art history a divine deity or deities have played a significant role in the creation of art. I find divinity in nature and am comfortable experiencing feelings of awe and wonder of the beauty before me with out needing outer worldly explanations for my emotions. I have always been curious about the souls of people who died before the creation the old and or new testaments. Admittedly I haven’t been curious enough to do any research to find an answer to that question. Do they get a free pass because God didn’t bother to inform them that they were supposed to live and think a certain way. Or the people of that didn’t get word that God spread the message.
 It’s frightening to see at home and abroad the role religion is playing on the world stage. Fundamentalists from many faiths are spreading there venomous beliefs around the world. Too many people have died because for this. Is it not time for mankind to embrace reason and move beyond superstition. To live in a world free from hate based on ancient beliefs of superiority supported by divine revelations. We are all brothers and sisters on this earth and we need to stop killing each other. I know moving to a world beyond religion will not end all killing and hatred. But it would be a good first step. Step outside and go for a walk, go to an art gallery and experience the divine with out a Deity.

 Christmas is approaching and so is the end of this blog post (Hallelujah!). I have the pleasure of facing my German/British heritage. So here is some German music and British pottery.

 This is Mary Wondrausch an English slipware potter. She is 87 and is apparently still working according to this website Mary Wondrausch. Her book on slipware is an interesting introduction to this traditional approach to pottery in England. And if you are interested in making it is full of tips for the application of slip to your pots and has glaze and slip compositions. I love that it is full of lead glaze recipes. So maybe the glaze recipes are not as helpful for most people. Overall it is still a great read.  Check out an excerpt of her book here. Here is another site with some traditional and contemporary work. And a video of her at work. Museum of English Rural Life

Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 “Choral”  IV.Presto – Allegro Assai – Choral Finale (Ode to Joy) 
by Ludwig van Beethoven