"When you hear with the eye, everything is clear and undisguised." Zen Master Dogen

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Dark Magnolia - Today's Painting

Magnolia & Blocks
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao

Summer in Georgia and my magnolia is in bloom. ...a rather dark representation with asemic calligraphy.

Ink on scanner image. Approximately 7.5 X 9.5" matted for framing in a 14 X 18" frame.

$115 includes shipping.
Write me for details.
I can take PayPal... and am shamefully slow in getting my ETSY store open. But, it's summer in Georgia now.

------ SOLD, thank you ----------

Monday, May 28, 2007

A Word (on my art)

blue chair on snow......
Originally uploaded by
E. E. Cummings, enamored of the Imagists while at Harvard in the early 1910s, later said he should have "lived in China where a poet is also a painter."

At the fancy Atlanta gallery they didn’t know quite what to call my “paintings.”
The owner said, “No one is doing this.”

What I was doing was intuitive calligraphy painted directly onto photographs I had printed on watercolor paper. It was “intuitive” as it stemmed from my Taoist practice of “reading energy.” I focused upon photo images and then gave expression to their energy via spontaneous Qigong (or guided movements as it’s called in my meditation tradition).
I called it “calligraphy” because my other inspiration is the Buddhist tradition, spiritual calligraphy.

But, thanks to Tim Gaze in Australia, I have been introduced to “asemic calligraphy” and its roots in art. From Gaze I also learned of Irma Blank, an artist who has illustrated the work of Gertrude Stein. This was a complete circle for me, as Stein was my first discovery of a “sacred language” outside the Vedic and Hebrew traditions.

In the 70’s I had read Allegra Stewart’s book, “Gertrude Stein and the Present.” Here I discovered that by emphasizing sounds and rhythms rather than semantics, grammar and syntax Stein captured “moments of consciousness” independent of time and memory. She tapped the archetypal. For example, in Tender Buttons she created a series of still lifes designed to suggest not the object but its essence and aura. Stein was seeking a "way of naming things that would not invent names, but mean names without naming them."

Now, curiously, via Gaze and Irma Blank, I am brought to illustrations of Stein’s The World is Round, a story in which an insecure nine years old girl, Rose, becomes a hero. Here I find, “A rose, is a rose, is a rose.” But, Rose herself prefers blue: blue eyes, blue chair, blue mountain. And, suddenly it’s feeling fairly Zen to me.

Chapter 26: Rose Does Something
So Rose did not sing but she had to do something.
And what did she do well she began to smile she was climbing all the while climbing not like a stair but climbing a little higher everywhere and then she saw a lovely tree and she thought yes it is round but all around I am going to cut Rose is a Rose is a Rose and so it is there and not anywhere can I hear anything which will give me a scare.
And she thought she would cut it higher, she would stand on her blue chair and as high as she could reach she would cut it there.

Is this a children’s story or a Zen koan? I see a rustic blue chair with a ladder back reaching to the sky.
I hear the simple and straight forward almost babble as it wanders on and on and all around. Semantics are there but syntax is a bit askew and with that we are cut loose a bit to drift - either up or in I am not sure.
But, it does inspire doodle, the intuitive calligraphic.

And I am not the only person doing this.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sweet Gum Pool

Sweet Gum Pool
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao.
My backyard is filled with sweet gums. They drop their seed pods seemingly throughout the year. Can that be?
This one fell into the rather untended bird bath.

I am still trying to get my Etsy Store up and going. My slow pace is not the site's fault, but rather mine.

I am such a sweet gum pool my own self.
Faith, patience.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Floating Berry Buddha

Floating Berry Buddha
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao.
Turns out this is more a "painting of the week" rather than a daily painting.
But, I love the image.

It started as a macro photo of some berry smudge on my kitchen window (from a cardinal attacking his own reflection). It was no larger than a speck. Enlarged, I see I see a wise old Chinese monk floating in the dark heavens.

Soon, I hope to get this listed in my Etsy store. ... so much to do... so little brain.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Story of the Day

Canvas C
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time to post a "daily painting" today - although this one is mine. Instead, I will pass along a "Story of the Day" from the StoryPeople site.

I have a friend who reads people's auras. He sees all sorts of colors like green & red & purple. He says anyone can do it. All it takes is forgetting everything you think you know & just looking. I've tried it & even though I haven't seen any colors yet, everyone I meet looks so beautiful when I stop knowing everything, that it's pretty hard to go back to the old way.

I like that! Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Magnolia Bud

Magnolia Bud
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao.
Original painting of Ink and rubber stamping applied to a scanned image.

Comes double matted to fit 14 X 18" frame with mat opening 7.5" x 9.5"

$115 with free shipping.

This spring I was delighted to discover a Japanese magnolia in my front yard. I didn't know that when I bought the place. So I picked one of February's first bud.

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Drum - Daily Painting

The Drum
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao.
Arcylic and Ink on photograph printed in archival ink on 8.5 x 11" sheet.

Comes double matted to fit 14 X 18" frame with mat opening 7.5" x 9.5"

$115 with free shipping.

This Celtic drum hangs on the wall above my Buddhist alter.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Crane Wife

Crane Wife
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao.
Acrylic, ink on scanner image printed in archival inks on 8.5 x 11" sheet.

Comes double matted to fit 14 X 18" frame with mat opening 7.5" x 9.5"

$115 with free shipping

The Decemberists song "Crane Wife" was the inspiration for this painting. The crane is from a Korean coin I had in my cookie jar.
I wrote an blog entry using this as illustration. (Read that entry).
This painting is now SOLD.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pine Needles on Tin Table

Pine Needles on Tin Table
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao.
Ink on archival digital photograph. Matted opening 7.5" x 9.5 " on 8.5 x 11" sheet.

Comes doubled matted ready for 14 X 18 frame.
$115 with free shipping.

My paintings come matted because Emptiness is such an important aspect of Zen mind. By doing the matting myself I can present the visual subjects in a manner to accentuate the Silence I am trying to evoke.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Firewood 1 - My First Daily Painting!

Firewood 1
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao.

Ink on archival digital photograph. Matted opening 7.5" X 9.5", sheet 8.5" X 11".

I may not make it everyday. But, I will do my best.
I plan to get sales set up on Etsy.
In the meantime, feel free to email me if you are interested or have questions.
... feels more like "a day at a time" right now. So many ideas so much to figure out Web-wise.

Oh well, all's well.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I am Inspired - A Painting A Day

Sequenced 1
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao.

I have become inspired by something (a movement?) called “A Painting a Day.”

The brain child of Duane Keiser, “A Painting a Day” is a group of independent artists who have made the commitment to paint one painting a day. They usually have a Blog, a website, and an online store where people can either bid on each days painting or buy it outright.

(Click here for a USA Today Article about Keiser.)

The paintings are small, usually postcard size, of excellent quality, and priced so just about anyone who wants to start collecting original art can do so. Keiser spends a few hours a day working on a painting. They paintings go on sale at $100 and can go much higher by the time bidding stops. Generally, the artists don’t get rich, but the sales can put a little cushion into life.

I am happy for the inspiration the whole project has awakened in me. Here’s a way I can do art and still keep the security of my day job.

The inspiration has yet another aspect which was articulated for me by a blogger, Chuck Tanowitz, at his sight, “Media Metamorphosis.” Chuck’s point is this:

I'm a public relations and marketing professional working on the edge of old and new media, watching them collide. Life is always more interesting at the junctions and that’s where we are today.

Everything we know about media is about to change: how we receive information, who produces it, how we pay for it, even when we get it. This revolution will be blogged, podcasted and communicated in ways we haven’t even thought about yet. …people sitting in their homes have the power to reach the world. In this new world it’s the stories that will win.

Yes, I like that sentiment, especially, "Life is always more interesting at the junctions..."

Or, to quote from the article on Keiser in USA Today, “This is a very exciting development…The entire method of [art] collecting has radically changed."

So, I am working towards this. Getting all the ducks lined up.
Duck, duck, GOOSE!

I’ll be going step, by step. First step being sharing a new painting I did last night after work. I call it “For Marcha” because I turned it into a print for a colleague here at work to whom I owe a debt of gratitude.

The background image is from an X-ray film created in an old DNA sequencing experiment. We have a whole box of such films that are just collecting dust. I went through a handful and selected some interesting patterns.

The idea for using DNA sequencing films came from a friend’s comment as she viewed my painting “Blocks 1” (Check it out at Flickr). Being a linguist she just stared and stared, arguing all the little blocks had to be encoding something, she called it a Rosetta Stone.

Well, that’s just what these DNA sequencing films actually do.

In the process of turning the X-ray film into a painting, I had the idea that I could offer prints - prints that were customized with a dedication as I signed them, if the purchaser wanted to gift them… prints that I can make right in my home studio from paintings that are too small to sell as originals.

In fact, I had lots of ideas from this one painting.
Bright ideas kept me lying awake in bed last night with new images and techniques to try, all floating in my head.

Ahh… Inspiration. It makes you really have to exhale!