June 11th, 2018
Ive mentioned my interest in the evolution of human consciousness and Im sure many of you are wondering just what that means. I have no doubt that what I say here will raise more questions than it answers but that is part of the process. If I could define it in a single sentence it would be: To awaken to your indestructible connection to the Eternal One Life.
The Buddha once responded to the question, What is enlightenment? by saying It is the end of suffering. To end suffering, one must go within and awaken to their true essence. Through introspect, the awakening process begins. A crack in the shell of the unconscious exterior is created and a few rays of light begin to filter through. A questioning of reality begins to emerge. You ask yourself, what about me is true and what motivates my existence. What motivates humanity? There is the awareness that the ego plays a greater part in suffering than ever imagined before. There is a realization that what appears to be normal and right is in fact dysfunctional and that much of how we respond to and live life is a result of programming, conditioning and addiction. A desire to remember and reconnect to a deeper meaning and greater sense of responsibility to our true selves emerges. It is an awakening to your indestructible connection to the Eternal One Life, your essence of being. An evolution of consciousness is occurring on a scale of increasing dimensions never witnessed before. The survival of the planet and the human race depends on it. What a wonderful time to observe and to be experiencing.
What is true? That which does not change, all else is relative.
June 11th, 2018
I have been interested in some form of artistic expression for as long as I can remember. Becoming focused on a particular medium seems to have been the continuing problem. I can remember my Mother showing me how to draw as an adolescent. At Christmas time I would paint murals on the large sliding glass door windows of our home. Ive done wood sculptures, pencil sketches, watercolors, acrylics, pen and inks, metal sculptures, wood crafts ,silk painting. One, two three, maybe half a dozen projects and I would put the medium down.
The greatest artistic focus I think Ive had has been in my work as a Farrier. One may not think that putting shoes on horses would be considered art but it most certainly is. The manipulation of the equine hoof form, the crafting and the forging of steel for appropriate application is an artistic expression I enjoyed for 35 years. It was physically demanding, yes. But it was a wonderful way to earn a living.
About fifteen years ago I began to experience what some would call a shift. Along with my partner, Heidi, a higher level of consciousness than either her or I had experienced before began to evolve. Im not talking about religion. It was more of an awareness of ones spirituality. When things like this begin to happen to you, cooperating components begin to fall into place. Teachers show up, opportunities arise, things manifest without much effort. A feeling of contentment and inner peace begins to be a regular part of your life experience. Priorities change. You appreciate what you used to considered trials as learning opportunities for the evolution of consciousness. My focus began to change.
Incorporated in this new reality and perspective Chinese brush painting was presented as the artistic expression I has been searching for.
June 11th, 2018
I love the expression, knowledge pulls and pain pushes. It seems we all have elements in our lives that we display great resistance towards. Its that resistance that creates the pain that pushes. It appears to be a part of the human experience. It creates a great deal of unhappiness and suffering. It creates wars. Sometimes, its what moves us from that dark night of the sole to the light of recognition that a change of mind and attitude can transform resistance into acceptance and result in a greater since of harmony and well being.
My wife and I cared for her parents in our home until each of them transitioned. Heidis Father past first and her Mother died about 3 1/2 years later. When they first came to stay with us, a period when they were still in relatively good health, I was terribly resistant to the idea. I struggled over the added expense and the intrusion into the privacy and intimacy of our lives. It was a period of time for me of considerable internal suffering and conflict. However, it was something my wife found it absolutely necessary to do and I respected the intent of that a great deal. This is when I realized that when you change the way you think about something, everything about it changes. It changes your life. I decided to consider their being with us as a gift to them and to my wife. I refused to observe a feeling of loss in any way.
Having them included in our home and lives until their passing became one of the great blessings of our lives. It is partially through their generosity that we were able to acquire the trailer we now live and travel in and the truck we pull the trailer with. They were great travelers and adventurers in their own right and I often feel their presence when we are traveling through some place I know they would enjoy. We bought our truck used and the last three numbers on the license plate are EVF. My Mother in laws maiden name was Evelyn Virginia Foster. EVF.....Go figure..
June 11th, 2018
When I was about 12 years old I found an advertisement for a manual on karate in a comic book. I ordered it with money earned from my paper route and when it arrived began to study the pages. I remember demonstrating my new skills on my friend from across the street, a boy about my same age. I can still remember the look in the poor lads eyes when I threw him over my head with an arm bar throw. I was a bit amazed at the result myself. This is my first recollection of a fascination with Asian cultures. A serious study of Karate was destined to wait for some time but the fascination remained.
A pivotal point in my shift came when I realized that I was very uncomfortable with the idea of a god that I had to fear, a god that would find it necessary to judge me. I should say that I was given a modest amount of Christian education. My mother was Lutheran and I can recall attending some Sunday school. I had pretty much rejected religion and even the god I was familiar with at one point. I even argued against a universal intelligence, suggesting that everything was a product of random circumstance. Somewhere in this period of time a serious exploration of eastern cultures and the spiritual wisdom inherent within them began to flow to me. Many of the teachers that were presented to me incorporated eastern philosophy into their knowledge of western spirituality. I realized that God and I were not separate. That the only reality lies in this now moment, that who I believed myself to be was not this physical body or the voice inside my head. I found Buddha. I found Lao Tzu. I found Zen. I found truth I had never known before. And along the way I discovered Chinese brush painting, the artistic medium that I had been looking for��
June 11th, 2018
Chinese Brush painting was born of ancient Chinese Calligraphy and has evolved through the centuries. In Japan it is known as Sumi-e. The single most astonishing fact about Chinese Brush Painting is that each brush stroke is a defining move that produces a portion of the painting that is neither improved upon nor corrected. In spontaneous style, no sketch is prepared and often, no model is used. The artist paints with rapid, mentally constructed strokes transporting a 'mind image' to mulberry or rice paper. From first to last stroke, the artist must 'get it right' while in Western watercolor corrections and over painting are a part of the technique.
Chinese Brush Painting is meant to be more than a representation of an object; it is also a symbolic expression. This is why a full plant is never painted, but rather a few blossoms which will represent the plant in its entirety, and in fact, all of life - a TAO principle. Rather than looking at the subject as you paint, you bring it forth from your mind and heart, connecting with the essence of the subject and becoming part of its nature.
In my works I attempt to capture the spirit or essence of the subject yet retaining a meditative spaciousness. I prefer not to get lost in detail. My art is evolving as is my life. It draws from my past supported by a foundation of exploration and seeking yet allows me to reside in the now moments of my continuing expansion. A part of that expansion is that I now travel full time. I create while traveling and within the limitations of travel. How I present and sell art is changing and evolving. As an aspect of that, this continuing blog will be about my art, my travels and my search for and observation of the evolution of human consciousness and perhaps how they relate to each other.
June 11th, 2018
About "Zen Horses"
In the last year I began a series of brush paintings that I entitled Zen Horses. I thought I would share my thoughts about the intention of the series. Many people have felt a strong attraction toward Zen Horse so I offer you this perspective.
The images are intentionally simple. . The simplicity of the horse images and the open space metaphorically speaks to the quiet uncomplicated, uncluttered mind and a state of presence, in acceptance with what is. The horse itself represents grace, strength, courage and endurance and the eternal one life. The forms embody stillness and calm, with an outward focus representing inward contemplation and consideration and perhaps personal growth and an evolution of consciousness towards a harmonious balance with nature and environment.
The absence of or minimal amount of facial detail represents a loss of ego and analytical mind, eliminating mans separation from the whole.
There is space within these images for individual meditation and interpretation.
Perhaps you can find an interpretation that speaks to you.
June 11th, 2018
A Ride to Enlightenment
What is it that we find so wonderfully attractive about horses? Being diverse creatures, I suppose each of us finds what we need when we need it. Discovering different aspects of what horses bring to our lives as we grow and evolve and as our needs and our lives change. Perhaps it�s a recreation, a vocation, a relationship, an identity, a lifestyle, fulfillment of a dream or fantasy, an appreciation of nature�s elegance, stamina and beauty, a method for healing, guidance towards strength and confidence or perhaps a path to an evolution of consciousness and enlightenment. A long association with horses can incorporated each of these aspects at one time or another.
When I create art involving the image and essence of horses there are so many things that I am aware of. I see a diversity of strength, integrity and resilience against a level of fragility and vulnerability. Always grace and beauty, often fierce emotion, independence contrasted with a need for community and companionship and I see a powerful connection with source and presence.
In the piece �Retired� I see the image portraying a restful meditative and internally reflective state of being. The degree of empty space is representative of a quiet mind or a state of presence. I feel that it captures the comfort and ease of a loving and respectful relationship. It embodies the joy of closeness and relaxation surrounded by simplicity with a focus on eternal oneness with being.
In the contrasting image of �Wind Fire� I recognize that fierce emotion that I have so often witnessed in horses. It is an emotion that occupies the moment with great concern perhaps over the whereabouts of a beloved companion. The silence and calm is broken with vocalization and urgency. There is nervous energy and movement and a desire to return to a place of inner peace and well being.
Within the human experience we often become distanced from that connection with source and that ability to be present in our now moments. We reside within our ego minds and wander the illusions of past and future. Horses are always in the present moment and in so many ways can help us to regain our connection and refocus our minds into the reality of now.
The essence and spirit of the horse as I have described it is a metaphor for that to which the universe aspires for us. That evolution of consciousness that frees us from our ego mind, connects us with the �eternal one life� and allows us to reside in a state of inner peace and well being. Horses represent the body and soul of this journey towards enlightenment and that is why we are drawn to them, to help lead us, more correctly perhaps, to carry us along this journey of awakening.